Author Topic: Giant's Questions  (Read 1937 times)

Offline thehungrytroglobite

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Giant's Questions
« on: January 01, 2021, 05:20:58 pm »
1) How susceptible is the cave to flooding?

2) The microguide states that the fixed rope leading up to the Ghost Rift Series is unusable - is this still the case, and if so, how does one access Earth Leakage?

3) Is there a way to tell where the free climb up to the top of the crabwalk is from the bottom?

4) How much more time should I take into consideration for going UP the crabwalk (rather than down)?

5) Is there anything worth seeing at the top of Maginn's Rift?

6) How horrific is the Chamber of Horrors?

Merci  :bounce:
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Online Pete K

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2021, 05:54:09 pm »
1) That depends on so many factors. If you take a foot of water in a passage 6 feet wide you get a bit of fun. When you encounter that same water entering a passage only 1 foot wide, it becomes pretty lethal. The Crabwalk is about 1 foot wide. Giant's is an active swallet and as such, will respond quickly to rainfall. How quickly depends on how much rain is falling, how saturated/frozen/baked the ground is and what happened over the proceeding days. You can have lots of safe trips in certain bits of Giant's on even very wet days, but it cannot be described as anything other than susceptible to flooding, so don't plan to go to the wrong bit in the wrong conditions.

2) I think it is the state of the connectors or hangers at the top that warrants the warning for this pitch. Someone else will no doubt give more details. It does need climbing a rebolting from what I remember.

3) It can be climbed in a number of places (depending on your climbing ability). I have never been able to reliably remember the exact point to climb up below the pull-through ring though. Someone else might know a good landmark.

4) In average low water conditions, I don't think it takes appreciably longer uphill than down. Your lower energy levels may reduce the speed you go back up it though. In high water it is a tiring fight upstream, and a significant risk in very high water.

5) No idea!

6) Rob or one of the others who have subjected themselves to that place will no doubt be along soon, but there are threads about it on here, so try the search function.

Offline Brains

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2021, 06:33:07 pm »
I agree with Pete,
1. Yest it is susceptible to severe flooding - the first sump bypass can and does become active down to the junction with the stream at Base Camp Chamber. Crabwalk can easily become impassable very quickly
2. As Pete says, probably the hangers / bolts are decomposing...
3. If you dont mind traversing a bit, then from the obvious step down below Garlands you can make your way up to the doomed grotto and the eyehole at the end of the roof traverse
4. Depends on your fitness and size!
5. AFAIK wide traverses and loose rocks
6. Looked several times, never done it. Flat out crawling with small air gaps between sumps, leading to long crawls through Oxlow

Offline Rob

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2021, 07:23:39 pm »
2. I think there's an old and a newer rope on Ghost Rift. Don't remember the bolts being too bad when i was last there in 2016.

5. Yes and no. Maginns is big and impressive, and leads to a few crawls and eventually the Death Series, originally discovered by Ben Bentham in the 70's. There's some info here about when the Eldon opened it up again in 2014, although i wouldn't be surprised if it has collapsed in again since:
http://www.eldonpotholeclub.org.uk/homepage/current-uk-projects/death-series

6. Chamber of Horrors is pretty bad in the bad bit. I shot this crappy video whilst me n SamT surveyed the place in 2014:

It was sumped so we had to return a few weeks later, which actually went fine. The rest is basically all just boring crawling, apart from a tight bit near the Oxlow end.
The end is where we start....

Offline pwhole

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2021, 08:52:08 pm »
A few ladies from the TSG attempted the Chamber of Horrors from the Oxlow side last year but didn't manage it - it sounded horrendous. I planned to accompany them as far as I could, but classically couldn't even get through the first flat-out squeeze from the main trunk route, and I'm not fat. I gather it has to be scraped out every now and and again. Needless to say my solo exit and nervous three-hour wait wasn't that much fun and I was quite relieved when they all returned.

I can see the historical value in the connection but I still prefer the surface route more ;)

Offline thehungrytroglobite

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2021, 09:44:19 pm »
Thank you for this everyone, very helpful!

I think I will do a bit of a recce of both the top of Maginn's Rift and Earth Leakage tomorrow then. Perhaps might leave Chamber of Horrors for a different day.

Some precipitation due in the afternoon but temps will remain below zero so I think water levels should be fine.

Where I free-climbed down before was after the eyehole, is it possible to free climb up/down where the pull-through is then?
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Offline pwhole

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2021, 12:33:19 am »
I think the problem with free-climbing up by guesswork is that many sections will be climbable some of the way, and then widen so much you can't get any further and have to come down again - or do an exhausting jam-traverse to the next narrow section. I would only aim for the bits you know are possible - i.e. the section just downstream from Garlands, and do the whole passage in the roof - it's a great way to see it, and pretty straightforward.

I've done the Crabwalk uphill a few times and it's not that bad really as long as the water isn't too high. I don't remember it taking that much longer than downhill - maybe five mins more?

Online alastairgott

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2021, 08:37:30 am »
I tend to do giants once a year (at least) helping a uni club with their trip, since eavis taught me the traverse through the high level oxbows to the eyehole, I have always taken the rope for the pull through and dumped it at the top before the trip to save carrying it round.
 Although it’s all downhill down the crabwalk the second half is not, so now it just seems like wasted effort carrying the bag round the whole trip.

Offline Katie

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2021, 08:42:20 am »
I always look for a big chunky ledge on your left at about shoulder/ head height as you head down the crabwalk. Climb up the ledge and then continue to climb, but rather than straight up keep heading downstream as you climb, gaining height as you go. Think there are some wedged rocks on this route.
However I have also missed my own land mark a few times and climbed up in a variety of places! Some tricky than others, but don't think I have ever had to give up.....
If you find somewhere good tell us how to find it!

I have done chamber of horrors twice (well 3 times as the first time I did it we hadn't rigged Oxlow so did it in both directions)
Second time was 11 years after the first and I reckon it will be another 11 years until I think it is a good idea again!

From the Giants end the first duck isn't too bad, so it is quite a good start. In between the ducks you can get your head out of the water. Last time I did it the final duck heading to Oxlow was sumped (which I think may not be unusual these days.) However it is short so by feeling under water with your arm you can feel the lip and just go for it.

Offline AR

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2021, 10:21:38 am »

I have done chamber of horrors twice (well 3 times as the first time I did it we hadn't rigged Oxlow so did it in both directions)
Second time was 11 years after the first and I reckon it will be another 11 years until I think it is a good idea again!

Reminds me of what John Barnatt said to me about Watergrove Sough, it's a trip you do about once every ten years to remind yourself how grim it is and why you only do it once a decade...
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline SamT

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2021, 10:22:54 am »
Remember Katie.. you are 'tiny' compared with even me.  First time I did CoH coming from Oxlow, it felt piss.  Last time with Rob, I got myself a bit wedged and had to stop and calm myself down, take a breath and work it it out.  Felt pretty horrible and un-nerving that time.

Watch earth leakage too.  There is quite high potential for it to run in behind you, essentially trapping you in there.   I had to dig someone out once, which involved capping large rocks which may or may not have been holding the whole entrance up.  Luckily, it worked out in the end.  I'm not sure if any further decent shoring was ever placed.  Best to leave someone behind while you go for a look then swap. Just in case it does collapse, and they can go and get help.
 

Offline Roger W

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2021, 11:08:53 am »
Watch earth leakage too.  There is quite high potential for it to run in behind you, essentially trapping you in there.   I had to dig someone out once, which involved capping large rocks which may or may not have been holding the whole entrance up.  Luckily, it worked out in the end.  I'm not sure if any further decent shoring was ever placed.  Best to leave someone behind while you go for a look then swap. Just in case it does collapse, and they can go and get help.

Question there, Sam - and others...

If you are the guy left behind while your partner goes in for a look, and the roof gives way and traps or buries him - do you

a:  try and dig him out yourself before he suffocates, or

b:  go and get help - which could take precious time?

"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline SamT

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2021, 02:12:06 pm »
Watch earth leakage too.  There is quite high potential for it to run in behind you, essentially trapping you in there.   I had to dig someone out once, which involved capping large rocks which may or may not have been holding the whole entrance up.  Luckily, it worked out in the end.  I'm not sure if any further decent shoring was ever placed.  Best to leave someone behind while you go for a look then swap. Just in case it does collapse, and they can go and get help.

Question there, Sam - and others...

If you are the guy left behind while your partner goes in for a look, and the roof gives way and traps or buries him - do you

a:  try and dig him out yourself before he suffocates, or

b:  go and get help - which could take precious time?

In this particular scenario - The lose section is very short lived (sort of).  If you imagine wriggling up through a little boulder ruckle, to find yourself at the bottom of a large cone of scree on all sides (like the bottom of a funnel).   The slopes seem/are very loose, and you're attempts to scramble up them are likely to lead to something of considerable size, rolling back down and blocking the hole below you.  This happened to us.  There were 3 of us - 1 up and two left below.  It appeared to be 'diggable' and we had crowbars and capping kit.  The trapped member went off for an explore whilst I did some dodgy capping to remove the offending boulder, which luckily could be cleared.  We actually went back on a later trip and had a good look round.  Some potential leads up there, but nothing really obvious.

Other digs - who knows what the right answer is??



Offline al

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2021, 03:50:06 pm »
As Sam says, be careful - Earth Leakage is (as it's name suggests) a potential trap.

The last time I was up there, looking at the abundance of cobbles, I'd have thought that, if anybody wanted to take over one of the digs, it would be a good idea to drag in some reasonably proportioned gabion cages (flattened, of course). There must be sufficient material on hand to use a few of these to make the place much safer.
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Offline thehungrytroglobite

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2021, 09:38:49 pm »
EARTH LEAKAGE UPDATE

So we went to have a look at the way up to earth leakage - it was only 45mins to the start of the windpipe (via crabwalk + eating house route) which was much quicker than I remember last time!

Only one rope remains above it, so one of us ascended to assess the quality of the bolt situation. I have attached photographs. This bolt at the rebelay spun around 360 and the rope has been tied together just above it. Due to this we decided to descend again instead of continue, with the intention of returning at some point with our own rope and hopefully either finding A) a bolt in better condition at the top or B) a natural anchor.

Quite glad we didn't now, as I only saw these warnings about it apparently (frequently) collapsing afterwards so will bear that in mind if I have do make it up!

In answer to my other previous questions - going back up the crabwalk only took 25 mins, the same time as going down! Couldn't be bothered to waste time trying to find the free climb up the crabwalk because we wanted to get the trip done before the blizzard hit so that puzzle remains for another day.
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Offline tdobson

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Re: Giant's Questions
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2021, 11:50:53 pm »
Thanks for this (and other posters) info Anna, SamT and everyone!

It was me who originally pointed this out as an interesting objective (albeit one I had yet to look at). I now have a healthy respect for it and am eager to treat with as much as it deserves... Err whenever that is!


 

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