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, 27 September 2015


Its the last Sunday in September and spending the evening under the glow of a "super moon" waiting with anticipation for the rare event of a lunar eclipse I'm reflecting on just what a month its been: undoubtedly one of the busiest months of a busy summer; undoubtedly the best month for weather in the North of England this summer.

The first weekend saw us in Ayrshire running our second micro-expedition on Loch Doon. This one was the "family event" and we had an amazing time with two families, arrival was midday Saturday in bright, warm, sunny weather. Departure was twenty four hours later. Other than it going dark overnight the sun never stopped shining!

We accessed the Loch towards its southern end close to the ruined castle and initially traveled north, the paddlers became increasingly more familiar with their craft as we journeyed collecting fire wood ahead of an open crossing of the Loch in calm conditions aiming ultimately for what Bill Mason would have described as an "A1" campsite. The white beach was flat with low shrub like brush providing ideal shelter for tents. The kids splashed around in the water until it went dark and the camp fire burned late into the evening providing a focal point for lively conversation! 

Sunday dawned equally brightly and our journey continued into the southern recesses of the Loch ahead of another open crossing in slightly more breezy conditions to explore the watery ruins of the original Loch Doon castle. As planned we landed back where we started twenty four hours earlier. A superb trip.

The early part of the month also featured some traditional Ghyll Scrambling in the Lake District with a local youth group in equally fine conditions. More open canoeing followed, freelancing, on youth adventure days on Derwent Water using rafted open canoes, we attempted to sail each day but there was no wind ...

Last week was dominated by caving with groups in the Yorkshire Dales. The weather was a little more unsettled towards the beginning of the week but conditions underground remained pretty stable with just low -  moderate water levels. Its always a privileged occasion to be able to introduce young people to the experience and challenge of the underworld for the first time. 

High pressure has built again towards the weekend producing temperatures around 20 degrees, very nice for the time of year! Yesterday was a "Community Day" gorge walking in Liddel Water as it describes the line of the England-Scotland border at Penton. Its a gorge that never fails to deliver with exciting jumps at the beginning and the end sandwiching a grade 4 rapid which needs to be ascended; swam in; floated down in between! Water levels were ideal yesterday: low enough to be able to make progress against the flow of the current but as always still plenty of water in the pools for safe jumping.

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