Saturday 26 September 2015

Lake District based Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District 2015/2016 dates.

Two Day Map reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses - for only £80 per person!!

We have successfully run a number of Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District this year. Two weekend Courses are remaining:-

October 16th & 17th and November 28th & 29th.

Our 2016 dates are now up!

March 26th & 27th
April 30th & May 1st
May 28th & 29th
June 25th & 26th
September 24th & 25th
October 29th & 30th
November 26th & 27th

Our Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District represent truly fantastic value. For only £80 per person you get two days of tuition and maps are also provided. All you need to do is to turn up with a compass (we recommend the Silva Type 4 expedition model), everything you would need for two days walking out in the mountains - and plenty of enthusiasm to learn new skills!

Our Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses are run in one of the Lake Districts most peaceful, pleasant and yet most accessible places.

Our meeting point is for these courses outside of Wilf's Cafe in Staveley which is very close to the A591 - one of the main roads into the southern part of The Lake District and very close to Kendal, Windermere and Ambleside. Accommodation options are considerable locally and range from reasonably priced hotels & guest houses through to nearby campsites.

Book a Navigation Skills Training Course with us and we will help you find accommodation of your choice in the area!

Each day, we start at 9 am and finish back at Staveley by 5pm giving you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the hospitality that the area has to offer.

Please note that if you do wish to buy provisions for your days out on the hill with us or would just like to grab a takeaway coffee before starting your course, then Staveley Post Office directly opposite the Entrance to Mill Yard (where Wilfs is located) offers far better value than any other cafe of delicatessen in the locality and is open from 07:00 - even on Sunday! Sandwiches can be made to order and pre-ordered by calling 01539 822339.

Here's why you should book on to one of our fantastic value Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses? You'll have a great time in some of the areas most stunning surroundings, learn new skills which will give you the confidence to venture further into the areas mountains and have a great deal of fun.

These courses are suitable for anyone wishing to learn more about Map Reading & Navigation Skills - no matter what you ability might be and are great fun for couples who want to get more out of hill walking and individuals who may be aspiring to undertake Mountain Walking Leader Awards - in which case our courses are excellent as an ML Refresher prior to going for assessment or re-assessment.

We currently have only four places remaining on the April weekend and eight on the May course and the pair already booked to to that weekend will be very happy to have at least another two join them.

We do require a minimum of four persons per weekend course in order for them to run and have a number of these courses on offer throughout 2015. Details of course dates can be found by visiting the website here.

For anyone wishing to book on one of our Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses please contact us here. We look forward to working with you.

Cuillin Ridge Traverse trips including seven nights self catering accommodation. May 7th - 14th & 14th - 21st 2016.

We have six places currently available on our Cuillin Ridge Traverse Trips due to run between May 7th & 14th and May 14th & 21st 2016

If you are interested in joining either of these weeks contact us now to book your place.
This is an excellent opportunity to experience the Cuillin Ridge of Skye. Participants often have differing objectives for attending, some may wish to bag the 11 munros on the Cuillin Ridge, others may want to complete a traverse of the Cuillin Ridge. Here, both can be done together.

Our package allows for considerable flexibility. We will have six full days of which four will involve being guided by Iain Gallagher, Mountaineering Instructor, with the ultimate aim of a complete traverse. There are also two rest days allowing us to be flexible and make the best of the weather when choosing our four Cuillin Ridge traverse days.

The price is only £450 per person and is excellent value for what is on offer. This package includes 7 nights self catering accommodation in a comfortable cottage, a guided traverse of the Cuillin Ridge of Skye from end to end done, if possible, over a maximum of 4 days. Please note that we cannot guarantee a complete ridge traverse as it is often weather dependent, but we will do our best!

As the accommodation is not too distant from the Cuillins, we make daily forays into the ridge allowing us to complete the traverse section by section but spending each night in a comfortable bed and getting a good meal at the end of each day - this itinerary has been proven to work well. There are a maximum of six places available on these Cuillin Ridge traverse trips and all of these places are allocated on the basis of deposits received. First come, first served!
To achieve success on this trip, you need to be a fit and active hill-goer, able to carry all of your own personal equipment for each day out on the mountains and you will be expected to carry additional climbing equipment such as ropes as well.

Everyone must be equipped with a helmet & harness which can be provided as part of the course fee. You will need plenty of liquid each day and high energy food is advisable.

Interested people also need to be aware this is a committing and sustained 13 km alpine style ridge traverse often on scrambling ground of grade one standard but also frequently with sections of grade two & three ground where roping up is essential. There are also sections of rock climbing such as the Thearlaich Dubh Gap (severe) and the Inaccessible Pinnacle (an optional but polished Diff) and a number of abseils to be made. Therefore previous experience of scrambling is a must and some previous experience of ropework, preferential. Ideally, you should have a good head for heights and be comfortable with a degree of exposure.

The Cuilllin Ridge is a challenge, but don't be put off; if you have the pre-requisites listed here, then you should be fine.

The Cuillin Ridge Traverse is definitely the best mountaineering expedition of its type in the UK and Kendal Mountaineering Services have a great track record in guiding on this ridge. We cannot guarantee your success in completing the full traverse, only the weather & your ability will allow us to achieve this, but with his help and your commitment to working together as part of a team, success is a real possibility.

With regards personal equipment for the ridge traverse; people must have good quality foul weather kit and bring plenty of warm clothing plus hats & gloves. On Skye, even in September it can be wet or cold (or both on occasion). On a number of previous occasions, in May - we have even had snow to deal with!

Due to the nature of the terrain, please do not come expecting to traverse the ridge in approach shoes! They are totally inappropriate for this traverse; stout leather or fabric boots with good ankle support, a solid and preferably cleated Vibram sole are the order of the day for this mountaineering journey.

People have ignored Iain's advice in the past and then experienced difficulties on the ridge - slowing down progress for all concerned.

If you would like advice about equipment, additional information about the Cuilllin Ridge or would like to book a place on one of these fantastic opportunities, then please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Photographs from top to bottom are:

Looking South along the Cuillin Ridge From Bruach Na Frithe

The Southernmost part of the Cuillin Ridge from the top of the Great Stone Chute

Reaching the top of the Inaccessible Pinnacle

Loch Coruisk From Sgurr A Ghreadaidh

Sunset over Loch Bracadale and McLeod's Tables from our accommodation

Read about our last trip to the Cuillin Ridge of Skye in 2015 on our blog here.

Join in the conversation about this trip on the Facebook Event Page here.

We look forward to working with you and sharing your adventure on Skye next May!

Slovenia - a holiday destination for the future? Definitely!

September has proved to be a relatively quiet month for us after the hustle & bustle of August. There is always plenty to be done however; and amongst other things there are always new venues to be checked out in order that we can develop the breadth of adventures we offer our clients at Kendal Mountaineering Services.

Slovenia is a country that had been on our "radar" for some time ever since Iain first visited in 2008; and the area that we feel would particularly appeal to people visiting our website is the Julian Alps.

Part of the Southern Limestone Alps stretching from North East Italy to Slovenia, the Julian Alps cover an area of 4'400 square kilometres in Western Slovenia bordering with Italy. The views are of lofty mountain ridges reaching over 2000 metres in height, thickly wooded with deciduous trees with valleys containing rivers such as The Soca, seen here in photo 1.
So what does Slovenia have to offer the adventure traveller? A great deal by all accounts. Lofty Limestone ridges to be traversed, high mountain summits to be reached, mountain huts to stay in - indeed, Slovenia's highest mountain Triglav 2864 metres offers a multi-day mountaineering excursion to a mountain summit of Alpine proportions set in stunning scenery.

As well as hiking, scrambling and mountaineering, the Julian Alps also offer the opportunity for extreme sports such as Canyoning which we offer ourselves here in The Lake District. Canyoning as we describe it, is descending a mountain stream, abseiling down waterfalls of jumping down waterfalls into pools. Canyoning at venues such as this one at the Mlinarica Gorge in the Soca Valley (photo 2) are altogether more serious propositions requiring a lot more abseiling as this particular venue involves over 100 metres of vertical descent! However there are other less extreme canyoning venues that we intend to check out that will be more suitable for our clients - watch this space!
Due to the fact that the Julian Alps are predominantly Limestone much of the rainfall disappears underground meaning that there are numerous opportunities for caving in the area. Again, this is a sport that we offer here in The Yorkshire Dales.

In Slovenia, much of the rain reappears as vast springs welling up out of the ground at the foot of the mountains or even on the mountain slopes. Such springs are a truly impressive sight and are features of this unique landscape well worth visiting as part of a hike in the area. Again - something for us to think about as we plan the itinerary for our forthcoming Slovenian Adventure Holidays

The River Soca issues from one such spring - the Izvir Soca. The spring is reached from a car park at the head of the Soca Valley and after a steep climb and a short exposed section of via ferrata descending into the cleft one can marvel at the clear, slightly blue tinged water welling from the rock (photo 3).

On this visit to Slovenia of five days in duration, we took a drive from our base at Bovec along the Soca Valley to visit the Mlinarica Gorge, the Izvir Soca and the Vrsic Pass (altitude 1'611 metres) before dropping to Kranjska Gora to the north east. Our journey then took us back west into Italy at Tarvisio - a winter Ski resort; and then back over the Passo Del Predil into Slovenia (altitude 1'156 metres) into the Koritnica Valley en route back to Bovec. Photo 4 - taken from the Predil Pass looks towards the upper Koritnica Valley and to the left of centre - Mangart, one of the highest summits of the Julian Alps at 2'679 metres and a venue for Via ferrata excursions easily reached by a road leading to just below the summit. Again, this is an activity we are considering adding to our future itinerary!

For people interested in history, there are historical remains evident in the Bovec area such as this tunnel in the Koritnica Valley (photo 5) - a relic of the first world war battlements which include many of the via ferratas (iron man-ways) to be found today all over the Dolomites in Southern Italy and The Julian Alps.

This site in the Koritnica Valley is adjacent to the Kluze Fortress and the history of the fortifications in this region can be be read about by visiting this webpage. Interesting stuff!
As outlined above, our first day out involved a drive through some of the best scenery that the north western corner of the Julian Alps has to offer coupled with visiting some of the areas best attractions.

We were not here purely for our own purposes but were in the area in the company of a friend already owning a property in the area and looking to buy another. Indeed property in Slovenia is currently very cheap - 100'000 Euros (around £73,5000) will buy you a large property in this area often with land attached. Apparently there are currently over 800 properties in the area vacant and for sale. It's a buyers market by all accounts!

Having spent a morning investigating a few such properties, we once again turned our attention to an afternoon adventure in the Bovec Valley - a visit to the amazing Slap Boka or Boka Waterfall seen here in photo 6.
To get to the Slap Boka, one has two choices of route - through the woods and up the gorge seen in photo six to get to the foot of the fall; or up through the woods to the right of the waterfall to reach a point approximately 100 metres above the top of the fall from which one can descend to the resurgence (photo 7).

The height of the waterfall is an impressive 106 metres and the water issues from the foot of an equally as high cliff. This place is another attraction well worth a visit, a truly awesome place!!
As previously mentioned, caving can also be done in the Julian Alps and there are no shortage of caving systems that can be visited. At the same time as visiting Slap Boka, we also took the opportunity of a brief excursion into the nearby Mala Boka Cave (photo 8).

The Mala Boka system is 8168 metres long and is 1319 metres deep from the entrance on the Kanin Plateau - a cave known as BC4. You can read about the history of exploring this cave system from either end until a connection was eventually made by going here.

Our trip into the system was only short and on a level with one of our Introductory Caving Sessions in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Apparently, local activity providers also run guided trips into the lower part of the system - so it may be possible that we could offer you the same!

On our final full day in Slovenia, we decided to walk up Svinjak (seen here in photo 9) This photo was taken out of the window of our apartment in Bovec looking east towards the mountain which is the really obvious one in the centre of the photo.

Svinjak separates the Soca valley (to the right of Svinjak) and the Koritnica Valley to the left. We travelled along both during our drive two days previously. The mountain is known locally as the "Matterhorn" of Bovec - looking at this view of it from town, you can see why!

A good starting point for climbing Svinjak is the village of Kal Koritnica at it's western foot and only a short drive from Bovec.

After walking through the houses & farm buildings one heads off up through pastures interspersed with woodland (photo 10) past a footpath leading to the plateau of Celo where there are many World War One fortifications to be observed.

The recommended time for an ascent is two and a half hours, the height gain is 1193 metres to reach the summit at an elevation of 1653 metres. The distance involved is 7.2 kilometres. The route is graded as medium in difficulty and a total of four & a half hours is recommended to do the ascent and descent - usually done by the same route.
After passing the path forking off to the trenches and fortifications at Celo one continues up the rocky path through the woods - always on the Soca Valley side of the ridge. However, along the way, one arrives on several shoulders from where there are views down the steep northern side into the Koritnica Valley from where the old fortifications of Hermann on the slopes of Rombon, opposite; and Kluze, nestling on the Koritnica Valley floor can be observed.

The woods are largely composed of Beech interspersed with Larch and the trees extend all the way up to the summit on the Koritnica side of the ridge.

Looking at Svinjak from Bovec, the final part of the ridge to the summit appears to taper steeply to an exposed rocky and bare crest. However, looking at it from much nearer in photo 11 (approximately a kilometer away) it is neither as exposed or as steep as it looks from Bovec; although a slip on the final section could have serious consequences, care is still needed!

At the summit of Svinjak (photo 12) is to be found a miniature replica of the shelter to be found on the summit of Triglav - Slovenia's highest mountain.

Apparently, a book is contained within where visitors to the summit can record their achievement.

This is a nice idea; and apparently a common feature of many Slovenian mountain summits, however, sadly, it would appear that the catch on this container had been vandalised and we were unable to open it on this occasion.

We enjoyed the views from the summit which were great all round despite some cloud touching the higher ridges and had some lunch before descending back to Kal Koritnica. The descent took us only an hour!

Photo 13. This was one of the views from Svinjak's summit looking south east into the Soca Valley below.

As previously mentioned, the slopes from the limestone ridges in The Julian Alps fall precipitously to the valley floors often over 1000 metres below.

The side of the valleys are thickly wooded with Beech being the predominant tree species although Larch & Ash are also to be found as well as Hazelnut on the lower slopes.

The whole area has a continental European feel to it. Summer temperatures can be as high as the mid-30's and winter can bring temperatures well below freezing and a considerable amount of snow falls in the area. The Ski area on Kanin, above Bovec, has been closed for the past few years, but following a re-funding of the facility, it is hoped that it will reopen either in time for the coming winter season or for winter 2016.

Photo 14 was taken from the top of the steep section just below Svinjak's summit.

The township of Bovec can be seen beyond the foot of the ridge with the Soca River flowing away in the distance.

The temperature at the summit despite the overcast weather was probably in the high teens low twenties and the weather can remain this warm well into October. During our stay the weather was largely overcast and we experienced some rain one morning and some torrential rain the night before. This was nothing to the weather experienced the day before we arrived when torrential rain caused landslides and the volume of The Soca to increase from 20 to 300 Cumecs - that's a massive increase and most unusual for the time of year when in fact, we ought to have experienced blue skies and sunshine and temperatures in the twenties throughout our stay!

So what did we think of this part of Slovenia during our stay? Well, we thought it was awesome in every respect. For the outdoor enthusiast, the mountains offer quality walking through a network of well maintained and signposted footpaths. The ridges and summits offer the opportunity for scrambling, mountaineering, rock climbing and via ferrata. The Limestone rock offers the opportunity to venture underground caving.

The Soca River offers a whole host of opportunities for activities itself with many companies offering rafting excursions along the river as well as the opportunity to go canoeing and kayaking and hydrospeed. Bovec, itself, has a number of excellent restaurants such as this one where we dined for three nights out of the four. Here a two course meal with drinks cost around 30 euros each or £22 - fantastic value! A coffee is typically 1 Euro and a beer 2 euros, 20 cents or  £1.60!
So, our plan is to put together a package consisting of 6 nights in the area with Bed & Breakfast and lunch provided. Transfers to & from Treviso Airport at Venice will also be provided as well as drop off and pick up from each days activities. The activities to be provided by us will include Mountain Walking, Rock Climbing and Via Ferrata and will be provided by us over four out of the five days. The total cost for this inclusive package will be £500 per person

There will be a day available during the week when you will have an opportunity to go off and try a half day of rafting and a half day of Canyoning with a local guide. These activities are not part of the package provided by us, but shouldn't not cost you more than 45 euros each per activity.

Again, flight and travel insurance costs are not part of our package. Ryanair fly from the UK for around £150 return if booked well in advance. Evening meals are not included, but as indicated, excellent food at excellent prices is to be found in Bovec.

If this package sounds appealing then Contact us to enquire. Dates to follow; and currently, we are considering a week in May and possibly two in October each year starting in 2016.

Monday 14 September 2015

Rock Climbing Courses in The Lake District. Thursday 10th September 2015.

Iain & Darren had a very successful day Scrambling on Great Gable last Wednesday. Despite needing to relearn a few scrambling techniques, Darren showed a strong & competent performance on the routes that we scrambled. Due to his work, he has a good understanding of dynamic risk assessment - very important when you are climbing or scrambling!

After a good evening in both The Strands Inn at Nether Wasdale and the Wasdale Head Inn, we awoke late on the Thursday morning. This wasn't part of the plan!.

Looking outside from our accommodation, it was obvious that the wind from the previous day hadn't abated any; and we weren't inclined to head back up to Great Napes to attempt Needle Ridge - our original plan for today.

Instead we went to Wallabarrow Crag in the Duddon Valley where Darren was put to work leading on Wall & Corner Climb - a great little four pitch V Diff rock climb.

At least Wallabarrow Crag isn't a 2 & a half hour walk in like Great Napes! Having parked up Darren's vehicle, we were starting on the route in warm sunshine in under 45 minutes.

Photo one sees Darren leading up the first pitch of Wall & Corner - the wall, in fact. This pitch is steep and smooth apart from the very small & fairly well polished ledges used as hand & footholds. It is also poorly protected which was Iain's concern.

Darren did his best to place running belays and as Iain had seen him place some good ones the previous day, he was happy to let Darren lead this route. In photo two, Darren is setting up another good running belay as he starts up pitch two of Wall & Corner Climb.

Photo three sees Darren a while later having just made some interesting & strenuous moves to get to where he is now. This pitch is the "corner" part of the rock climb and the slab below Darren's feet is hold-less mean that one has to use the wall on the left, pull up whilst smearing on that slab before "bridging across with one's feet to reach that foothold where Darren currently has his left foot.

The edge above allows one to "mantelshelf" (press down on one's hands) to gain the ledge above - all good rock climbing techniques; and Darren managed to place to obligatory running belay before attempting these moves! However, he is now at a point where another running belay was essential although a good one isn't available at that precise location. However just above is a nice friendly ledge followed by plenty of anchor placements available for running belays - right up to the top of the climb!
Darren continued on up the final part of Wall & Corner climb with ease and placed some good running belays along the way.

Whilst he took some time to set up at the top, this was only due to his taking time to find and assess what suitable anchor placements were available to him there and when Ian joined him there he could see that Darren had found two "bomber" placements and equalized them to a central attachment point using a sling - all good textbook stuff.

By this time, it was around 4pm and Darren had enjoyed a useful afternoon during which he had climbed well, placed some good running belays and had managed his ropework as stances well.

The final photo is a view down the Duddon Valley from the top of the route and a glorious day it had been. We had still had a breeze, but here it was warm - perfect for a Rock Climbing Skills Training Day in The Lake District!

We run Rock Climbing and Scrambling Skills Training Courses in The Lake District, Wales and Scotland as well as running Introductory Rock Climbing Sessions here in The Lake District. If you want to learn to rock climb then these are the courses for you! Our Introductory Climbing Sessions cost just £45 per person for a half day (four hour) session and our Learning to lead trad Rock Climbing days just £80 per person. Our minimum group size is two persons; or one person can attend at the two person rate. Contact us here to book your rock climbing course, we look forward to working with you.

Scrambling Courses in The Lake District. Wednesday 9th September 2015.

Last week we took a chance to enjoy the glorious September Sunshine with past client - Darren Willis, who wanted to polish up his scrambling skills in order that he can take other people out with him to enjoy this great recreational sport.

Darren first approached Iain at the Kendal Mountain Festival last year expressing an interest in learning everything about climbing - both in Summer & Winter. This sounded like a great challenge for Iain.

Before learning to Rock Climb outdoors, we reckon that if you want an appropriate progression, it is best to learn how to scramble. We subsequently spent a number of days with Darren doing some scrambling Skills Training in The Lake District and last May, Darren joined us on Skye for our annual Cuillin Ridge Traverse Trip.

So what is Darren doing in photo one? Well, scrambling in fact although one might be led into believing he is on a rock climb. In actual fact, he was undertaking the first part of what is known as threading the needle behind Napes Needle on Napes Crag, Great Gable. This is only grade 2 ground!

Darren had wanted to get to Napes Needle and the Great Napes area for some time, he also wanted to practice and relearn some of the scrambling skills he had forgotten during the intervening months since his Scrambling Skills Training Courses in The Lake District which we had done back in March.

One of the skills Darren had forgotten was how to "lock off" chest coils  and in photo two, here he is having another go on The Climber's Traverse under Great Napes. That lump of rock beyond him is known as "The Sphinx".

Chest coils are an essential part of shortening the rope when scrambling. Whilst it is useful to have 50 metres of climbing rope on occasion, most of the time, as a scrambling leader you'll only need a few metres of rope between you and your seconds - particularly when "moving together" between steeper pitches.

Locking off coils refers to the act of tying them so that the rope cannot be pulled tight around the leaders neck should the seconds slip or fall - a nasty scenario! If you want to learn how to do it, then book on one of our Scrambling Skills Training Courses in The Lake District!

After "threading the Needle" and practicing some scrambling ropework skills on The Climber's Traverse, we set off up Sphinx Ridge which is graded 2 in the Scrambles in The Lake District North Cicerone Guide.

On our Scrambling Skills Training Courses in The Lake District, there will normally be a pair of people wishing to learn the skills together whilst being coached by a Mountaineering Instructor. Today, there was only Iain & Darren.

However, through observation of Darren's Climbing & Scrambling Skills & ability (he is a Scaffolder after all!) over the various courses he has done with us since last December, Iain judged it safe to put Darren out in front on the "sharp end" whilst he acted as a second on the other end of the rope. Photo three sees Darren sometime later doing an interested "splits" manoeuvre on Pinnacle Ridge - our last scramble of the day on our approach to the summit of Great Gable.

Today was a long day out. Firstly, there was the 2 & a half hour approach to Napes Needle from Wasdale and then "threading the Needle" plus various scenarios such as how the leader protects ones-self on a steep scrambling descent into Needle Gully took over an hour. There was some retraining took place on "The Climbers Traverse" path and then we would spend several hours on Sphinx Ridge looking at appropriate belaying techniques before enjoying a final scramble up Pinnacle Ridge to the top of Great Gable from where photo four was taken. It was certainly a stunning view down Wasdale!

Darren paid £160 for his Scrambling Skills Training Day in The Lake District with us and if you want to learn scrambling Skills techniques then we can run a similar course for you. The fee of £160:00 can be split between two persons making it only £80 each and that fee includes the provision  of helmets, harnesses, rope and rack as well as coaching or guiding from a qualified Mountaineering Instructor. Contact us here at Kendal Mountaineering Services to book your Guided Scrambling or Scrambling Skills Training Course in The Lake District, Wales or Scotland. We look forward to working with you!

Saturday 12 September 2015

Ghyll Scrambling in The Lake District. Saturday 5th September 2015.

Whilst Iain spent last Saturday working with Peter Kane & his family, we had another group who had booked at short notice who were looking for a Ghyll Scrambling Session in The Lake District.

Fortunately, Iain was able to find a good quality associate instructor at short notice to service Kavita Mohan's request and photo one sees the group posing in the car Park next to the Sticklebarn Tavern in the Langdale Valley. The group were about to go into Stickle Ghyll - one of The Lake Districts most popular Ghyll Scrambling venues.
Photo two sees Kavita and another member of her group sometime later in one of the deeper pools in Stickle Ghyll.

So what is Ghyll Scrambling? - the same as Gorge Walking for one thing! Both terms apply to the act of getting into a mountain stream scrambling up the bed of the stream against the flow of water - climbing up waterfalls and swimming through pools with the support of qualified & experienced instructors to help you make the most of every opportunity to have fun whilst staying safe along the way. what is it like to do Ghyll Scrambling? It's FUN and people love it!

Photo three sees some of the group in one of the more "scrambly" sections of the ghyll where one climbs out of a quite deep pool and uses tree branches growing out of the bank as a "handrail" to make ones way up the stream bed - one of many challenges along the way in Stickle Ghyll.

For all of our Ghyll Scrambling or Gorge Walking Sessions in The Lake District, we provide a high standard of equipment - wetsuits and cagoules to protect and insulate you, buoyancy aids where necessary to keep you afloat, walking boots to give you the best possible grip and ankle support; and helmets to protect your head. You'll usually have a harness on as well as some section of most ghylls will require your being protected by a rope to prevent a slip or fall on some of the steeper sections. We are not the cheapest provider of Ghyll Scrambling or Gorge Walking in The Lake District with some of our competitors charging £35 or less per person - but you won't get all of this equipment provided by them; and often, the session will be significantly shorter!

Our prices for any half day activity session start at just £45 per person for a half day (four hour) session which is about the amount of time needed to get kitted up, enjoy a great and long enough session; and then de-kit at the end. Bring more people along and our prices decrease. For example Kavita and her group of ten paid just £40 each for all of this, she had to say about her session with us:- 

"Kendal Mountaineering Services organised a last minute Ghyll Scrambling trip for myself and friends with instructor Mark in the Langdale Valley this weekend. Our group of 10 thoroughly enjoyed the scrambling and would highly recommended for anyone - regardless of climbing ability! We look forward to our next adventure!"

So, contact us here to book your Ghyll Scrambling or Gorge Walking Session in The Lake District. You'll have a great time and we look forward to working with you"

Kayaking and Gorge Walking Sessions in The Lake District. September 5th 2015.

Last weekend, Iain was joined by Peter Kane and his two sons Aiden and Rowan for a day out outdoor activities in The Lake District. The three were staying in the area for the weekend and Peter had booked both Kayaking and Ghyll Scrambling - more for the lads than for himself.

Photo one sees Aiden left, Peter Centre and Rowan right as we we making final adjustments to the kayaks before heading on to the lake. This photo was taken at Fell Foot Country Park on Windermere.

Photo two sees Aiden & Rowan sometime later on the slow moving stretch of the River Leven - the river which empties Windermere. Rowan seemed quite confident in a kayak as he paddles them quite often with The Scouts. Aiden, however, was less confident and needed some coaching. Iain had chosen to move on to the river to find shelter as there was quite a strong northerly wind blowing down the lake which wouldn't have helped Aiden any.

We spent a few hours on here learning kayaking skills and playing games before venturing on to Windermere to travel a few miles around the southern end of the lake finishing around mid-day.

The afternoon Gorge Walking session was to be in a completely different part of The Lake District and involved a bit of driving to get there; including a short drive by Land Rover up a dirt track.

However, this place is well worth making the effort to get to. For a start, it is peaceful and out of the busiest part of The Lake District where we would in all likelihood, be sharing the ghyll with half a dozen other groups. Here, we were on our own!

Photo three sees Aiden and Dad helping Rowan make progress upstream. As with all of our Gorge Walking Sessions in The Lake District, you can see all three are having great fun!

Our final photo from this Adventure Day in The Lake District sees Peter leading the way up the final part of the gorge before we got out at around 5pm.

We had travelled up roughly 2 kilometres of mountain stream, scrambling up the stream bed, swimming through pools and climbing up waterfalls. The three had a great and varied day out with Iain and, as they visit the Lake District quite regularly, we hope we will see them again for some more Outdoor Activities in the future.

For this full day of Adventurous Activities in The Lake District, peter paid just £180 for the three of them with all technical equipment included such as kayaks, paddles, spray-decks, cagoules, buoyancy aids, helmets, harnesses and walking boots - plus transport in a Land Rover and supervision by a qualified and experienced instructor.

We reckon you'll do well to find all this for a better price in the Lake District and yes - a discount was applied to get the price down to this by request. Our full day activity sessions in The Lake District normally cost £70 per person but families can request a discount as we know how expensive trips away can be when parents have to pay for t all out of their pockets!

Contact us here to book your adventure day in The Lake District. The weather is still warm enough to be having fun doing either or both of these activities. We look forward to working with you!

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Half Day Rock Climbing Skills Training Courses in The Lake District. 1st September 2015.

Yesterday morning, Iain met Robbie & Kes McHugh, who, whilst staying on holiday in the Lake District with their family, had booked a Rock Climbing Skills Training Session with us.

We normally recommend a two day Rock Climbing Skills Training Course, but the pair only wanted a half day session with us. As our motto is "giving you what you want" Iain agreed to arrange this; and gave the guys a quality four hour session on Brown Slabs at Shepherd's Crag in Borrowdale.

The pair already knew how to tie in to the rope and belay, so Iain was able to focus on how to arrange good anchor placements, arranging "running belays" and stance management.

We looked at stance management when leading alternately; and when the same person is leading all pitches; as well as how to arrange an abseil retreat.

During our four hour session, the lads were able to climb two pitches and arrange two abseil retreats. It was an excellent session given the length of time it ran; with Robbie & Kes paying just £45 each for Iain's skills input!

You can look at a whole stack of annotated photos from this Rock Climbing Skills Training Course in the Lake District by visiting this Picasa Web Album and if you would like to learn how to lead on multi-pitch "trad" climbs then contact us here to arrange your course. We will be happy to help!