Friday, 9 December 2011

Sking on Hellvelyn

Had another blustery but excellent day on Hellvelyn today. I ski toured up from Dunmail Raise after about an hour of walking.
The slopes have been fairly scoured in most places by the winds, but hollows, and re-entrants are hanging onto the snow nicely and I was treated to a fantastic powder ski back down!
It's all very winter and 'Lake District' up there and expect to need to use your crampons if you head onto the tops.
Cornices of new soft slab are forming above the gullies and would certainly collapse if anyone were to wander onto them.
Back up there tomorrow for more fun! :0)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Crazy Weather and Avalanches in the Lakes

Well, we've had it all in the Lakes in the past 3 days. Freezing temps, lots of snow, 80mph wind, now a thaw and more snow!
So i took myself up ski touring into the Bowscale Tarn area, which is part of the Skiddaw massif, to do a bit of a recce and see what is happenning with the snow.
And what I found was this!
A full blown cornice collapse and full depth avalanche. There was a lot of debris (you get a sense of the size from the ski pole) and the crown headwall (the bit it broke away from at the top) was about 3ft high, pretty big. It would definately have done someone a mischief if they were in it and as I stood thinking this, a great ripping noise started and the rest of it came down. It didn't get anywhere near me, but any plans to head higher up that slope were binned!
So i turned tail and had a very pleasant, if wet and windy ski back down.
There is a lot of snow on these lee slopes, and this one was low. And with temperatures rising and it all getting wet and heavy, more of this is likely. Tomorrow night is due to bring colder weather again for the weekend, so after a good freeze all will be awesome.
As for us? Well we're out on saturday with some clients from down south for our first winter skills course of the season, fingers crossed they get good conditions.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Winter is here!

We've just gotten back from 3 fantastic days in the Cairngorms Winter Mountaineering and Ski Touring.
It had been a bit of an 'over keen, there might be snow' type trip, but as it turned out the heavens opened, the temperature fell and we had a great time.
Day 1
We headed into Gen Feshie, south of Aviemore, and went up Carn Ban Mor 1052. It was a cold and very windy day, with googles on for the duration, winds gusting 60mph and at the top hardly any visibility...great stuff!
We then headed north and up onto Sgor Gaoith 1118 and on again to Sgoran Dubh Mor 1111. The thing with a lot od Scottish Hills is they are such a long way from the car, so once you are near them, it's daft not to get as many in as you can. The problem is, you end up doing a 22km day!
The hill was in got winter nick from 500m upwards, not much deep snow, but some neve and lots of ice and frozen ground.
Day 2
Day 2 was a solo day for me, Ali was having some retail therapy and a rest. These can sometimes be tough, finding the energy to do a big day on your own, but with pretty challenging conditions, I found plenty of motivation pitting my skills against some typically Scottish winds and blizzards.
I started at the bottom ski carpark near Glen More and headed into Coire na Ciste, thinking I'd get shelter from the westerly's. I got shelter, but also deep snow and deeper heather! Several hours of battling got me up onto Cnap Coire na Spreidhe 1151 and into a white out with 50mph winds and about -10'c with wind chill, brilliant!
Then , with some proper navigation needed, I headed up to the top of the mighty Cairngorm 1245, and as the clouds lifted was treated to some amazing views.
The weather station popped into life at one point, raising its electronic wizardary above it's shelter to measure the crazy weather (it read 54mph and -6'c without wind chill, the link to the website is
Day 3
With Ali recovered and a little more snow fallen, we thought we'd risk a little ski touring foray around the back of Cairngorm to a hill called Bynack More 1090. We managed just about to ski from Glenmore Lodge up to the Ryvoan Bothy and up onto the flat plateau below the final 1km onto the top. To say we were slightly battered by this point would be an understatement and having just done 10km to get here and only having 2hrs of daylight left we made the tough, but sensible decision to turntail and ski back. I'd thought we were going to have all sorts of problems sking back down the hill with it's modest amounts of snow and copious amounts of heather...but no bother. You couldn't turn, but hey, who needs to turn!

Then to cap it all, we get home and the Lakes is white! So i'm off out to have more adventures i the Lakes!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

River Greta from Ingleton

All this wild weather has done a great job of filling our rivers full of lovely water, including some that take quite a bit to start running.
So with lots of rivers a bit too massive for a leisurely sunday paddle, we headed to the Ingleton Greta in Yorkshire.
It's a great grade 2-3 river, through some hidden and gorgeous countryside.
It's definately a river of 2 halves. With the top section from Ingleton to Burton being very continuous grade 2 - 3ish, lots of fun with no boring flat bits and stacks of waves and stoppers to play in along the way.
Once you get to Burton - in - lonsdale you get a long grade -3 bedrock rapid which leads into some pretty woodland with flatter sections, interspersed with weir type drops. Nothing scary and always with a chute through.
The highlight of this section is a 1 1/2m ledge drop with a tongue thing river right for open boats and 3 or 4 different boofs along it for kayaks....lovely!
The only hassle was the get out at Greta Bridge. I got out river right below the bridge and hauled my kayak up some walls (mental!), but Ali decided to carry on down, join the Lune and get out at the next bridge on that. On reflection, whilst this is a bit of a trudge, it's probably a better egress for canoes and will keep the local residents, who live right at the get out, happier.
All in all a great trip for up and coming kayakers, never too hard, but still challenging enough to bring a big grin.
If you have a done a bit of river kayaking and are looking for a guided trip on something a bit more challenging, give us a call!
Mark and Ali

Thursday, 24 November 2011

River Kayaking

Had a great day today on the Ingleton River Greta with some students from Cumbria University.
We paddled from Ingleton to Burton in Lonsdale, a fantastic section of grade 2-3 kayaking, very continuous and definately a challenge and fitting end to this groups block of practical sessions, well done Joe, Jenny, Luke and Ben who all did amazingly considering this was their 3rd ever river and probably 5th time in a kayak.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Autumn Canoeing

Autumnal Canoe Adventures in the Lakes

We had a great day Canoeing on Bassenthwaite Lake and the River Derwent today.
It was stunning! Blue skies, light winds, warm sunshine and a nice chill in the air, lovely!
These type of stunning days are out there, you just gotta keep an eye on the forecast and go for it and we are always available for last minute, impulsive bookings!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

River Canoeing in the Lake District

Had a fantastic day canoeing the Lower Derwent out of Lake Bassenthwaite near Keswick yesterday
This great river is only open for access from now until the end of January and offers a stunning and easy introduction to the wonderful world of river canoeing in the Lake District. Perfect for beginners and families. Give us a call or e-mail if you're interested.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Sport Climbing in Mallorca

We've just gotten back from a fantastic two weeks in Mallorca, an Island much known for it's sun and sangria and perhaps the dubious delights of Magaluf etc!
What it is less well known for, is it's amazing Rock Climbing. The Island is covered, and in fact made of, some of the best Limestone in the Med and for years the locals have been doing their best to explore and bolt the enormous amount of rock available out there.
The climbing is first class, with plenty of easier stuff; although maybe not as much as say Costa Blanca and the easier venues are getting battered for sure. But if you are climbing in the 5+ - 6c range then there is soo much to go at. We climbed for 12 days, went to a different crag everyday and did a total of 70 routes, and most of them 25-30m long!
It does have a few venues with bad, rusty bolts, but very few of the old 8mm ones you find elsewhere and a few places have big gaps between bolts on easier routes (of course easier is a relative term, 10ft between bolts on 6a+ can get a bit scary!) but generally the place goes off.
Rock Fax make an excellent guide and I'd definately encourage everyone to be careful with parking, rubbish and general access stuff as the locals have fought long and hard to get access to each and every crag.
If you are thinking about a trip, get in touch and we can recommend some local british instructors , justin and sam, who are super experienced and know the Island well.
And as for the weather? 30', clear skies and a light breeze. Climb all morning, go for a swim and drink sangria all evening! Nice!
Cheers, Mark and Ali

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Up coming canoe expedition

It's been busy busy with Quest 4 Adventure lately with heaps of great activities and adventures happenning all over the Lakes. Loads of people have been getting to grips with their first goes at rock climbing, canoeing, ghyll scrambling and much more.
And soon it's our turn as the Quest 4 Adventure team to get stuck into our own adventure.
We're off to Scotland to canoe basically across it's width, from the top of the glencoe valley on it's west coast near Fort William, to Perth on it's east.
It's going to take 6 days of paddling across Lochs, canoe sailing, paddling down white water rivers and travelling with the canoes on trolleys and our lives on our backs around some of the more extreme sections to complete this classic Scottish Adventure, and we can't wait!
A full report will be on here soon....

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Castle Rock of Triermain

Had a great evening at Castle Rock near Keswick.
We climbed a whole heap of great routes.
Via Media S 4a - a brilliant introduction the the style of climbing and amazing rock.
Gazebo HVS 4c 5a - a real delight of a HVS, well protected and a bit more strenuous at the start, then much bolder but slabbier and technical at the top, and if done as a single pitch 40m long.
Failed Romantic E1 5b - superb face climbing on amazingly rough and knobbled volcanic rock. Exciting and not laced with gear; but just the best.
and there's a whole heap more here to go at for all grades.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Great value summer activities

We're proud to be running our great value summer activities with Long Valley Yurts at the National Trust campsites of langdale and Low Wray again this summer holiday.

There are:

-Guided Canoe trips on Lake Windermere, with games and skills and none of the worry associated with just hiring.

-Rock climbing and gorge scrambling in the Langdale Valley. Gorge scrambling is our most popular activity and a real hit with all ages!

-Moonlit canoe trips from the Low Wray site with a beach fire, toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate

All activities are £25pp, even if there's just one of you (most providers charge on a sliding scale) and they are designed with complete beginners in mind.
That said if you've done a bit before we can definately up the challenge for you and give you just as good a time.

Check out this website for more info
see you there!
Mark and Ali

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Welcome to our new Blog!

Welcome to Quest 4 Adventures new blog.
We'll be posting photo's and info about all our adventures, courses, trips and the local conditions and what's happenning in the Lake District area.
Cheers for now,
Mark and Ali