Wednesday 22 April 2015

Guided Scrambling Courses in The Lake District. Saturday 18th April 2015.

Last Saturday, Iain was out with Ben and Becky Wilson from Manchester. The pair enjoy hill walking and regularly stay at a base on the edge of the Lake District. Recently, they have been trying some easy scrambles such as Jack's Rake, Striding Edge and Sharp Edge all graded at 1.

Both were keen to see what scrambling at grade two and above was like so Ben booked Iain's services for a day of guided Scrambling in The Lake District.

They certainly picked a good day for it as you can see in all of the photos. Last Saturday was very warm and very still in Langdale and ideal for any activity involving climbing or scrambling on rock!

Iain hatched a plan to guide the pair up two routes that would ultimately lead on to the summit of Harrison Stickle - the highest top of the Langdale Pikes.

The first route - Piked How, is listed in Lake District Scrambles South as a grade two scrambling route.

Conveniently, this scramble starts within ten minutes of the National Trust Car Park adjacent to the Sticklebarn Tavern in Langdale and winds an interesting route through a series of buttresses low down on the ridge leading to Harrison Stickle. As with most scrambles, it is easy to vary the grade to suit the needs of the clients and in photo two, we had gone off the "official route" in order to climb an interesting looking rib just below the summit of Piked How itself.

So that was the first scramble over; and this route had kept us occupied for three and a half hours. Iain had set just the right level of challenge for the pair who had thoroughly enjoyed themselves so far. What next? A bit of lunch followed by another grade two scrambling route..or grade three perhaps?

Inspired by their success so far, Ben & Becky were both keen to try the challenge presented by a grade three scramble. So, we headed up the grassy slope in photo three to attempt South Central Buttress on Harrison Stickle which takes a line up the buttress - literally right above Ben's head!

South Central Buttress feels noticeably steeper and more exposed than Piked How - hence the grading. The route ascends steep white rocks to a grassy ledge and then one ascends a rock pillar before moving steeply up rightwards on to a Bilberry Ledge.

Once here, a direct finish  takes you up a groove slanting rightwards from the top of the ledge; and on up over steep rocks to the final easy buttresses or you can descend the ledge slightly and then reascend via a steep groove to actually arrive at the same point as the other groove - just below those steeper rocks!

Today, either variant would have been fine in the conditions, but we chose to follow the traditional line which skirted rightwards around that steepening; and we then followed the pleasant ridge above (photo four) a short distance to it's conclusion at Harrison Stickle's summit.

The weather had been great all day and the views from the top of the Landale Pikes were magnificent. Ben & Becky had enjoyed a progressively more challenging day out with Iain Scrambling in The Lake District and were very pleased with what they had achieved.

This was their subsequent feedback from their day out with Iain.

"We spent a day with Iain doing guided scrambling in the Lake District, and it was fantastic. We are new to harder scrambling, and Iain tailored the day perfectly to suits our ability. When climbing on more difficult grade 3 terrain, Iain made us feel safe and at ease, which meant we felt more confident and thoroughly enjoyed our day. We got great value for money, and Iain even provided us with some great photographs. Iain's experience, knowledge and enthusiasm for the outdoors are second to none and we would not think twice about recommending Iain and Kendal Mountaineering Services. We'll definitely be back!"

Our Guided Scrambling Days in The Lake District cost just £80 per person for a full day out in the mountains; and as it happens - that is considerably cheaper than this pair were quoted for this day by another local provider! Contact us here to book your scrambling course, we look forward to working with you.

Monday 20 April 2015

Scoop a bargain this coming weekend. 2 day Navigation Skills Training Course for only £70 per person!

Scoop a bargain this coming weekend!

We have four places available on our Mountain Navigation Skills Training Course in The Lake District now discounted down to £70 - yes £70 per person for a two day mountain based Navigation Skills Training Course based from Staveley in South Lakes.

Contact us here or call Iain on 07761 483364 to make your booking.
On one of our Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Course in The Lake District you'll learn all about map reading, how to orientate the map, how to identify the information (map symbols) and how to measure and pace distance. You will also get to grips with all of the techniques for which a compass is used.

You'll be surprised at how quickly you'll pick up the information provided through Iain's style of coaching.

You will find it immensely rewarding and great fun to attend this course.

Day one is spent local to Staveley, yet high up in typical Lake District open mountain terrain.

You'll learn most if not all of the skills we provide on this day and then on day two we'll travel a little further up the Kentmere Valley to put what you've already learnt into practice whilst we go higher on to part of the Kentmere Horseshoe. You will also learn some more advanced map reading techniques on this day too!

All of our Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District are taught to Mountain Walking Leader Standard and also make ideal refresher courses for anyone about to attend a Mountain Walking Leader Asessment.

So go on - book a place today! At £70 each or only £35 per day this is an exceptionally good offer to help you improve your confidence at Navigation!

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Bespoke Navigation Skills Training Day in The Lake District. Saturday April 11th 2015.

Last Saturday, Iain spent the day with Chris Lees from Carnforth. Chris had been searching the internet looking for someone to provide him with some Navigation Skills Training and also an appraisal of his ability.

He had found our website which "leaped out at him" as the business with which to do this training.

Chris has already done his NNAS Silver Navigation Award and as he works a lot with the ATC, he is looking at gaining a formal qualification in outdoor leadership in the mountains.

Once we had met and discussed Chris's aspirations, it became clearly that Chris had more knowledge than the average client who attends our Navigation Skills Training Courses run here in The Lake District. He already knew about the importance of orientating the map (aligning it with the landscape) and already had an idea of pacing. He could also take a bearing and use one to help identify and unknown feature from a known location - now that is a fairly advanced skill!
Chris could work with six figure grid references but didn't understand eight. Now this is a fairly essential skill we feel and we always make a point of getting clients to this standard; and generally manage it fairly easily too!

Look at it this way - a six figure grid reference puts you in the bottom left hand corner of a 100m square within a 1 kilometre square (all grid squares on Ordnance Survey 1:25 & 1:50 and Harveys 1:40 scale maps are 1 kilometre square) However an eight figure grid reference puts you in the bottom left hand corner of a 10m square within a 1 kilometre square; and that is a high degree of accuracy!

After getting Chris to understand eight figure grid references. We spent the day up above Staveley with Iain putting Chris through his paces walking from one grid reference to the next. For each leg between grid references, Chris had to provide Iain with a bearing, an accurate measurement of the distance and an estimate of the time to get there using Naithsmiths rule on a reckining that he could walk at least four kilometres in an hour.

Chris's map reading & navigational ability proved to be very good. He was able to provide the right information; and then importantly - use it to find the next grid reference. And he was spot on every time!

Our view - Chris is a very competent navigator and we think he should book staright on to a Summer Mountain Walking Leader Training Course - it's only a shame we can't provide it for him.

However, for everyone else, we can provide you with Navigation Skills Training Courses here in The Lake District which will give you the confidence to go and venture into the mountains of the UK with confidence without spending a fortune. One of our weekend courses will cost you a  mere £80 for two days and there is no need to endure the rigmarole and expense of going through an award scheme such as that provided by NNAS.

Chris was very satified with the outcome of his day of Navigation Skills Training in The Lake District; and Iain's subsequent assessment of his ability.

If you would like more information about how we can help you with your aspirations to become proficient at mapt reading and navigation in the mountains check out our weekend Navigation Skills Training Courses in the Lake District on the website or contact Iain for more information. We look forward to working with you.

Sunday 12 April 2015

Kayaking Sessions in The Lake District. Easter Monday. Easter 2015.

Easter Weekend was busy for us. Ghyll Scrambling on Saturday, Caving on Sunday; and on Monday, Iain was out on Windermere running a "one on one" Kayaking session for Chris Gibby who was on holiday in the area from Welwyn Garden City!

Unfortunately, Iain's camera chose to malfunction on that day so we have got no photos of Chris's kayaking session. However - we have got one from Iain's "one on one" kayaking session with Colin Brooke during May last year and unusually - it contains Iain (in the red kayak). You won't often see any photos of the owner of Kendal Mountaineering Services as he is usually the one behind the camera when shots are being taken.

We will happily work with individuals who visit the area wishing try out kayaking on the Lake District's lakes and rivers. Be prepared to pay a minimum of the two person rate though! This is currently £90 for a half day (four hour) session or £160 for a full eight hour day of kayaking. If this sounds a lot then remember you will have the undivided attention of an experienced & qualified canoeing coach as well as the use of over £400 worth of equipment for the duration of your kayaking session - all thrown in as part of the fee!

Kayaking can also be part of a multi-activity day as in photo two when Kimberley Quinn and her boyfriend Richard tried it out on Coniston Water after a morning of Abseiling at nearby Hodge Close Quarry.

Kayaking was a sport developed by the Inuit tribe in the arctic for hunting seals. Early kayaks consisted of a wooden frame over which sealskins were tightly stretched. They could neither have been very durable or watertight. Development continued apace using materials such as wood, then fibreglass and more recently, plastic as in the kayaks seen in photo three.

Our plastic kayaks are durable boats that won't break, they are also light and manoeuvrable and very buoyant. These kayaks are great fun for playing on lakes, paddling down rivers or just for having fun and playing games in!

Our kayaking sessions are also very popular with Stag & Hen parties visiting the Lake District. This photo was taken last September when we had a group of 14 lads on a Stag Event and here we were having great fun doing some kayaking games on Coniston Water.

Kayaking is great fun for all including families with children - so there you have it, a great watersport that everyone of all ages and abilities can enjoy! Fun, games, journeying and with us you can do it as an individual or part of a bigger group.

The weather is now warming up as it heads towards Summer, so if you fancy trying an Introductory Kayaking Session in The Lake District contact us to make you booking. We look forward to working with you"

Corporate Events in The Lake District. Ghyll Scrambling in Borrowdale. Thursday 9th April 2015.

After a busy Easter period, we enjoyed a few days off before returning to the fray with our first Corporate Development Training Event in The Lake District of the 2015 season.

Photo one sees the first successful intake of the 2015 cohort to join the Nucleargraduates Apprentice-ship Scheme. Here, they are about to join Iain on a Ghyll Scrambling Session in Borrowdale in The Lake District.
So can outdoor activities really be used for development objectives? The answer is - yes! - depending on how you structure the activity session!

Nucleargraduates have been coming to us since 2011when they realised that the activity they had been using hadn't been delivering the objectives for which it was being employed. What were those obectives? well, successful recruits to the Nucleargraduates Apprentice Scheme first get to meet each other at the organisation's "welcome workshops". Nucleargraduates wanted an activity that would facilitate team building and the formation of bonds of friendship and trust that would start here and last through the period of apprentice-ship during which many of the applicants who meet here, will be working alongside each other for the Nucleargraduates Sponsor Organisations.

Our remit is to therefore provide an environment which will facilitate these objectives and so our Ghyll Scrambling Sessions have been designed to impell these young people into a situation where they have to work together and help each other as they make progress up the ghyll.

As with all of our Ghyll Scrambling Sessions in The Lake District, everyone is well equipped with  a wetsuit, cagoule, buoyancy aid, helmet & harness before we start.

The instructor then does an introduction - setting the scene and outlining the aims & objectives for the session.

The aim is the achievement of forming bonds of trust and friendship. The objective is to facilitate this through the group working together as much as possible with coaching, where necessary, by us. The session is not instructor led but group led for maximum impact.

Our role is to be there and direct - but only where necessary; and mainly from the point of view of safety . We will only get involved in the devopment process where we deem it necessary should it be observed that the group are failing to work together as well as they might. We find this can often be the case at the start of the session.

As well as providing an environment for team and individual development, we consider that the environment should be fun, but also challenging for individuals. Therefore, we will "throw in" opportunities for challenge on occasion such as this waterfall which the whole group could have avoided.

Individuals do react differently to the challenge of perceived danger - in this case falling from hieght even whilst securely belayed through use of a harness & safety rope. The idea is to help individuals develop a pragmatic and positive approach to challenge realising that fear is nearly always worse than reality and that with perseverance, peer support and teamwork obstacles can be overcome. This philosophy may serve these individuals well should they meet challenges during their apprentice-ships over the next two years.

We have to say however, that this group took the ghyll in their stride and worked extremely together. Bravo!

If you would like to discuss how our outdoor activity and team building packages can help develop individuals in your workplace then contact us here. We look forward to putting together a corporate development package together for you!

Easter 2015 Caving Sessions in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Easter Sunday.

Our previous Easter Weekend activity post was about our session Ghyll Scrambling with Sean Connolly and his friends on Saturday.

At the end of that session, Sean mentioned that the group quite fancied having a go at Kayaking, but hadn't booked anything.  "We do that!" said Iain "and I think I'm available tomorrow!". He gave the group an idea of activity options and they chose Caving in the Yorkshire Dales National Park instead! Photo one sees them all kitted up in Long Churns Lane ready to go underground.

It was strange weather today. The South lakes area was shrouded in fog as Iain set off along the A65 to meet the group at Inglesport. The fog remained with us all the way up Chapel Le Dale and it wasn't until we got nearly to Ribblehead did we emerge into bright sunshine and a really warm afternoon!

Photo two sees Olivia as she was about to negotiate a tricky section in Lower Long Churns known as Double Shuffle Pool. This consists of a "lower" down to the pool just visible behind followed by a tricky rightwards turn & step across from a very small foothold to avoid slipping into the chest deep water.

To get to here, we had walked half a mile up long Churns Lane and then crossed the field above to the gaping tree lined shaft of Alum Pot gently steaming in the warmth of the afternoon. It was quite a sight!

We had then walked a little further across the field and entered the Long Churns Cave system at Middle Entrance - covering a further 200 metres underground partly via the main streamway and then by following the relatively dry fossil passageway of Lower Long Churns to get to here. There were were not too many people around underground which was good - as places like Double Shuffle Pool become a "bottleneck" on busy days.

After avoiding getting wet at Double Shuffle Pool, it is virtually impossible to do likewise at the next obstacle en route - plank Pool. Allegedly, many years ago a wooden plank did span this and it would certainly allow one to stay drier if it were still in place. Anyway, we all got a little damp here before descending into the lower reaches of the cave by dropping down into "the slot" to arrive in Cheese Press Chamber.

Photo three sees Sean achieving success squeezing through this tight bedding plane crawl. The Cheese Press is one of the most talked about and best remembered challenges undertaken by anyone who has been on an Introductory Caving Session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park!

After visiting The Cheese Press, we made our way a short distance further to the lowest point in the Long Churns System where daylight can be seen coming in from Alum Pot - but only if you switch your lights off!

We then reversed our route to just beyond The Slot and took a right turn through Diccan Entrance to get back out to sunlight again.

Going out via this quicker route to the surface involves another short Cheese Press type of crawl but it is not as tight or as long and in photo four we get a smile for the camera from Dee as she emerges. Dee also successfully followed Sean through the Cheese Press. Good effort.

Our final photo for this post about an Introductory Caving session in the Yorkshire Dales sees the group Olivia, Sean, Robbie & Dee in Upper Long Churns where we went next. This involves taking the upstream route in the main passageway where, in places the stream is quite deep.

Eventually, the rumble of a waterfall can be heard in the distance as we approach the final obstacle - Doctor Bannister's Washbasin. Climbing up the waterfall is easier than it looks - provided there isn't too much water. Today, it was fine.

Shortly afterwards, we emerged in bright sunshine once again and although we offered the group the option to do a little more caving if they fancied, they were driving back to London that afternoon and wanted to be on their way.

Sean, Olivia, Robbie & Dee enjoyed their Introductory Caving Session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park with us just as much as their Ghyll Scrambling Session in The Lake District the previous day. Again, the cost for a four hours session is only £45 per person with caving oversuits, wellingtons, belts, helmets and lights all provided to each person. The cost reduces if you bring more people. Caving is ideal for families and groups and is truly, an adventurous sport. Contact us here to book your session, we look forward to working with you.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Easter 2015 Activity Sessions. Ghyll Scrambling in The Lake District. Easter Saturday.

On Easter Saturday we ran a half day Ghyll Scrambling Session in The Lake District for a group of friends who had travelled up from London at short notice - looking for things to do in the area.

Photo one sees Dee, Robbie, Sean & Olivia as we prepared to get into the water on what was our first Ghyll Scrambling Session of 2015
So what was it going to be like? Well, warmer than we thought - in fact! As you can see from photo one, we equip all of our clients with a high standard of personal protective equipment to keep them as warm as possible and safe. Wetsuits and cagoules for insulation, walking boots for protection, good grip and ankle support and a helmet to protect your head. Often, we will provide Buoyancy Aids in situations where you will be out of your depth - but that wasn't necessary where we were today.

So what do you need to bring for your Ghyll Scrambling Session in The lake District with us? Well. we ask you bring a long sleeved fleece top, swimwear and thick socks to wear in the walking boots, towels - and enthusiasm; and that's it!

As you can see in photo two, this group had plenty of enthusiasm!
Apart from the initial chill we experienced upon getting into the ghyll, everyone was fine. Once the water has permeated your wetsuit and your body heat has warmed it, then the wetsuit provides the insulation essential to keep you comfortable on one of our sessions.

As it was early in the season; and bearing in mind that up until two days earlier, we had had freezing conditions and snow on the summits we did say to the group  "If you want to get soaked over your heads today - leave it til the end of the session!" Everyone wisely took Iain's advice; although in photo three they did get up to their waists for this group photo. As you can see, the weather was beautiful; and suprisingly warm & Spring-like (well, it should be - shouldn't it!) out of the water.

This particular Lake District Ghyll Scrambling Venue starts off as an easy walk upstream. Their are a couple of jumps into deep pools which we avoided as they come fairly early on in the session then, eventually, the way on narrows to a ravine with an unclimbable waterfall at the back.

It was here that Iain realised he could see evidence that someone had been and bolted this section for a Canyoning Descent - another of our specialities; although we will have to go and try it out ourselves before we take paying customers on a trip here!

There was, however, one section where Iain felt he could give the group a taste of Canyoning as at the next waterfall above, an abseil station had been created.

In photo four Robbie gets lowered down through the waterfall to join Sean who went first.

Above the ravine, there are a series of ghyll scrambling sections interspersed with waterfalls; and from what Iain could see, all waterfalls have now been bolted for a Canyoning Descent.

We will go and do a trip here sometime soon and will report back to you all about it then.

By now feet were getting a little chilly in the boots after 2 & a half hours of immersion so the girls got out to warm up in the sun whilst Iain & the lads continued up a little further before we all got out.

On the way back down, Robbie & Sean we keen to jump into the deepest pool that this Ghyll Scrambling venue in The Lake District has to offer and in photo five, Robbie is about to take the plunge.

A before shot.

And and after shot! As you can see from Robbies expression it was pretty chilly!

Fortunately, it was only a very short walk back to the Land Rover into which Iain had previous packed a "brew kit". Steaming mugs of hot chocolate all round instantly put a smile on everyone's face.

This was a good start to our Ghyll Scrambling season in the Lake District and the four enjoyed themselves with us so much today they were keen to do something else - more on that in the next post.

Our Ghyll Scrambling Sessions in The Lake District start at £45 per person for a 4 hour session. If it sounds like a lot check out whether or not those who are offering these sessions for less give you the same high standard of equipment as we do! Waterproofs do not provide any insulation from the cold and getting into this environment wearing training shoes is risky - but this is what some of our competitors recommend!

We also provide hot drinks at the end of the session if conditions are cold enough so this is all worth taking into account when booking your session. Your safety is of paramount importance and you need to be comfortable. Only then will you have fun which is what we want you to do in order that you can go away and tell everyone what a great time you had Ghyll Scrambling in The Lake District with Kendal Mountaineering Services!

Ghyll Scrambling and Gorge Walking are the same activity. This activity is ideal for family groups, Stag Groups & Hen Parties, Corporate Groups or a bunch of mates - away on holiday for the weekend just looking for an exhilarating outdoor activity with a difference.

Looking to try a full day out Ghyll Scrambling? Yes - it's possible! Our Esk Gorge Trips for only £75 per person are, without doubt, the best Ghyll Scrambling Session to be done anywhere in The Lake District!

Contact us here to enquire about booking your session. We look forward to working with you.

Thursday 2 April 2015

Abseiling Sessions in The Lake District. Tuesday 31st March 2015.

On Tuesday, Iain was joined by Mark Coyle from Rochdale for a half day Abseiling Session in The Lake District.

Mark had been in touch with Iain some time earlier to arrange this abseiling session as he wanted to get some practice in.  The reason for wanting to do this is that Mark will be taking part in a charity abseiling session at some point in the near future.

Mark made his way to Kendal and then Iain provided transport from there to the abseiling venues. Today, we used the great gaping pits of Hodge Close and Cathedral Cavern - pretty much in the middle of the Lake District National Park.

There are three different abseil stations from which one can abseil into Hodge Close Quarry. Photo one sees Mark as he takes his very first abseil down the easiest route - a long slab, in to the quarry.
Photo two sees Mark making his way up out from the floor of Hodge Close Quarry. This is one of the largest slate quarries in The Lake District with the walls being up to around 130 feet in height. The floor of the quarry is flooded up to a depth of around 100 feet and there are many underwater passages radiating from it into the surrounding rock where there are no doubt more flooded slate caverns. Indeed, this whole area - Tilberthwaite as it is known, is a labyrinth of old slate quarrys, caverns & tunnels.

Hodge close is an excellent venue for abseiling sessions in The Lake District and we run them here quite regularly. The activity of Abseiling is very popular with Stag Groups & Hen Parties visiting The Lake District.

After we had completed Marks first abseil here, we moved on to a second steeper and higher abseil in Parrock Quarry. Parrock is another quarry linking into Hodge Close via the caves visible in the wall beyond the lake in this photo.

Mark wanted to have a go at abseiling from as many venues as it was possible to fit in during his half day (four hour) session with Iain.

After we had completed two different abseils at Hodge Close, we drove round via High Park Farm to visit Cathedral Cavern at Atkinson Coppice in Little Langdale.

Cathedral Cavern is a series of slate workings hewn out of the hillside here. There is another great open pit with vertical & overhanging walls and this is another recognised abseiling venue in The Lake District.

In photo three, Mark can be seen as he starts to go over the edge into this pit which consists of a steeply sloping ramp with a free hanging finish. The whole abseil is about 120 feet high and is quite a challenge.

Well done to Mark for managing all three abseils with ease and Iain is sure he will have no problems completing his charity abseil when it finally takes place.

Our final photo about this abseiling session in The Lake District is a fine view from the top of the abseil site over a great proportion of the open quarry looking over to Little Langdale; and in the distance, a snow topped Fairfield.

Abseiling is one of the most challenging activities we offer at Kendal Mountaineering Services - great if you want to push yourself and discover what you are capable of doing.

All of our instructors are very experienced in running abseiling sessions at many of the Lake Districts venues, so whilst you might feel nervous being asked to descend down some truly scary looking drops, you can be assured of your safety. As part of your fee, you will be provided with helmets, harnesses and appropriate footwear if you do not possess the walking boots we recommend.

Also, whilst you descend (abseil) using an abseiling device on a  rope your safety will be backed up with another rope which is attached to you and paid out by the instructor who uses this to safeguard you whilst you descend. Getting over that inital fear of decending backwards over the edge is the hardest thing about abseiling, but once you are over and sat in your harness, lowering yourself down quickly becomes a lot easier and a lot of fun.

Mark certainly enoyed his abseiling session in The Lake District with us and so can you. Prices start from only £20 per person, so if you are in The Lake District during the Easter Holidays and would like to give it a try - contact us here or give us a call on 07761 483364 to make your booking. We look forward to working with you

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Caving Sessions in The Yorkshire Dales National Park. Saturday 28th March 2015.

Last weekend,we ran our first caving session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park at the for Deake Furniss and his bother Kyle. Deake had tried this activity a number of years ago whilst at School and fancied having another go.

Having searched on the internet for Caving Sessions in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Deake came upon our website and liking what he saw, contacted Iain to book a full day underground.

Unfortunately, the weather last Saturday was not condusive to the best of caving sessions as there had been heavy rain for several hours just prior to our going underground. It was to make caving very interesting for all, that day. We had to modify our plans!

Photo one shows Deake attempting a short squeeze in Thistle Cave near to Ribblehead.
Photo two shows Deake's brother Kyle attempting exactly the same squeeze, both were a bit nervous about trying, but managed it with ease. This was the only tight bit of caving that the pair would try in our shortened caving session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park today!

Initially, Iain had been going to take the pair around the Long Churns system - our favourite introductory caving place. However, whilst not a lot of water was visible flowing from caves on the drive to Long Churns - on the walk up the lane it became evident fairly quickly that all of that rain was now making it's way underground. Iain explained the dangers of caving at Long Churns after heavy rain; and what to look out for on the surface. One such indicator - a resurgence which only starts to flow when conditions below the surface are very wet started to do just that, very rapidly, right in front of our eyes. The rate at which the flow increased was spectacular! We decided to forget Long Churns today.
After a short drive back up the road to Ribblehead, we were making our way over the moor to Runscar & Thistle Caves.

Runscar Cave (seen behind the lads in photo three) always carries a reasonable flow whereas Thistle Cave is generally quite dry. In really wet conditions both of these caves are a safe bet with adults and Thistle ok for children. Indeed, we were one of several parties heading here to go underground due to the water levels in the area!

We visited Thistle Cave first as in photos one and two. Today there was a lot of water flowing through here and in the lower end of the caved the water had backed up and was about 18 inches deep. That meant full wellies fairly quickly, otherwise - it was ok. Runscar 3 was very wet and had a powerful flow today so, we went in upstream against the current. About 3/4 of the way up this cave it becomes a narrow canyon through which the water was flowing with considerable force. Both Deake & Kyle found it a real challenge making progress against the power of this floodwater, but managed well.

After this the lads were both wet and cold;and the weather was showing no signs of improving. So, we called it a day. They are, however, keen to return in better weather to do some more caving!

Put off the idea of having an underground caving adventure in the Yorkshire Dales National Park this Easter? - Well - don't be! Just make sure that you book the services of an experienced Cave Leader such as Iain to provide you with a great session and ensure your safety! The forecast is actually looking likely to improve towards the end of the week as high pressure settles over the country.

Caving is great adventurous fun; and can still be done if the weather above ground is inclement - the only thing we have to watch out for is rainfall!
So, if you are taking an Easter Break in The Lake District, then contact us to arrange a Caving Session for you in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The best caving areas in the Yorkshire Dales are only half an hour's drive from the south eastern corner of the Lake District National Park and we know loads of caves where we can take you and the kids so that you will all have a great adventure - just like the group seen here in photo five.

All of our caving sessions begin by meeting up at the fantastic Cafe and outdoor shop at Inglesport in Ingleton. The postcode for Satnav purposes is LA6 3EB. The cafe opens at 09:00 on weekdays and 08:30 on weekends - if you want to try their famous cooked breakfasts to fuel you up before going underground with us; and cake & tea at the cafe is the best possible way of ending a great days caving!

So if you are struggling for options to occupy the children during this Easter Holiday - think CAVING! and give us a call!

We have plenty of availability to run you either a half day (4 hour) introductory caving session; or if you and the family are up for it - a full 8 hour day underground.

Our prices start at just £45 per person for a four hours session or £75 per person for a full day underground and you will be provided with all of the equuipment you see the young people wearing in photo three as part of your fee - caving oversuits & wellingtons, caving belts, helmets with caving lamps all come as part of the price!

We look forward to providing your caving experience underground in the Yorkshire Dales National Park this coming Easter weekend!