Friday, May 9, 2014

Canyon training and new discoveries.

New Venues deep in the forest 
Ndorito in the canyon exploring 
 Staff training at the moment with the instructors before a busy period coming up. I was keen to get the team out on the main canyon and climbing areas but also have a look at broadening the venues we use as there are a few other things in the area which are worth a look for running courses in. 
Staff training in our regular canyon venue 

We headed into the canyon with the emphasis on how we deliver a course which is specific to the clients needs, group management and also how to react to an emergency. The guys had lots of input in this and we where able to get some scenarios going in the canyon and start looking at ways of retrieving people from the water who are in trouble and building a set of skills which can help in many situations. 

Removing any debris which could cause a problem under the jumps. 

One of the jumps into blue pools 
We also had a good look in another canyon. Ndorito who is in the canyon a lot and also enjoys being in there a lot once he was in there was no stopping him. He also has one of the more unusual tactics to combat the chilly waters that run through this canyon. He smothers himself ‘Milking cream’ a strange cream which he applies in great measures and appears to bead like a a gore-tex jacket. Its a formula for those who have cattle to milk and rub on their hands to reduce the shock to a cows udder when cold hands are put to them. On one occasion a cooperate group mistook his cream for suncream and proceeded to smother faces in it, Ndorito to polite to say anything and me not realising until handed it just shrugged and chuckled! He has a great enthusiasm for the water and had been pressing me about these ‘other pools there are pools in there Dan’. So I took his word and as we finished our training and headed down to a point where we could get into the river above Ngare Ndare village a small Masai town below the forest. At first we meandered along the river where not much was happening and thrashing through bush and Elephant dung where I was starting to think this was a red herring and we would find nothing and just get suddenly stampeded by Elephants. We came out into a clearing where a large two tiered waterfall appeared which was impressive with a trip up to the middle tier things where starting to look better. We climbed up the side and came out on top but away from the canyons edge, still NDorito insisted there where more pools here and we carried on back down into the canyon and we quickly came across one, some shallow water jumps and things where looking good and we climbed a little higher above the pools and some good jumps could be had. Above that a smaller narrow pool which was possible to jump from a good group height. Some nice terrain brought us to a very large water fall. The next waterfall was large and offered a good abseil, to shallow and to high to jump, but littered around the bottom Elephant bones this time rather than dung. Climbing up further one more jump appeared and you met the old road to Isiola and our crag which sits more or less above. Top score also to Dagama who is our security guard who also runs some bush skills and can impressively light elephant dung with sticks, I had always thought it was a myth people could light fires with sticks, but being Masai he proved me wrong. He couldn't swim but happily hurled himself into the water and then thrashed to the side and found it an amazing experience. He jumped things much higher than most would at home, he came up with a slightly blown out appearance his long thin Masai frame probably shooting straight through the deep pools to the bottom.
Under the waterfall
So as it turned out Ndorito had a valid reason to take a look and am glad we did. For the staff it was a good experience to have a look around the corner evaluate things and make some decisions  about how we travel and how we make decisions. Is this safe to jump lets actually look and see whats in there first etc, unless it would appear you are a Masai in which case just jump and then resume a pondering position leaning on a tree !!!!