Saturday 20 August 2016

The Esk Gorge, The Lake District's most challenging Ghyll Scrambling Venue. Monday 15th August 2016.

Last Monday, Iain was back in action after a well earned weekend off with friends on The North York Moors. The day found him heading for The Esk Gorge with returning client Nick Sutcliffe & his daughter Freya. Nick & Freya came to us for three days of fantastic Outdoor Adventures for the first time in 2014 and again last year when we had some big days out. They were looking for something equally as big this time; and Iain thought The Esk Gorge would fit the bill perfectly!

Photo one sees Freya & Nick getting nicely hydrated at the start of the session before we headed up the waterfall behind and on into the gorge.

The Esk Gorge is the best Ghyll Scrambling Session The Lake District has to offer.The gorge is about 3km long and the River Esk drops in the region of 200 m on it's descent from Upper Eskdale into the lower valley, so, as you can imagine - there are a lot of waterfalls en route, some climbable, some not and some very deep pools with high rock walls allowing some big jumps to be made - in complete safety, into those pools - some 12 jumps in total up to 9 m in height! See a complete album of photos from a previous Esk Gorge Adventure here.

Photo two sees Nick, caught in mid air on a "burst shot" exposure and he sails through the air to land in the deep pool below at "jumping venue # 3" on our journey upstream.

Photo three was taken some time later at about the half way point on our Esk Gorge Ghyll Scrambling Session. This is the highest waterfall in the gorge although strangely, the pool at it's foot is very shallow indeed! Nick & Freya had just waded upstream in the left of the photo to the left hand fall and then continued under the main fall to emerge where they were stood.

We then climbed on dry rock up the wall to the right in this photo; and immediately above, there is another waterfall with another deep pool at it's base and this is "jumping venue # 5".

Last week was glorious weather (up until the Friday anyway!) and on Nick & Freya's visit to the Esk Gorge, the weather was in the low 20's (centigrade).

This meant that whenever we got out of the water, we were immediately warmed by the sun and all of the dry rock felt hot to the touch - not too hot, but just right. It was just what we needed today!

Photo four was taken at about 3:45 pm as we started our descent back to our hidden rucksacks at the gorge foot (we had started our ascent of the gorge at about 11:30 am!). In the distance, above Upper Eskdale, can be seen Scafell Pike (3210 feet) - England's highest mountain and we had just scrambled up the final section of gorge to be seen just below Freya & Nick.

The pair were lucky enough to enjoy the "complete" Esk Gorge experience from bottom to top and had attempted every challenging jump and waterfall climb along the way. We were very lucky to be blessed with such a warm day and it was great to get back to the rucksacks, get changed into dry clothes and then bask in the warmth for a while before we had to start the 3km walk back to Iain's car at the foot of Hardknott Pass.

The Esk Gorge is a brilliant day out and feels like a real expedition in to the mountains where challenge awaits with some of the biggest pool jumps to be found anywhere. We do recommend coming on one of our half day Ghyll Scrambling Sessions in The Lake District before attempting this - but if you are made of stern stuff - then why not go & do it rightway!

Nick paid just £80 each for himself & Freya to enjoy this adventure with Iain - one of The Lake District's most experienced Ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning Guides. Contact Iain here to book your own Esk Gorge Ghyll Scrambling Day, you won't be disappointed!

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