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

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Ayle Burn near Alston

Its been a bit of a quiet time over the last couple of weeks, we are on weekend groups at the Centre - its been good to welcome back some regular November visitors and also to host some first time visitors to Blaithwaite. Other than the British Canoe Union coach re-validation day last Monday, organised by Cumbria Canoeists, today was the first day I have been out and about since Ireby Fell Caverns

We'd planned to go caving in the Dales but a combination of: torrential rain (its been more on than off since the weekend); a slightly delayed start and an extended lunch stop we opted instead to explore the area of Ayle Burn near Alston. The group on the day was: Alan Rainford; Clare Mackey; Kevin Marsh & myself. Alan had visited Ayle Burn Mine Caves about 20 years ago and we were aware that groups also use Ayle Burn Caves (about 200m upstream according to the guide books).

Alan & Clare had a talk with the guys from the quarry & discovered that the entrance to the Mine Caves has now collapsed but they were able to point them in the direction of the caves which they successfully located for future exploration.

Kevin & myself explored further upstream and found quite extensive mining evidence that we had not previously been aware of.

Locked Entrance With "modern-ish" Fan

Upturned Cart

Slightly Further Upstream Another Fan / Entrance

Flooded Enrrance       
These workings are at approximately NY 731500 on the north bank of Ayle Burn upstream of the caves. I've never explored the area before, the only reference I could find to them was at http://www.dmm-gallery.org.uk/collmap/a910.htm which indicates coal workings (1865) - if you know different / more please let me know.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Underground Today: Ireby Fell Caverns

With: Alan Rainford & Kevin Marsh
Weather: The un-seasonally mild November continues - dry & mild on entering the cave, however, a cool north wind had developed by the time we got out
Where: Yorkshire Dales; Ireby Fell
Description: Ding, Dong, Bell ................................... traditional route
Time Underground: Approx 3 hours

The Journey:
Going Underground - Photo by Kevin Marsh

Kevin & Alan at various stages of their abseils on" Dong" pitch

The view back up the pitch

Below: Me on "Bell" Pitch (photo Kevin Marsh)

Me again on traverse (photo Kevin Marsh)

Kevin Completing a Prussik

The End:


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Sharp Edge

"We must learn to walk the edges of our experiences if we are to journey into God. As we are living and moving beings we cannot stand still for long: we either reach forward and grow or stultify and start losing what we have had. This applies to individuals and their talents as well as communities and churches. To live life to the full we have to reach out to the beyond, we have to seek to extend ourselves"

David Adam, Walking the Edges

Spent the day on and around Blencathra today, there are a few images of Sharp Edge below:

Is this a "Brockenspectre"? - taken above Scales Tarn

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Scrambling In Link Cove Gill & a Collection of Summits: Hart Crag; Fairfield; Great Rigg; Dove Crag & Hartsop Above How

With: Graham
Weather: unseasonally warm with a continental south easterly bringing November temperatures of 14 degC. Visibility was less than 50m until late in the day when the fell tops began to slowly clear
Where: Lake District, Deepdale; Link Cove Gill; Link Cove; Hart Crag; Fairfield; Great Rigg back to Fairfield & Hart Crag; Dove Crag & Hartsop Above How

Distance: approx 9.5 miles; 4000' ascent; walking time 6 hours

First day out for ages, Kay looking much better now at the half way point between the first two cycles of treatment and left site for the first time in about three weeks to visit Carlisle with Becky.
Graham has just finished his Mountain Leader training course and is working on the consolidation phase of the award so a big day out in poor visibility was a good option. We parked just outside Patterdale and walked in up Deepdale (I've never been here before). It had rained heavily overnight so there was plenty of water in Link Cove Gill so much of the scrambling was around the edges of the main watercourse.
Graham in the Lower Part of Link Cove Gill

We emerged in Link Cove itself and then took a line aiming for the ridge just to the east of Hart Crag disappearing after not very long into a thick mist which persisted for most of the day restricting visibility to generally less than 50m. Hart Crag summit was our first stop in a complex "spider" of summit bagging - no photos here couldn't see a thing. On next to Fairfield for more of the same before heading south to Great Rigg where we stopped for some food. Still not much to see but since my bag was open I took a photo anyway (below).

We then contoured around the edge of the ridge back past Hart Crag and on to the unexceptional Dove Crag summit (below left) the cloud cleared briefly on this leg only to return with a vengeance when we arrived at the summit cairn.

Back tracking towards Hart Crag once again (hope you are following this!) we decided to cut out a climb and contour around the head of Dovedale in order to gain the Hartsop Above How ridge. The cloud finally lifted at this stage of the day - once again the guys at www.mwis.org.uk  were spot on with their forecast and we enjoyed autumnal views of rusts and green in the valley below.

The final walk along the ridge to Hartsop Above How summit was something of a "plodge" through boggy ground    but the end of a long day was now in sight. We tried quite hard to spot Priest's Hole Cave on this section - I've read about it but never visited. The general area in which it must be situated was easy to spot but the detail was elusive.

A straightforward walk off led back to the road and the pleasant slate houses of the Patterdale, Deepdale area. Quite a long day after a three week absence from the outdoors but I really enjoyed it!

Looking down into Deepdale from Hartsop Above How

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Autumn at Blaithwaite

Its a misty autumn morning at Blaithwaite. Our last school group of the year left yesterday & we have a local church alpha course running in the Main House this weekend alongside a first visit from a local Christian Union group in Ellrigg. Autumn has been busier than usual but we are entering that time of year when our visitors become fewer & visits from contractors increase as we get on with winter projects, we have a big day next week when our electrical upgrade will take place (this has already been very stressful - more on this in future posts!).
Many thanks to everyone for all the prayers and support offered to Kay over this last week - very much appreciated.
There are a few photos below from this mornings walk with the dog.

The  Blaithwaite Cedar of Lebanon

The Mirrored Cross

Into the Courtyard