30th December 2012 - Allan Berry - SK 1194 8268
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Allan Berry, Tom Howard, Peter Clewes, Peter Whetham
On 30th December 2012 on a cold, damp day, we met up at Giants Hole for a caving trip. It was absolutely freezing with a wind blowing along the valley so we got changed as quickly as possible and got underground into the relative warmth of the cave. We didn’t know what to expect in terms of water levels as it had rained for the past year pretty much none stop! But the levels were pretty low, surprisingly. After passing the large avens in the entrance series we stopped to put on our SRT gear.
We then made our way to the top of Garlands where I took a few pictures as Tom and Pete Whetham rigged the pitch. We had to rig out of the water a little but the pitch was not too wet by Giants standards. After abseiling down we removed SRT gear and headed down the crab walk towards the vice.
On reaching a tight piece before The Vice Peter Whetham had a moment where he thought he was stuck and decided he didn’t like Giant’s much at all. So after trying a few times to get him through this squeeze, we decided to climb up into the upper series and go through the Giants Windpipe to enter the main cave from above. We made our way back up the crab walk until we could climb up and then along to the windpipe. Water levels were pretty low again and you could get through without taking your helmet off.
Once through the windpipe we had a look at the tight connection to Oxlow and then decided to have a good look up Maggins rift. This proved to be interesting and lead up and up for ages until eventually high level passages were entered that lead to digs. I followed some bang wire along one such dig for a long time and eventually turned around simply because the others were waiting for me. It was still going though.
We then returned the way we had came, back through the windpipe and back to Garlands Pot. By the time we got to Garlands pot it was getting very chilly after two trips through the windpipe. We made a very fast exit and ran back to the cars. It was so cold out here that I climbed into my car boot to get changed!! Then down to the pub to meet Kieran and Claire for a pint.