WWWUK hits the Lake District

Last month Wonder Woman Workshops UK hit the Lake District for a weekend of adventure sports. Myself, Suzie, Jannet, Flic, Ezgi and our one token boy Andy piled into a rental car and settled in for the 6 hour journey north.

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The trip was off to a brilliant start when 2 hours into the journey I received a call from our activity leader informing us that with Gale force winds happening in the Lake District we would be unable to kayak as originally intended, however all was not lost and we settled on abseiling as an alternative activity.

We arrived at our hostel, half way up Hellvelyn, at around midnight and headed straight to bed. We had a full day of abseiling and ghyll scrambling ahead of us, which would begin with a 7am wake up call!

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After a full english breakfast we packed our bags with towels and spare clothes and once again loaded into the car to make our way into Keswick to meet our instructor where we would then convoy up to the big rock we would be launching ourselves off.

My much improved navigation skills (since the last trip to the Lakes), ensured we arrived with no problems and we set about harnessing each up and putting our helmets on, after a quick photo and a briefing on how to abseil it was time to climb the rock.

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Nerves were apparent as the pathways got narrower and we got higher until eventually we reached our destination and prepared to throw ourselves over the edge. Jannet bravely volunteered to go first, exclaiming, “I’m f****ing abseiling”, and made it back down with no problems, she unclipped herself from the rope and it was then that we realised she had kept an important part of equipment at the bottom with her (even after much warning from our instructor on the importance of sending it back up), cue much shouting and screaming from us and much waving from Jannet, who had zero idea what we were on about. Luckily our guide was obviously an ex boy scout (or this must happen a lot) as he whipped out his spare and I got tied on and set off to join Jannet.

Flic was next, closely followed by Suzie and then Andy. Ezgi lucked out as when nerves got the better of her she came down accompanied by the guide!

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By this point we were all more than a little chilly and so we headed back to Keswick for a quick pit stop in Booths for lunch. A bowl of warming pea soup later and we were ready to hit the road (again) up to the base of the ghyll.

Getting out of the car half way up another mountain, it was clear that the wind had picked up somewhat and the temperature had dropped, we aren’t ones to give up though so we tugged our (pink) wetsuits on and after another quick picture we were off to climb our 2nd hill of the day!

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Ghyll scrambling is essentially making your way down stream by jumping and sliding off rocks into water below, and since this was early March and a pretty cold weekend, the water was freezing! We soon warmed up (or got so cold we could no longer feel it) and managed to make it half way down in pretty good time.

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At this point we were given the option to get out and go the rest of the way on land or carry on, we reached the unanimous decision of getting out pretty quickly and we fell ran the rest of the way back to the car.

After drying off we made our way back to the hostel to shower, nap and get ready for our evening meal. I had booked us a table at a gastro pub called The Troutbeck Inn and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. The menu had lots of options, including duck (my favourite), steaks and pork belly – yum! We all indulged in a glass of wine and a dessert, we deserved it!

We were lucky enough to be able to sleep in a little on the Sunday as we weren’t booked in to do via ferrata until midday, so we headed into the town for a coffee (wifi), and some shopping first. Via ferrata is Latin for ‘iron way’ and sees participants scaling a cliff face using metal handles to make their way around and up the rock, clipped on via a harness and carabiners.

Myself and Suzie had done the same route last year, and we were both feeling a little apprehensive about the thin wire suspended a long way in the air known as the ‘burma bridge’. I can now tell you that this does not get any easier the 2nd time around and if we ever venture up to Keswick again Suzie will definitely be going in front of me, I prefer the slow and steady approach to life threatening activities…

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Unfortunately for Suzie, but to the relief of everyone else, via ferrata finished a little too late to make it to the Derwent pencil museum, so it was off back to Keswick for some dinner before beginning the long journey home.

The car journey back was filled with lots of suggestions for WWWUK’s next trip away, and the South Coast seemed to be a popular opinion. If you’re interested in coming away with us later in the year, drop us an email to register your interest!

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