Friday, 25 November 2016

The Team

If you have called, emailed or experienced activites with RDMH, it's pretty much a given that you will have seen or spoken to at least one of the core team members. How can I be so sure? Well, lets just say, the team here at River Deep Mountain High is 'small but perfectly formed'.

Who are we? Well there's...

Business partner, office manager, instructor, netball queen, and chocolate brownie baker extraordinaire (though in my opinion, she needs to offer the brownies round for quality control testing more often).

Emma grew up in Chesterfield, gateway to the Peak District, and a part of her has always enjoyed paddling (in bare feet) in rivers and playing on rocks. Despite this, she staunchly refuses to be classed as an outdoors type as shopping, gardening and cafes are her preferred passions! She completed an MEng in Civil Engineering with Management at Birmingham University, but then followed Johan to the Lake District (he is her husband after all) where she has worked in marketing, training, customer service, cooking and personnel as well as some outdoor instructing - well, inevitable really.


Senior instructor, business partner, ski-kite/kite-board/general outdoor activity nut, husband to Emma, and unashamed taker of selfie's in beauty spots around the Lakes. 


ohan's love of the outdoors established itself at a young age, with Mountain Biking and Kayaking being his number one pastimes as a teenager in Nottinghamshire. He then went to Birmingham University to get a BSc in Sport and Exercise Sciences. As well as being the place where he met Emma, Birmingham also opened the opportunity of becoming a trainee instructor at the university’s own outdoor pursuits centre on Coniston Water. After this he worked at some of the many outdoor centres in the Lakes where he honed his own style of giving people a pleasurable experience of outdoor sports on which he and Emma built River Deep Mountain High.

Beth (me). Answerer of enquiries, taker of bookings, open water swimming, allotment digging eater of chocolate brownies and other cake related products.

Though half Bahamian, I grew up in Cumbria walking the fells, swimming in the lakes and pottering in boats on summers days. After what I thought was escaping Cumbria for the bright lights of Sheffield and London on 1999, I returned 4 years later with a Fine Art degree and a fiancee, and we've been back home ever since. A stint in retail left me with a love of meeting new customers, so when I started working for RDMH in 2009, it was clear I'd found a job that perfectly combined my love of chatting and my love of the Lake District. If there is anything you want to know about the activities RDMH offer, getting booked in, or the best cafes to visit while you're in the Lakes (that's a long list - see previous blogs), I'm your gal!

And last but not least, there is the most hard working and dedicated to her position member of the team, and oddly, the whole reason I started this particular post...


Jess, the cat.
Ever since her unexpected, and somewhat miraculous arrival via Emma's car engine - having investigated locally, we think she strayed from the nearby farm and sheltered in there after losing her way back - she has been a firm member of the RDMH team. 

She was a tiny, feisty, feral kitten when she arrived, but very quickly settled into life here. How she copes with a 20 second commute from Emma and Johan's cottage to her favorite position on the printer, looking out at that awful view and periodically having her ears tickled, is beyond me! And yes, we do apologise to her when we need to print something.

So there you have it. We're a small team, we love what we do, and we do it well! So why not give us a call, and we'll get you on the road to a great activity experience! Well, Jess won't. She'll just look at the phone disapprovingly because the ring disturbed her snooze!

Friday, 18 November 2016

Gathering group information - handy hints and tips

You've managed to get everyone pinned down on the date and the activities, and you're all booked in for your activity weekend in Lowick School Bunkhouse with River Deep Mountain High. Yay! Time to sit back, relax and contemplate all the fun details of the weekend ahead.

We like to keep things as straightforward as we can here at RDMH, so our activity prices include the use of the technical kit required* for your chosen activity. And because it is ultimately easier at our end if we make your job of organising everyone as simple as possible, we have a very straight forward way for you to gather and send us the specific information required for kit allocation.  

We send you a link to an online form created specifically for your group, you forward it to all the group members, they access it and fill in their name/height/weight and health information, and the whole thing updates automatically at our end so you don't even need to send it back to us. Simples! 

Yet even with the simplest system there are always a few stragglers who, for one reason or another, are unable to get that information in on time. So, for those of you who receive a subtle 'Group Info Reminder' email from RDMH HQ, but are struggling to get the rest of your group motivated, here are a few suggestions for lines of encouragement that we feel would have the right impact. 

If you don't fill the form in by tomorrow...
  •'ll get what you're given.
    The threat of the chafe of an ill fitting wetsuit in particular should be enough to encourage full co-operation.

  • ...I'll get creative with the health info and ask the instructor to check it publicly.
    Particularly excellent threat to those who are in groups where people are meeting each other for the first time. You only get one opportunity to make a first impression, people!

  • ...they have another group who need all the remaining kit, so you'll be left with the wetsuits from the 'holes in bum to repair' bucket.
    We don't - They won't. But are they willing to risk it?

  • looks like the water temperatures are forecast to dip unseasonably low next week, perhaps even snow - yes, in August! I wouldn't want to be without a wetsuit...
    You may have one or two group members who think they could handle the colder water, but it's unlikely they'd take the risk in reality.

As you can tell, these suggestions are particularly geared towards activities that require a wetsuit, but as those in the know will confirm, a well fitting suit really does make all the difference!

It's also worth pointing out that being in denial about your size may also lead to potential problems in the long run too. We have seen every size and shape of body taking part in activities and getting into our kit. We don't discriminate against size, and we want you to be comfortable and have fun, but if you neglect being honest with us, we can't guarantee your comfort. 

Ladies...if you have a larger bottom or boobs, let us know so we can allow for these within the sizing.

Gentlemen...the waistline is around the middle of the tummy where your belly button is, not under it and around the hips. Believe me, you'll thank us in the long-run.

Of course, if you or any of the group have doubts or questions about the kit and want to chat with us, we're here to offer advice as well as encouragement. Let's face it, if we all looked like Olympic Triathletes in a wetsuit, we'd be laughing!

*with the exception of mountain bike hire, which is additional

Monday, 7 November 2016

Organising a hen or stag do? How hard can it be?

So, you've been given the honour of organising the stag/hen do of your closest friend. Congratulations!  Now, how hard can it be to get in touch with a bunch of strangers dotted all over the UK (or even the world), find a date that works for everyone, a venue that is easy to get to, and something to do that is inclusive to everyone from the adrenaline junkie traveller to the vertigo suffering townie? No pressure.

 A fair few of us have been on a hen or stag do at some point in our lives. Only the other day here at RDMH we were discussing how much has changed in the 10+ years since we had our own hen do's. Mine was an oh so classy evening with a small group of my besties, involving a meal followed by a traditional pub crawl that finished with a shimmy on the sticky floored nightclub of the local town. Ahh, good times. That's pretty much what happened back then for most folks, and though it's still a classic, these days there are so many other options, it's bewildering.

Though we have a huge amount of experience in these matters, unfortunately for you, we can't be the ones to contact everyone and get the group numbers and date tied down, though we do sypmathise as to how stressfull that bit can be. What we can do is make things a lot easier for you once you know the basics, and trust us, there aren't many 'silly' questions we haven't been asked. In fact, if you aren't careful, we'll get more involved with the ideas than you may want. A recent stag do conversation springs to mind, in which a breakfast cooking competition that could be dubbed  "The Great British Bacon-off" (*X-factor style dramatic voice) was enthusiastically suggested. Genius!

But in all seriousness, here at RDMH HQ we aim to make the whole process as straight forward as possible. By offering you the accommodation in Lowick School Bunkhouse, and instructed activities as a package, plus options for everything else that we think a successful stag or hen do needs, we think we've made it pretty simple. 

So, if you are looking for...

Lowick School Bunkhouse outdoor fire pit and bbq area
Comfortable accommodation for up to 20 people.
Fun activities provided at a high standard, with enough choice to satisfy everyone.

Outdoor area with stunning Lake District fell views for the ultimate post activity bbq and bonfire relaxation.
Local suppliers who can deliver everything from beer kegs and bbq packs, to a hot tub.
2 pubs that serve food within walking distance.
Enough inside space to either lounge by the wood burner, play some table football, or chat around the dining table.
Somewhere with decent travel links to major cities such as Manchester, London and Glasgow.'ve come to the right place.

Lowick School Bunkhouse
Comfortable lounge with stove and games

Large dining-kitchen with additional mezzanine space
8 bed dorm room

River Deep Mountain High have been providing outdoor activities since 2003, and though the activities available can vary depending on your group size, as a general rule we have found that hen and stag groups love Gorge Walking, Raft Building, Canoeing and Archery. These all lend themselves to larger numbers, and also allow for a daft costume to be worn!

"Wow! Sounds perfect, but how much?" I hear you cry. Well, here's a handy table to help you out...

Total price for sole-use of bunkhouse for Fri & Sat nights plus activities…
No of activity sessions
No of people taking part in activities
Up to 8*
Up to 16*
Up to 22*
1 (half-day)
2 (full-day)
Extra nights available at a reduced price of £225 per night

Prices include standard activities including use of wetsuits/waterproofs, instructions, hot chocolate and all technical equipment except bikes. Bike hire is extra @£20 per bike payable direct to the supplier. Prices do not include any transport or food.
We have also learned over the years that flexibility is key, so if these aren't quite the activities you are looking for, tell us what you would like, and we'll see what we can do.

We have easy payment and group info systems, can provide hen and stag do packed lunches, and give any other advice to make the 'organiser' job that bit easier. We also send out full kit lists and detailed directions in advance. You barely have to do a thing, and can take all the glory.

It might only be November, but we've already got some stag and hen weekends booked in for 2017. So if you want to look like the most organised member of the wedding party, and earn some extra Best Buddy Brownie Points, get in touch with Beth or Emma here in the office, and we'll answer all your queries, get you booked in, and make sure the do goes down in the Best Weekend history books.

You'll also be left with more time to shop for that green mankini or pink tutu you've been plotting about.

If you want any more information about our Hen and Stag packages, visit River Deep Mountain High, or call 015935 28666.