5th August 2012 - Lauren Griffin - SK 1194 8268
Last minute trip suggested by Owen Thomas, as I have never been before and need to do more caving trips! Olly took some pursuading to do Giants again after his trouble at the Vice last year. Olly picked up myself, Owen and Gareth and we went straight to Castleton for Bacon Butties, trying to decide on the best time to avoid the hoardes of tourists that would inevitably be heading into Giants. There were a couple of minibuses in the car park god knows how they get down the track, many people kitting up in neat clean matching suits and helmets.
I think we got in for 11am, we had brought SRT kit to descend Garlands Pot, but had to wait what felt like ages (probably about 10 minutes) for the instructors to bring all their visitors back out from the top of Garlands, being lifelined on belts to go and have a look down the Pot then come back out again. When they had finished, Owen quickly rigged the 4-5m pitch and we were down and contemplating the Crabwalk. We left the bags at the bottom of Garlands and went for it at full speed. Owen blazed the trail with me just behind. Olly put in a valiant effort, not far behind me at all considering he had to go under some of the tighter parts, including the Vice. The rest of the trip up to the Windpipe passed in a blur as we were going so quickly! I remember climbing up a cascade with some rope already in place to help, and I vaguely remember pausing for breath at the Eating House. Then onto the Windpipe, where I was informed that the water level was thankfully quite low for this trip.
Out of the Windpipe and back to the top of Crabwalk, to begin the climb down to the bottom. This was pretty hairy in places for me and Gareth, being the smaller members of our group... (Gareth informed me a couple of weeks later at his wedding that he had dislocated his finger doing the Crabwalk climb.) Back to our bags to put our kit back on for the prusik up Garlands, and we were out for 2.30pm. In The Wanted for 3pm, then I was in work at 5pm!
Below 1: In the busy car park after our speedy trip Below 2: Making the most of the beer garden weather in The Wanted