Saturday 15 August 2015

A Giant Adventure In Derbyshire

Ian has for some time now wanted to complete the round trip into Giants Hole. 
His first experience was an SRT practice at Garlands Pot and it has long been on his mind to continue on through the infamous Crab Walk and deeper into the system.
Jess had also been contacted by a couple of friends who had experienced a couple of taster trips but never had a proper caving trip so we thought we would tie the two in together. We emailed out an open invitation and Mike also joined us.
The forecast for Thursday and Friday had been heavy rain with possible thunderstorms so we had been a little worried about the water levels and let everyone know that we may have to change plans if we arrived and deemed the conditions unsuitable.
After meeting up for breakfast in Buxton we headed off to Peakshill Farm where we found water levels actually quite low. We made swift progress to Garlands where we rigged the ladder pitch. Whilst Mike life lined the group down I took the opportunity to take a couple of photographs of Ian's return to the pitch.
Everyone down safely, we made our way through a fairly dry Crab Walk, through the Vice, and down Razors Edge. 
After the Eating House we expected to lose some time at the awkward climb, but again no one had any problem with it at all.
In The Giant's Windpipe the static water in the crawl was nice and chilly and a dip of your ear in the flat out crawl was required as you made your way through. Ed made a very vocal navigation of the passage before the others followed through the frigid water.
After the Calcite boss the group arrived at the traverses. Here we offered the alternative of returning to the Crab walk but everyone  committed to the high route. At this point Ed was really facing his demons. Taking our time we picked our way over the traverses to the point at which he would need to post himself head first through a calcite hole. Jess went ahead to spot people going through and Mike, who had taken the whole trip in his stride, brought up the rear. 
After this we paused for another photo whilst Ed's heartbeat calmed down and made our way back down the rift to the foot of Garlands.
No one had any problem ascending the pitch and after another couple of pictures we were back at the car park where unfortunately we said good bye to Ian and Mike who needed to run back to the Midlands.
A tough trip for novices, Ed and Dan certainly enjoyed reliving their adventure later at the pub!

Jess approaching Garlands Pot
Ian Descending Garlands Pot
Ed and Dan in Passage above The Crab Walk
Mike near Boss Aven

Present: Mike Bonner, Ian Millward, Jess Burkey, Ed Moss, Dan Howard & Mark Burkey

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