After meeting up with Andy on Sunday morning myself, Andy & Jess set off for my old nemesis: Giants Hole round trip.
We arrived with 3 cars in the car park and a group of half a dozen cavers heading off. We changed quickly and were just setting off for the cave when another six cars came down the track. Eager to get in ahead of the crowds Andy led off toward the entrance with myself and Jess in tow.
At Base Camp Chamber we caught the first group and went on to Garlands Pot where Andy rigged the ladder & the 3 of us were down and in the Crab Walk in short order. Andy took the lead, pointing out spots where I’d need to either drop to the water or climb up the slightly tighter sections. At The Vice Andy went through without a problem followed by a slightly more hesitant me. Andy decided it would be easier if I were to face the opposite way to get through so I backed up and sent Jess through first to show me how it was done. Watching her slip through with ease I launched myself at the opening, sliding, sliding, sliding, stuck. With Andy shouting to just relax and that it wasn’t like I could drown or anything, I turning my head left to see if I was positioned in the widest part, water poured over my shoulder & into my nose and mouth. Spluttering I turned my face away to catch my breath. Now the more intelligent caver would have learnt from this, for some reason (perhaps my intelligence level?) I decided that doing exactly the same action would result in a better outcome. Needless to say I managed to water board myself a second time…. Doh! Again spluttering as I tried to drown myself I reached out for Andy and he grabbed a hand and I was through in no time. The rest of the cave was a joy, up through the climbs, doused in the Wind Pipe, through the calcite polo and over the traverses with ease. Out of the cave after only a couple of hours the sun was shining and it was back to the car. Changed and ready to go another half a dozen cars rumbled down the track, obviously they’d heard that the famous cave diver was returning to Giants, though I think my fear of the squeeze has now been conquered & from now on I will take the slightly less lofty approach to The Vice in future.
As ever I couldn’t have done this without the cussing and encouragement of my team mates.
Trip Report by Mark Burkey
Present: Mark Burkey, Andy Grimes & Jessica Harding