Saturday 20 August 2016

Back in The Esk Gorge! Thursday 18th August 2016.

As the post title says - back in The Esk Gorge again, twice in the same week. Believe us - we are not complaining at all - as this IS one of the best day excursions we run at Kendal Mountaineering Services. There are two important factors that must be taken into consideration as this is a serious trip. Firstly, the weather should be settled and warm (or hot!) and the River Esk should be at a low "Summer level".

We had both of these factors in place for Thursday when we walked in with (left to right) Guy, Steven, Sam & Nathan (photo one)

The Esk Gorge involves a 3 km/1 hour walk in and back out. Thursday was hot & sunny and Iain had three 15 - 16 year old cousins and their Uncle (Steven - a returning client) who were looking for two days of adventure. Iain had worked with Steven, Nathan & Sam about four years previously when Steven brought them for a half day Ghyll Scrambling Session in Church Beck at Coniston and Iain felt that the Esk Gorge would be a fitting progression for these strong young lads.

Today, we got into the River Esk downstream of our usual get in point opposite the sheepfold and Iain realised he had been "missing a trick". At the very start of The Esk Gorge there is a really big, deep pool with two jumps in - from opposite sides and then a short section of gorge to follow with a waterfall climb too! This bottom section (photo two) gives really good "value for money" in terms of challenge & adventure, so, we'll be starting here in the future!

Photo three was taken at "pool jumping venue # 4" which is a good half mile upstream from the very start of the gorge. By this time, the lads had already enjoyed three jumps - the highest of which must have been about 8 metres or so.

Here, the jumps (one on either side of the waterfall) are no more than 4 metres high but are enjoyable all the same. Of course, the lads did them both before climbing up the waterfall and moving on upstream - good stuff!
About half way up the Esk Gorge one arrives at the highest waterfall in the whole gorge, which surprisingly, only has a very shallow pool at it's foot - not a place for jumping then! Also the fall is steep and cannot be climbed - due in part to the sheer volume of water that cascades down it, so here, we exit on to the right bank (looking upstream) and climb steep clean rock to bypass the fall (photo four).

Immediately above is another waterfall with a deep pool at it's base - pool jumping venue # 6!

We started today's Esk Gorge Ghyll Scrambling Session about 11:30 am having arrived at about 11, then lunching before getting changed into wet-suits et cetera.

We did start the session by getting immersed in the pool immediately opposite the sheepfold to get "conditioned" before heading downstream to the really big pool. Getting from there back to our initial "get in point" took over half an hour!

By the time we had gotten out of the gorge (photo five) we had been in it for over four hours and had gotten roughly 2/3rds of the way up the gorge before it was decided by Steven to call "time" on the session. Water levels had been lower than three days earlier allowing Iain & the group to do more; and spend more time in the water. Consequently, the lads were now getting tired and a little chilly, so, it was a good point at which to finish. All four had had a fantastic time!

We were back at the rucksacks at about 3:45pm and it was good to get changed into dry clothes and enjoy the rest of our lunch and a flask of Iain's legendary Hot Chocolate.

We sat & took in the scenery for a while before packing up and heading back to the cars 3 km away at the foot of Hardknott Pass.

Today, was another perfect Esk Gorge Day with a bunch of fun loving young people who thoroughly enjoyed themselves here. Steven paid just £50 per person for this full day Ghyll Scrambling Session in Eskdale which was a 33% discount on our usual price of £75 each - this was applied as Steven was paying for the whole lot and had booked two consecutive days of activities with us!

The Esk Gorge Ghyll Scrambling Trip is one of the best guided adventures you can have in The Lake District - book it with us to have a thoroughly fantastic experience you will never forget! We look forward to working with you!

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