Monday, 10 January 2011

Ghyll Scrambling

From vertex to vortex…ghyll scrambling is the extreme sport of hurtling down a mountain waterfall, one of the fastest-growing sporting activities in Britain today.

Head for the hills and traverse along a rocky mountain path as you make your way steadily upwards – and then take the plunge and slide down a waterfall or natural rock chute into the swirling waters below. It’s been likened to white water rafting…without the raft!

Ghyll-scrambling – also known as gully bashing and canyoning – has become a huge hit with adrenalin junkies from the Brecon Beacons to the Lake District. These hardy adventurers think nothing of throwing themselves off a rocky outcrop into the middle of a thundering waterfall, battling with the racing waters on their downward descent.

Even during the summer months the water temperature can be somewhat invigorating to say the least. And in winter, with howling winds perhaps whipping the icy water into a frenzy, how to stay warm and dry in the raging torrent is a challenge in itself.

Being professionally equipped with the right clothing is essential for both safety and comfort.

Thermal base layers are a given, worn under a full steamer wetsuit and waterproof salopettes and jacket.

Neoprene socks and gloves will go a long way towards directing heat to the extremities, and although sturdy Wellington boots won’t keep the water out, they will help protect your feet and shins.

Safety helmets, such as those used in rock-climbing, should always be worn.

Look online for a centre where you can try this activity with qualified instructors

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