Sunday 25 January 2015

What's been happening in January 2015 at Kendal Mountaineering Services?

January 2015 has been a mixture of work and play for us here at Kendal Mountaineering Services.

The beginning of January saw Iain out with Darren Willis and his mate practising Scrambling Skills on Tarn Crag in Langdale (photo one). Darren has spent a number of years successfully building up his business and now wants to develop his mountaineering skills ultimately being able to lead multi-pitch climbs in both Summer and Winter. This day was spent looking at secure methods of belaying for scrambling and despite being a chilly day in the valley, conditions were fine at the crag for working. Darren is hoping to join us in Scotland next month for our Winter Courses and has already booked a place on our May Trip to the Cuillin Ridge of Skye!

Generally, the weather hasn't been great in the Lake District recently for any sort of climbing - rock or winter-wise!

Iain & Kirstin therefore chose to take off for a week of Mediterranean sun and some sport climbing on the island of Malta.

For those of you who don't know, Malta lies almost smack bang on the middle of the Mediterranean Sea about 50 miles south of Sicily and the two main islands (Malta & Gozo) are composed almost completely of Limestone - ideal for sport climbing.

Around the edge of both islands are valleys running down to the sea and in many of these sport climbing areas have been developed. Photo two was taken at a venue called "Flakeout Walls" near the town of Mgarr Ix-Xini on Goza
There is a whole climbing guide devoted to sport climbing on Malta which has been developed by the Malta Climbing Club. The guidebook can be puchased online or from MC Adventure in Malta. There are sport climbing venues throughout both islands - but be prepared to be climbing at 6a+ if you want to get the most from the guide and your time climbing!

Many people from the UK head south in winter to climb in the Mediterranean and there are lots of good climbing venues in may of the regions countries. Be aware though, that being winter - it can rain too; and unfortunately, three out of our five potential climbing days were thwarted by wet weather - it's the luck of the draw we guess. However most days would, at some point, look as pretty as this west coast view on Malta - following a rather wet morning!

So what have we got to look forward too? Well, Christmas was a busy period for us with many people buying our Gift Certificates to pay for activities and skills Training Courses for families, friends and loved ones. Indeed - if you are looking for that special gift with a difference - then visit the webpage to buy a Gift Certificate here.

One of the most popular purchases were places on our Weekend Navigation Skills Training Courses in The lake District (photo four) and indeed - next weekend Iain runs one of these courses on a bespoke basis for five women from a Preston based running club. We hope the weather is kind to all of us!

Finally, Iain is look ahead to February's Scottish Winter Season.

We have a Winter Skills Training Weekend in Glen Coe (photo five) taking place during Saturday & Sunday 7th & 8th with two people currently booked on at £120 for the two days - but by all means do join us! If we get more than four then the price drops down to £100 each, so it's worth considering.

Immediately following that weekend, we have five days of winter Mountaineering and Winter Climbing Courses running - also in the Fort William/Glen Coe area and we would be pleased to have more join on these. Cost is between £60 & £90 per person per day depending on the course you book on to and includes helmets, harnesses, ropes and winter climbing rack as well as tuition from a Mountaineering Instructor. Crampons & Ice Axes will be required but not provided; although we can advise where to hire yours. To book a place on any of our winter courses contact Iain here.

We look forward to working with you.

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