Sunday 22 May 2016

Chamber of Horrors 50th Weekend Celebrations. A Giants Round Trip

As Jess was off cycling in Yorkshire I decided to pop to Castleton for the presentations for the 50th anniversary of the Giants/Oxlow connection. This started with a great talk by Clive Westlake as he read from his journals of the original digging project. I have to say although I have always been fascinated by the thought of this trip I am not altogether disappointed that it is too tight for me to ever attempt!
Clive's presentation was followed by one on the hydrology link between Giants and Peak Cavern by John Gunn, & although I wasn't sure I would either enjoy or be able to follow this, I found I did both and surprised myself at just how much I enjoyed this part of the day.
This was finished by Rob Eavis doing a round up of previous extensions as well as tying in with John's presentation and putting forward possibilities for future digging of the areas as well as some video of the connection itself at high water levels, again I wasn't all together upset to be sipping tea and watching the trip rather than participating!

In the spirit of the weekend Jess and I arranged a trip for Rob, Mike and Lucy in to Giants. Rob hasn't been caving with us for a few months and had approached with a request for a nice easy, dry walkabout. Well if he's caving with us he should have known really ;)
We started the day with a breakfast at Morissons before heading to a busy car park at Peakshill Farm.

We followed a large group to the head of Garlands and allowed two whippet like cavers in wetsuits, who were attempting the chamber of horrors connection, to skip ahead of us.

We made our way down the pitch and set off down the crab walk at a leisurely pace. Lucy didn't even notice The Vice as she walked through it, but the rest of us had drop under to negotiate the obstacle.

At the rope climb up we again met the other group so I took Mike, Lucy and Rob off down the crawls to show them the way on to Geology and the East Canal. Here we found the 2 cavers (Tommy and Molly) it turned out that Tommy had only been in Giants once before and Molly not at all. After pointing them in the right direction they were off like racing snakes.
We continued on with our potter, making our way up the first rope climb, trying to waste time so as not to sit in a queue, but again found Tommy and Molly popping in and out of every hole they could find. Jess knew her way to guide the others so I went on ahead to take them to the linking passage to the chamber of horrors. I went in with them until it got very wet, muddy and snug and then wished them luck as I returned to my group.
The other group were lowering back down to the crab walk so this left the traverses free for us. We had anticipated losing quite a bit of time on this part of the trip, but everyone shot across and we were soon queueing to get back out of Garlands.
On our way home we stopped off at the Wanted Inn and enjoyed some warm drinks whilst Rob wiped  out the deli buying his supper.

Mike at the Vice
Rob in Poached Egg Passage
Lucy in The Giants Windpipe
Jess admires formations in the upper traverse
An awkward calcite eyelet in the upper traverse....don't look down!

Present: Mark, Jess, Rob, Mike & Lucy

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