Saturday 18 November 2023

Wet, wet, and more wet: a trip to Giant's Hole

Mel, Dave and I had planned an easy trip down Giant’s Hole to the East Canal, so the SRT newbies amongst us could practice abseiling and climbing both Garland’s Pot and Geology Pot. The weather forecast was for heavy rain in the hours up to the trip, with it stopping in the morning before we went in. The heavy rain certainly arrived! Base camp chamber was full of water coming out of Sump 1, water was thundering down into Garland’s, and Comic Act Cascade had ceased to be a cascade: instead of falling downwards, the water shot sideways and hit the cave wall, like someone had turned on a fire hose. However, I always enjoy wet trips; in fact, the wetter the better (for me, at least!). Having abseiled Garland’s, we set off down the crab walk, before popping up into the Eating House and making our way to the traverses that led to Geology Pot. After making rapid progress down Geology, we rejoined the streamway and quickly came to the top of a 4m cascade. Again, the stream here was like a fire hydrant; neither Mel nor myself were that keen on tackling it and at this point Dave reminded us that our objective had been Geology Pot, giving us the perfect excuse to head back.

On getting back to the Eating House, the 3m climb up that eventually leads to the Giant’s Windpipe was pouring with water. We decided that it wasn’t even worth checking to see if the windpipe was sumped or not; there was no way it couldn’t have been. So back up the Crabwalk we went, though this time carrying ropes and SRT kit against the current of the stream. This was somewhat arduous, however we all helped each other out, with Mel helping me shift one of the bags through the tight spaces, and Dave taking over part way along the Crabwalk. Comic act cascade quickly arrived; ironically the bottom half of the ladder was the driest place to stand; the top half less so and the best tactic was just to put your head down and climb up through the horizontal blast of water. Eventually we arrived back at Garland’s Pot, where we ended up queuing to climb out (another group had been daft enough to do Giant’s Hole today, too). After Garland’s, an easy plod out led back to the car and a quick stop off for a drink on the way home.

All in all, an absolutely fantastic trip: wet and vertical; what more could you want?

Club members: Dave J, Mel B, Dave B
Trip report by Dave B

OFD: My first ever caving trip

So my name is Rebecca and I signed up to Dudley Caving club, after having visited some show caves for the first time in the summer. I'd never thought about the activity before, and after a discussion with the team at Ingleborough, I thought i would love to give it a try for real. And OMG what a fantastic experience. Mark, Keith, Ian & Jes were all so welcoming and encouraging of me as a newbie on my first trip and i left that evening feeling "Did I actually do that". I didn’t feel any fear being down there, it was quite calming actually, like why haven’t I always done this. There were so many beautiful sights down there, the waterfall was my favourite. Not without its challenges though, facing a deep drop has taken some processing mentally. I can't wait to get back to it though it was so much fun.
Trip report & photos: Rebecca Guy