Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Advent: Snow & A Minor Milestone

Advent is my favourite season of the year - an opportunity to spend some time in "preparation" the Centre is a bit more quiet, at least from the perspective that we are closed for three weeks in order to undertake planned maintenence, so there is a little more opportunity to get out and about. For me, at least, the time spent out & about is the real quality thinking and reflection time.
We'd already had a bit of snow but on Friday night we had an unexpected downpour which left a few inches even at the Centre giving the place a real picture post card look & producing excellent conditions in the fells.
Also I passed a, very minor, milestone on Saturday by climbing Lonscale Fell - the last one in Wainwright's brown book (book five). I started "bagging" the local Northern Fells just before we moved to Cumbria about six years ago, its never been a quest with any urgency & many of them I've visited numerous times but nevertheless I've really fell in love with this less frequented part of the Lake District and its good to have got round all of the significant high points.
We've not got underground for a few weeks - quite rare really, however, the winter conditions have provided a great environment for running and a rare opportunity for ice axe & crampon stuff in the fells its been a good time.............................

23/11/10 Sail; Eel Craggs (Crag Hill) & Outerside - run

With: On my own

Weather: Dry; Frosty; Clear Blue Sky

Got up early this morning to go out for run, this is unusual for me as I've always found morning execise difficult. Had to scrape ice off car before setting off on short drive to the Newlands Valley. When I arrived at Stair the first strands of light were appearing & it was off once again up the mine track alongside Stoneycroft Ghyll. Ignoring the slash of a path up on to the ridge around Scar Crags I continued up past what I think is the old Cobalt mine, enjoying views down into Coledale, before making Sail pass. The way on was up the new path - hope this isn't a vision of the Lake District future (although it has to be said the erosion was severe on the old one) on to Sail, actually quite an enjoyable section up this path before a superb ridge run (interupted by a little scrambling) on to the most amazing snow dusted summit of Eel Craggs. Stopped to take a few photos before running back off, munching breakfast, the same way I came up. Continued to retrace my steps until a shortish distance after the mine where I struck off over part frozen open fell to gain the lower slopes of Outerside. A quick run up to and along the summit ridge before "bushwhacking" back down to the Stoneycroft mine track & back to the car.

Great way to spend the first part of the morning!

8 miles / 3,000' ascent / 2hrs 20min

Shadows & footprints close to the summit of Eel Craggs 
 Vision of the future?

New path off Sail
View back down the ridge towards Causey Pike

27/11/10 Lonscale Fell

With: Graham

Weather: Clear blue sky (except on summit!!); a covering of fresh powdery snow

Met Graham just off the A591, thankfully I was driving the Centre's Subaru Forester, the point at which I waited for Graham was effectively the "roadhead" for anyhting other than 4 wheel drive vehicles & there was some entertainment in watching the skidding & fruitless revs as many attempted unsuccessfully to get up to the car park behind Lattrig that is for so many the start of the motorway up Skiddaw. We were the only vehicle that made it!!
We made off up the main footpath to the point just before Jenkin Hill where it splits, letf to Lower man, right to Lonscale Fell. We followed the fence line just above Whit Beck until we met a perpendicular fence, through the gate, sharp right and we were on the summit in no time. Typically the bright blue sky was temporarily interupted whilst we took photos of quite a wintery scene before heading back down over open fell. Our line was south & west until we met Whit Beck again which we decided to drop into & climb out of in order to give the ice axes & winter gear a brief outing - the best part of the day. Re-gaining the main Skiddaw motorway the benefit of our early start was enjoyed as the hordes began to ascend. By the time we got back to the car park one other landrover had made it. The walk took us just an hour & a half but we hadn't really imagined the terrifying drive back down the road from the car park that we had smugly negfotiated in ascent earlier that morning, it was quite tense!

A wintery Lonscale Fell

29/11/10 Steel Fell & Ullscarf

With: Paul Rose; Greg Paterson; Alan-R; Graham; R&R

Weather: Clear blue skies for most of day; minimum of several inches of powdery snow lying on hard frozen ground

This was a cracking day out. Parked near the stile on the A591 below Steel Fell and headed straight up the steep slope - axe essential, crampons very useful! Reached Dead Crag - is this the summit of Steel Fell (?) to excellent views in all directions: Morecambe Bay; Windermere; Coniston Fells; just about everything really. Dropped down into Wyth Burn for lunch before another steep ascent, Greenhow Craggs (from memory? don't have map handy at moment) which ultimately led to the main path along the fence line leading to Ullscarf summit. Clouded over a bit at this point to spoil the previously unmatchable views. Descent was via a series of ghylls; the beacon & a very steep section down to the farm at the south end of Thirlmere. A short walk along the bridleway parallel to the A591 saw us back to the vehicles in the dark - all good!!
Distance about 6 miles; out from about 10:00 till 4:30

 Graham on Steel Fell
 Me on Ullscarf

Paul Rose in ascent!

Team In2venture

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