Thursday, 5 December 2013

Kendal Mountaineering Services courses and trips

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Want to spend more time in the mountains during the winter season but a little nervous of the conditions? Wonder how to gauge avalanche prone slopes? What would you do if you fell through a cornice? Need to learn to navigate in a white-out so you can avoid said cornice in the first place? How do you use those shiny axes and crampons properly?

If the answer is yes or even maybe to any of the questions above then a winter skills course of some description might be just the ticket and I would personally recommend Kendal Mountaineering Services.

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A number of years ago I used to hang up my  kit and stop going out if I was likely to encounter snow as I was a little nervous about moving safely in those conditions. I've been on 2 winter courses since then with the lovely folks at KMS and I'd definitely say now that winter is my hands down favourite season in the mountains. The first course in 2009 was for learning the basic skills and was so much fun I went again the year after as I fancied brushing up on some winter navigation. I even got the chance to spend the night in a snow hole dug with my very own hands! Check out the winter courses they have on offer at the moment.

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The folks at KMS are also offering a guided Cuillin Ridge Traverse on the magical Isle of Skye at a fantastic price. This is another trip I've been on although I didn't actually end up completing the full ridge as I was having problems with my fitness. I know now that it was the symptoms of my then untreated/undiagnosed Sarcoidosis that I was suffering from at the time but KMS with their fantastic attitude still made sure my holiday wasn't ruined. I got a day (one I won't ever forget) at an easier pace with Iain giving me some one to one coaching as we scrambled up the ridge to Bruach na Frithe. I got my head "sorted out" when it came to dealing with the exposed and often precarious situations you can find yourself in when scrambling/climbing. Again, I've gone from avoiding areas where hands on rock is a must to now actively seeking them out!

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Thanks to KMS I've gained a number of absolutely magic memories and some of the most useful skills required for moving safely in all conditions in the the mountain environments we have here in Britain, but probably the most important thing I learned is the confidence to get out there and keep making more magical memories for myself. If you've a gap in your skills or even just want a great holiday (at a great price in my opinion) then get in touch with the folks at Kendal Mountaineering Services and ask for Iain.

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