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

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Caving - Yordas Pot

With: Kev Marsh & David Tomlinson (On Placement at the Centre)

Weather: Dry & sunny with strong NE wind

I'm trying a spell of  "posting as it happens" at the moment.
So for a quick update - we have an almost full Centre this weekend (Main House; Barn; Stables & quite a few campers on the field). There's a real family feel to the Centre & everyone is enjoying what has now become a prolonged spell of dry & sunny weather.
We've had David here for about a week now & just to add some variety to his stay we took him caving today. Yordas was the driest I have ever seen it. We went in through the middle entrance (two short pitches in quick succession) before making it to the main waterfall pitch just ahead of a couple from Red Rose Caving Club who had come through from the top entrance. We rigged for a "pull through" and managed a dry descent. All over in not much more than an hour before retiring to Inglesport.
Quite busy back at the Centre & just about to nip out & pick up Paul & Adrian who have started the Hadrian's wall cycle route.
Few good pictures pre-cave below:


Yordas Wood, West Kingsdale


Kev & David


Thursday, 28 April 2011

Orienteering Practise

Our last Easter group left this afternoon after yet another week of glorious early spring weather, it was great to see the leaders & young people enjoying another activity week at Blaithwaite. They got away just after one o'clock leaving us with just campers & a quick change over ahead of new arrivals tomorrow.

I took the opportunity to get out in the Northern Fells for an hour or so of navigation practise around the contour features of Aughertree Fell. The weather was special & the nav went well - it is all hanging together quite nicely.

I'm well recovered from the exertions of the Dodds on Good Friday & looking forward to some caving at the weekend.

Sorry I'm still a bit light on photos at the moment - need to sort something out after losing my camera on Maundy Thursday.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Greetings

Kay & I just back from the Easter evening celebration at the parish Church in Wigton; we've had family at Blaithwaite for the weekend (see kite flying photos); first campers of the new season on site & our regular Easter visitors both before & after the weekend. Its been a great week for activity with fell running, walking & mine exploration.

Good Friday
Fell Run - The Dodds

With: Martin
Weather: 22 degC; no wind
Approx 12 miles; 3,500' ascent; 3hr 25 mins

This was effectively the second leg of the Bob Graham Round cut in half & made into a circular route. Start & finish from Hill Top Farm in St Johns in the Vale. Ascent of Clough Head from the Old Coach Rd was brutal; fantastic running on the ridge: especially Gt Dodd - Watsons & Watsons - Stybarrow. Descent of Sticks Pass played havoc with the knees. I was well pleased with completing the 4 mile road run to finish in less than half an hour at the hottest part of the day.

Me on the move

Martin on Stybarrow




Maunday Thursday
Fell Walk - Langdales

With: On my own
Weather: Hot, dry & sunny

Stickle Barn; Stickle Tarn; Sergeant Man; High Raise; Thunacar Knott & back to Stickle Tarn.
Loads of nav practise - all good. Only issue today was that I left my camera on summit of High Raise!
19 April 2011
Mine Trip - Birk Gill & Ingray Gill

With: Alan Rainford
Weather: Warm, hazy evening

Birk Gill - lower adit approx 50m level

Ingray Gill - waist deep water at portal
17 April 2011
Fell Run - Roughton Gill

With: On my own
Weather: fine & sunny
Approx: 6 miles & 1500' ascent

Sunlit Iron Craggs

Mexico Mine

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Over & Under!


"The Ball Room": Smallcleugh Mine
Picture courtesy: Nigel Ball

The last week has seen the return to something of a more normal rhythm of life: school group on outdoor ed week; walking group & a church visiting the Centre. Underground trip in Smallcleugh Mine (see below) & a day in the fells with the walking group (see also below). Some minor running, although this has been temporarily blighted by me picking up the lurgy that seems to be circulating Centre staff at the moment, however, if recovery continues I hope to run in the fells this weekend.
I think the new "widget" seems to be working quite well in at least summarising mileage info.

The Centre is looking magnificent at the moment:

12/04/11 High Pike & Carrock Fell
6 miles & approx 1200' ascent
With: Rob Bianchi walking group
I got out with Rob Bianchi (very rare to get out walking with Rob even though we've known each other for the best part of 20 years now!). Rob runs regular walking weeks at the Centre & it was great to be get out with everyone. We set off from Calebreck and ascended High Pike via Sandbeds Mine (need to come back & have a more detailed look at these quite extensive mines). The day was fine & dry but it was wild on the top of High Pike - a summit I do enjoy visiting again & again. We headed off to the south before veering off along the broad ridge to the east to pick off Carrock Fell. There was much evidence to support the statistics that we have had a very dry early Spring - there was virtually no bog on top of Carrock!!
The wind had died down by the time we reached the summit & we descended back towards Carrock Beck along the motorway of a path that does not exist on the OS map!!
A visit to Priest Mill in Caldbeck rounded off a very pleasant day.


14/04/11 Smallcleugh Mine; Prouds Sump
With Ferg & Alistair Myers (http://www.np-ta.com/)

Ferg in Smallcleugh; picture courtesy Nigel Ball

The plan was to check out the recently approved route from Smallcleugh Mine via Proud's Sump down into Rampgill Level. First abseil down Proud's was fine, however, it appears that some of the "native" mine metal work from which the traverse on the approved route was rigged is no longer there, this will take a bit of work to replace & puts the route out of use for a while. As such we went down the other way into Prouds Sump Flats. This is an excellent area for the Mine Explorer - SRT to get there and outstanding archaeology in the area: tubs; wheels; explosives boxes / wrappers even some remnants of explosives. Although not the trip we planned - still a good evening out.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Catching Up

Sorry - its been hectic & ages since last post.

Hopefully, the new "widget" on the right will record total mileages in a better format than my previous attempts but to help me to catch up with last few weeks I've just listed some highlights / the stuff that has kept me occupied:

- Today: "Kay's Comeback" it was just an old favourite walk up Binsey the outlying Northern Wainwright. From Bewaldeth its 1.75 miles & about 950' ascent but for Kay it was such a significant day. She is doing really well (as today demonstrates) and we are both deeply grateful for all the prayers, support & good wishes that more people than we could list offer all the time. The weather was glorious with 360 degree panoramas & there is no shame in saying that tears were shed at the summit. In honesty, the most significant "outdoor event" of the year.

- Some Recent Activity: Whernside & Pen-y-Ghent (Yorkshire Dales; 19 miles & 3,000'); Red Screes & Middle Dodd (Lakes); ML Assessment (more on this to follow); Barrow & Outerside (Navigation Exercise); Numerous short runs & loads of stuff I can't recall!!


Me on Whernside on a very hot April 8th afternoon

- Centre

Its been a very busy year end at Blaitwaite this year and the Centre has looked magnificent in some marvellous early Spring weather. We have had a great time with groups: large student conference; first school of 2011; Church weekends and maintenance proceeding at pace.

If the activity above looks a bit "light" its due to the hours and hours spent pouring over budgets; accounts and maintenance schedules. Equally Kay has been "locked on" with website upgrades; domestic re-stock; stock taking etc etc !!!!!!!!!!

Pictures below are of Richard laying the new lawn.



- Other Stuff
At this time of year we do try to get away as much as possible before the peak guest time kicks off. We got up to Achmelvic, Assynt for a few days with Kay's mum & dad. This was followed a couple of weeks later with a trip to the capital to catch up with eldest two daughters & grandchildren - magical time!!