Giants Hole – Lower Series Round Trip
Sunday, 23 October 2016
This trip was beset by a number of unavoidable organisational issues but all were resolved in the end. The morning came swiftly and everyone had eaten, a good start. This proved to be very important later on as the half-hour wait for breakfasts in Outside cafe prompted only minor consumption of cakes and tea. We then called in on SUSS at the TSG to borrow a group shelter and then met GUPA at the entrance, who were doing the upper series round trip. I went to assist Natalie in rigging the pitch but found 2 groups there so retreated to find the others. We practiced squeezing over each other in the little oxbow just after the left hand turnoff to Garlands, managing to fit 3 people inside.
After about 20 minutes waiting we headed off and Natalie rigged the ladder and belayed everyone down it. We headed along the Crabwalk, with some slowness at the Vice after Mareddy Reddy Brekky Brekky got a bit stuck and didn’t like it very much, but Brendan and I were able to coach him through it after he refused Nadia’s help as she was only a small weak lady. Soon we were at the sump and turned off to the Eating House. From here we got a bit lost and did a lot of unnecessary climbing, which is to be avoided with a large group of freshers as it tires them out and you have to watch them a lot, so here is a route description:
A left hand turn not far up here soon meets a rope climb up a small waterfall, with loops in the rope to stand in. after this, keep heading up for a bit until you get to a widening of the passage. Then look for a slightly obscure, muddy rift which heads through to a small stream in Maggins Rift, where you turn left (on the right the stream goes down a very small shingly crawl). Follow this rift passage to another rope climb up a waterfall about 6m high next to a nice cascade flowstone. Soon after this is the Giants Windpipe, which is best done as fast as possible with the slowest freshers at the back and a leader behind so that the others don’t get too cold. Then, just after you emerge from the windpipe (after the sign), turn right and keep crawling until the passage gets bigger. Follow this along a calcited rift passage until you get to a calcited squeeze/wriggle; head through this and follow the rift until you are at the top of the crabwalk. We rigged a hard abseil and sent everyone down while I got pretty cold, then I derigged and climbed down with the rope. From here it is not far to the exit out of Garlands Pot.
Changing wasn’t especially chilly which was nice. After this, we dropped the group shelter off in Sheffield, using the back door (it is not permitted to use front doors in Sheffield for some stupid reason) and then headed back to Leeds for a curry at Nazams. Overall a great trip with excellent freshers. Many thanks to Brendan and George for driving.