Tuesday, 29 June 2010

My First RDMH Sailing Session

Sailing on Coniston Water on a wonderful summers day (but with plenty of wind) was such a great experience and different from anything I have done before!

My name's Amanda and I answer the phone, work on the website and do lots of other bits and bobs in the River Deep Mountain High office...and occassionally pop out to take part or help instruct the activities.

Johan, Matt, Seb and I headed out on a Hawk, one of the larger dinghy sailing boats (being 20 feet long!) last week on 23rd June and had a thoroughly enjoyable day! I loved been shown, instructed and eventually being let loose on controlling the boat myself!!

Being able to compare the activities that we provide with each other, as I take part in them myself (as a novice!), I found that sailing really offered a great alternative to the gorge walking, abseiling and archery. Dinghy sailing is essentially a relaxing activity that compliments an action packed holiday, the activity allows you time to take in a lot of information whilst taking a few risks in the strong winds with the boat really taking off, to the point where it seems impossible that you are mostly still dry!

I started off being given a very basic overview of the boat's components - mis-hearing Johan's 'Gib' explanation which meant we called it 'Jim' for the rest of the session! Jumping on the boat very quickly and heading out, practically learning how the boat was directed and controlled almost straight away. I learnt the different techniques for sailing upwind and downwind, understanding the sailing essentials! After a quick stop admiring the views and enjoying a yummy hot chocolate, (that Seb thoroughly enjoying pouring for us!!),

I had a little bit of theory explained to me using a whiteboard which meant I could use these new skills on the way back home.

I had done a taster session of Canoe-Sailing with colleague Beth when we first started last winter (wow, time has flown by!), and I had flashbacks of this particular session, whilst I was taking part in the Sailing. This made me really experience the benefit of transferable skills, such as moving the sail in the right direction to turn the boat whilst taking into account lots of other elements like making sure the balance in the boats was in the right direction! With so much to concentrate on (and laugh about if you make a little mistake!) time really does fly by and before we knew it, we were back on dry land. Again, with an easy steadying of the boat and jumping out, and watching the boat being safely taken back to the shore, we were done!

I can't wait for my next sailing experience!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Bobs Annual Walk - Sydneys 1st Hike - Blackcombe June 2010

Bobs Annual walk (Hike). Having walked Hellvelyn, Langdale Pikes, Coniston fells, Mosedale, and others in the central Lakes over the past 6 years. We went for the hill featured on BBC's Coast programme where the Lakes meets the sea, giving the opportunity to look into the lake district rather than being in the Lake district looking out.

The drive in is pretty awesome, to start with,  this is Blackcombe in the Background
One of my favorite, walks, we only saw 3 other people all day proving its seclusion, we had woodland, valleys, rocks, dry, wet, sun, rain, mountain top, heather, bracken, bog cottton, sundew, bone dry peat and mosses. All in one day. Not bad eh, as I say "Beauty in Contrast".

Sally, Jamy, and Cole Walking the easy start valley path.
Irish sea in the background
We stopped for 1st Lunch and morning Coffee on the rocks, Sally, Jamy, David, Bob, Cole and Sydney.

This rock looked good for a sit down, Cole and I

The going gets tougher as we head up hill
Eventually we are at the top,the Summit views just as the cloud and then rain and wind come in off the sea

Sydneys first Hike and mountain aged 8, what a success,
 here with Cole and off they go down the hill in the rain.

A fantastic days walk again, with excellent views and a good Lake District mix of weather.
if you would like me or another qualified Mountain Leader to guide you see www.riverdeepmountainhigh.co.uk/activities.aspx/guided_walking 
sometimes its better led - no maps, just views

Johan Hoving

or for Buitenactiviteiten in het Engelse Lake District see


Friday, 18 June 2010

Kayak surfing (staff night out) 17th June

Johan, Matt and James from 'River Deep Mountain High' enjoyed a bit of kayak surfing last night at Silecroft, Cumbria...

Awesome fun, not massive surf but really satisfying to paddle out through the waves and let them do the hard work to shoot you back to the shore!

The salty spray wasn’t quite as pleasant as the fresh water we’re used to when we run kayak sessions on Coniston water… just makes you appreciate what a nice environment we get to work in normally.

The salt spray brought back memories for myself, having spent the majority of this year so far on the sea... returning home only a couple of months ago having successfully rowed across the Atlantic with my Dad, a journey which took us a total of 82 days!

We jumped out of our kayaks on the beach for a quick coffee break as the sun set on the horizon, before heading back out to catch the last few sets of waves.

The tide had gone out while we were paddling though so it was a ‘pebble dash’ back to the car with the kayaks, beautifully demonstrated by Matt in the photo below!

Big grins on our faces the whole way home, and up early the next morning to take a group Gorge Walking in Church Beck... Sound good? Come and have a go at some quality activities up in the Lake District with 'River Deep Mountain High'.


Monday, 7 June 2010

Scafell Pike With Views ! Guided Walk 5th June

Fantastic Views for the first time from Scafell Pike for me, I think my 6th visit to the peak. I believe this is the usual case for visitors to the Peak, especially 3 peak walkers who often are there at night, and don't have time.

We walked from Langdale Old Dungeon Ghyll to the Summit and back setting off at 10:00 and returning at 5:00pm

This is a very long and demanding walk but very rewarding on a day such as this. The views and the way they open up over the crests are simply breathtaking.

If The Lake District is the most Beautiful place on the planet then these must be some of the best views and this one of the best walks on the planet.

I regularly say "Beauty is found in Contrast" and you have the contrast of cloud and no cloud, sea and mountains, clear sky and clouds forming, huge valleys as in langdale  and Eskdale seen below and the highest peaks in England all visible as you stand on the top.

There you go I thought this needed sharing a great days walk and I was working! what a great job on days like today. Hope you are inspired.

Johan Hoving