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

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Busy, Busy

This Weeks Stats & Diary

30/01/11 Fell Run - The Loweswater Fells (see below); 9 miles & 2,500 feet of ascent
28/01/11 Run, Solway Beaches - 7 miles on a fine cold afternoon, another special sunset
28/01/11 Teaching SRT - full day of ropework with R&R, very cold! Then out for the above run
26/01/11 Caving - Bull Pot of the Witches
25/01/11 Bike - 7 miles

Solway Coast
24/01/11 Seathwaite Wad Mine (again!)  
23/01/11 Static Bike - 12 mile
RunBikeWalk(all in miles)
This week1619237
This year27351173
Ascent (run/walk) this week3500
This Year7200

Its been a really good week, back caving / mining plus a full day of SRT on the surface; plus great running in the Loweswater Fells & on the Solway Coast. I must admit that body, mind & spirit are ready for the couple of days of activity rest that are now planned.

Fell Run (30/01/11)

With: on my own

Weather: still, quiet & cold (zero degC at Loweswater) but a keen north westerly made fell top conditions very cold; summits were cloud free

I followed one of Andrew Leaney's routes (http://www.leaney.org/) in reverse with a minor modification between Gavel Fell & Hen Comb which extended the route very slightly:

route map

Attempt to show photo overview of area from just outside Loweswater
 Set off from NT car park & ran on track towards a flat calm Loweswater before ascending steadily through Holme Wood, a section that 6 months ago I would never have ran all the way. On to the track & around under the rocky buttress end of Burnbank Fell. At the stile I went off-piste, still ascending all the way before a pleasant run to the corner post at Burnbank Fell summit, it was freezing so no photo stop, just on with the (new) Montane jacket - a Litespeed H2O & a brisk run to Blake Fell summit (below):

Another short section with a frustrating loss of height brought me to Gavel Fell from where I deviated slightly from the Leaney route shown in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid the bog between Gavel & Hen Comb. However, the frozen ground once again did help to alleviate "bog issues" to some extent.

Its worth mentioning that this is new new territory for me & I was well impressed with the area, the fells themselves are yet another area of Lakeland that could be described as slightly more "Pennine" in character.

Anyway out of the bog & after having surrendered most of my height I began the ascent of Hen Comb - tussock grass; part frozen ground & steep ascent prevented me from running much of this section. The summit of Hen Comb yielded excellent views into the heart of the Lake District. I then once again descended to the West to pick up the miners / drovers (?) track above the beck - good fluid running back to the car.

 Gavel Fell summit & below views into the Lake District from Hen Comb.

Todays Run: 

9 miles

2,500 feet ascent

2 hours 45 min (pleased with this)

Wainwrights - four

Caving (26/01/11)

Venue: Bull Pot of Witches

With: Kevin Marsh; Ferg & Ian Wallace

BPOW is a bit of a bimble really but on a cold night with frequent heavy showers & four cavers returning after a long lay-off it was a good venue. Four pitches: starting from the tree down to the sump & back by SRT

Kev's Back

Me & Ian


Centre Life     (http://www.blaithwaite.co.uk/)

Beware - Men at Work:!

Other Stuff

Kay & I went out for a drive around Buttermere this afternoon, mocha at the Bridge Hotel can be recommended. Kay took her camera - a bit of a photo tour:

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Back Up & Running

Activity This Week

This weeks stats:

RunBikeWalk( miles)
This week1116936
This year1116936
Ascent (run/walk) this week3700'
This Year3700'

Alan & Graham on Bleaberry Fell

So far off to a good start.

First highlight was the discovery (at least for me, others seem to have been far quicker off the mark!!) of running on the beaches of the Solway Coast. Had a really good come back 10k run on Sunday evening after the Directors / Trustees weekend at Blaithwaite, along the beach at Allonby. Took it very easy and completed in just about an hour as the sun was setting - fantastic.Have also made use of the much unloved bike this week in an effort to rebuild some fitness, I don't like it much but it is useful for this purpose.

Fell Running (22 January 2011)

Ard Crags & Knott Rigg

With: on my own

Weather: dry & clear; light wind; just around freezing point

My new bag on the unremarkable summits of Ard Crags & Knott Rigg

Although these two summits could described as unremarkable in their own right this is a gem of a short run in the Newlands Valley. Once again left the car at minus 2 degC and ran up a very pleasant Rigg Beck until level with the end of the wall on the opposite side where I began to ascend steeply on to the main ridge. The next section up on to Ard Crags summit ridge was the only part that contained some bits that were difficult (at least for me) to run.
The summit ridge that leads to Ard Crags & connects to Knott Rigg was a joy to run: fluid; airy; free - is this the closest thing to heaven on earth? After Knott Rigg I folowed the curving ridge to descend to the road via Keskadale Farm. The tarmac section to finish is the only negative.

Approx 5 miles; 1700' ascent; 90 mins
Wainwrights = 2

Ard Craggs summit ridge
 Fell Walking (18 January 2011)
Walla Crags; Bleaberry Fell; High Seat; High Tove; Armboth Fell

With: Graham & Alan-R

Weather: Pleasant day; dry; cool; good vis; just about frozen on summits

9 miles; 2000' ascent; 5 Wainwrights (3 of them new for me)

        Alan & Graham on Walla Craggs

High Tove

Centre Life  (http://www.blaithwaite.co.uk/)

During the week maintenance projects have progressed at pace. Richard has re-decorated room 2 in the Main House & got on well with the glossing downstairs. Allan is back up & running with refurbishment of the campers shower block - all new showers & pine cladding throughout the interiors, they'll look really good when finished.

The cold weather has returned with a vengance - frost each night & bitterly cold on Thursday with freezing fog persisting all day.

A Church group from the same weekend of last year returned to the Main House & a ladies retreat in the Stables have been our guests. The ladies group are well known to us & Kay was able to join them for a good part of their stay. Thankfully the fog finally cleared around lunch time on Saturday. Think it was a Blaithwaite fog as my morning run in Newlands (see above) was completely clear. I do like the groups to be able to see the Centre in sunshine.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Slow Start


Its been a slow start to 2011 trying to recover from the Christmas lurgy but at last I'm feeling ok now! So having done very little at all thought I'd go public on my goals for 2011

After a poor end to 2010 through knee problems keen to get up & running again with both the personal & professional caving so hoping to get out with Alan-R, Kevin etal at least once a month in the first part of 2011 and just see how it goes!
I plan this year to do:
- at least one ultra
- one mountain marathon
- another "significant" event

I will aim to run, bike & walk at least 1500 miles over the course of the year & record progress on this blog.

Picture: out caving in Kingsdale with Becky last autumn

Outdoor Quals
I need to finish another NGB this year - ML & CIC are in the frame but will probably only get one of them done

Think thats probably enough & I'll most certainly regret going public!!!!!

Centre Life (http://www.blaithwaite.co.uk/

This week is the annual In2venture weekend at the Centre, always a really good time of fellowship & catching up with our Trustees, Directors & friends from across the wider organisation. This year Kay & I doing Saturday morning worship - which I still haven't finished preparing yet, so please forgive the slightly shortened post for this week.

Other Stuff

Ozone Imp III 09 Quattro KiteKay bought me a power kite for my birthday & I only got out to fly it yesterday for the first time (great afternoon with Rob Bianchi & Alan-R). Think I might get hooked, just need a board & a buggy - is this the activity for old gadgies like me??

Friday, 7 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Its been a very strange Christmas & New Year this time round. We close the Centre for planned maintenance projects for three weeks in December and then have all the family up for Christmas. Most of us went to midnight service at St Mary's, Wigton before enjoying a thoroughly pleasant Christmas Day. Martin & I got out for a shorrt run on Boxing Day (see below) before it all went pear shaped with an outbreak of winter vomitting that affected 10/13 of us. So Kay & I spent the time between Christmas & New Year comatose on the settee!

New Year came around and the Centre was busy with all three buildings occupied, the same groups have been coming since our first year so it has become like meeting old friends as we spent time with each group on New Year's eve. I was out with one of the groups on Causey Pike on New Year's Day (technically this was work but it didn't feel at all like it - a real perk of the job!). Then the lurgy struck again & we've been full of cold since which has really delayed all my good intentions around training and exercise for 2011.

2010 Highlights

- Following our instincts & staying at Blaithwaite, the best decision of our lives

- A huge amount of caving in the first three quarters of the year, with a week in a very snowy Peak District a real highlight

- A busy and vibrant Centre throughout the whole year: Church Weekends; Mid-Week school groups & summer camps / holidays - all good!!
- Summer hols in Italy & N.W. Scotland to celebrate 30 years married to Kay

- The last couple of months of training leading to completion of the Old Crown Round, with Martin, as a fell run on my birthday

- The birth of a second grandchild, little Evie. What a blessing!

All in all much to be thankful for.

Boxing Day

Binsey - fell run

With Martin; Cool and blustery with the onset of a thaw. Patchy snow on summit

Usual route of about 4 miles & 1,000 feet of ascent but new best time for me of 37 minutes. Think Martin probably dragged me along at a quicker pace!

Fading Light - Martin on Binsey Summit

New Years Day
Causey Pike
With: Steve & Sarah Windass; John-P & Colin
Weather: cold but clear & dry, patchy snow
Previously reported route: Stair; Stoneycroft Gill; Scar Craggs; Causey Pike; Rowling End
Approx. 5 miles & 1,900 feet of ascent
Bumped into Andrew Hoe (training hard!) on the way up. Waiting for pictures which I will post on arrival.
Hopefully this week I'll be back up & running and into the full swing of things.