Author Topic: Giants hole, mass caving groups  (Read 2237 times)

Online adep

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Giants hole, mass caving groups
« on: October 30, 2021, 08:00:32 pm »
Arriving today at Giants for a trip to Earth leakage, it was busier than i have ever seen it, didnt think we would get parked up (one car), arriving at the entrance there must have been 10 people stood around including kids, wearing nothing but regular clothing, trainers etc, no helmets, hand held cheap lights and nobody who looked like they knew what they were doing, we were quizzed about what the cave was like, i pointed out the lack of gear and helmets to which one replied he had been in and already smacked his head, but we are going back  to try and get to the big chamber, do i know where it is?, i did my best to discourage them.
Once in the cave at Base camp chamber there were similar people wandering around in a variety of gear, no helmets on any of them, the real eye opener was this dick with bear feet who claimed he was connecting with the earth, what about a rock rolling on your toes and then need a rescue i asked, it will be fine he said, what a total prick.
Is this the way things are going?,  i imagine none of them paid the trespass fee, so that puts access to the cave in jeopardy, then there was the graffiti not so long ago, its all getting way out of hand, whats the solution, gate the cave and others like it, creating a whole problem of access for all of us
,

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2021, 08:33:31 pm »
According to this forum and the BCA the solution is for them to join a caving club. From your description its sounds like they've got their own. Internet cavers have been around for a long time and are the future. Get used to it.

Offline Pete K

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2021, 08:53:45 pm »
After we saw you in the Crabwalk and were out changing there was another party in trainers and caps coming down the track as the sun was setting. Did our best to dissuade them but was told "We've been here before". Drove home and left caving kit in the van ready for a callout. What you describe seems to be a standard weekend thing these days and it is getting worse.
DCA have raised this with the landowner and await a reply. We have asked the Rural Crime Team to pop down from time to time and I met one of them down there a few weeks back to show them the cave and the issues we are seeing. Unless the landowner asks us to take some action there is nothing we can do I fear. Cavers are not there to police the site, it is private land after all, but the issues that will continue to be created by growing numbers of ill-prepared visitors will have an impact on us at some point.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2021, 09:06:54 pm »
Telling them they're all going to die of lung cancer may work?! And that you've all taken anti-radon tablets, so you're fine. Short of that, it seems like a gate is the only solution, and a really big one. With badger cameras capturing every vehicle that arrives. I'm fed up with even thinking about the place to be honest - and the landowner's reluctance to behave like a landowner is compounding the problem. Personally I don't mind that he's losing his £3 per person - serves him right for being a dilletante, and a rip-off to boot. If he actually cared about the environment he's meant to be stewarding, he'd be chasing these assholes off with a shotgun.

It's interesting though that none of the chumps are trying any of the other caves around there. You can get quite far in P8 in summer without getting your feet wet, or falling off a drop - which suggests Giants is much more widespread on social media as 'easy'.

Online adep

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2021, 10:51:59 pm »
According to this forum and the BCA the solution is for them to join a caving club. From your description its sounds like they've got their own. Internet cavers have been around for a long time and are the future. Get used to it.

So you agree with this form of caving (if you can call it that) then judging from your reply, where people with no practical knowledge are venturing underground, and in some cases desecrating the cave?

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2021, 12:44:48 am »
When you say desecrating a cave? Barefoot? Doesn’t sound like these people are hell bent on destruction. I was at yordas last weekend and people were enjoying the underground as I’m sure they are doing quite amicably in giants.

I saw a group of enthusiastic people lined up around the top of garlands 4months ago asking questions, we sent them up various passages around the upper series then sent them to windy knoll. It was great to see people of all backgrounds enjoying the underground environment in their own way. We picked up one half full can of carlsberg and tipped it away for good measure, the guys we saw got into smart BMW’s and drove away, but I’d have any one of them on a club trip :)

Offline Pete K

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2021, 07:32:20 am »
That sounds like about 90% of the extra visitors I've seen this year. It is the other 10% that are the problem.

Offline Ed

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2021, 07:34:22 am »
Sounds like an average weekend on Scafell, Snowden, Ben Nevis etc...

Caving just catching up with the "mountain" environment

Offline mikem

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2021, 07:38:42 am »
£3 is very cheap for a visitor attraction...

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2021, 07:50:19 am »
According to this forum and the BCA the solution is for them to join a caving club. From your description its sounds like they've got their own. Internet cavers have been around for a long time and are the future. Get used to it.

So you agree with this form of caving (if you can call it that) then judging from your reply, where people with no practical knowledge are venturing underground, and in some cases desecrating the cave?

You or I can disagree with it but that won't alter things. The internet has created all sorts of self-made action heroes and social media narcissism means they need to tell everyone about it, then it picks up momentum. One solution which I put to BCA C&A probably over six years ago was the installation at the limit of daylight penetration of icon signage which listed the equivalent of "play nicely" do/don't actions e.g. no littering, lighting fires, breaking formations etc. BCA and CSCC both dismissed it. You got any bright(er) ideas?

Also note that BCA has spent in excess of a small fortune on trying to establish that the law supports anyone who calls themselves a caver from entering a portfolio of caves and ain't no-one going to stop them. Improved access for all is one of the current big pushes.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 08:06:47 am by Cap'n Chris »

Offline Mark

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2021, 07:57:29 am »
In 1971 I was camping at Rowter Farm, on the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme with some school friends, we were doing a project on old Mines (I don't know where the idea came from) someone at the farm told us about Giants Hole, so that evening we jumped over the wall, opposite the end of the Rowter Farm track and found our way to Giants entrance.

Kitted up with bobble hats, bike lamps and plimsolls we rolled our trouser legs up and went in as far as we could, we didn't have a clue what we were doing, a couple of the lights went out and we made a hasty retreat.

Just as we set off back to Rowter Farm a very irate red faced farmer appeared on his tractor and chased us all the way back to the road.

We survived, the curiosity set in, and a couple of us started "caving' on our own until one day we met Tony Buckley, from the South Yorkshire Caving Club on the bus to Castleton.

He dragged us of to some squalid dig in Bradwell and the rest is history.


Offline JoshW

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2021, 08:08:57 am »
Reading your post, you don’t actually have any evidence of them doing anything wrong other than in your opinion being underprepared.

You mention graffiti for some reason in the same post, you allege that none of them paid the trespass fee, did you point them in the direction of useful resources like newtocaving website?
All views are my own and not that of the BCA or any clubs for which I'm a member of.

Online adep

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2021, 08:35:36 am »
Reading your post, you don%u2019t actually have any evidence of them doing anything wrong other than in your opinion being underprepared.

You mention graffiti for some reason in the same post, you allege that none of them paid the trespass fee, did you point them in the direction of useful resources like newtocaving website?



What i am saying is i imagine they didnt pay because they most likely didnt know they had too, but this is bound to cause friction with the landowner is it not?.
I am not implying that these particular people have desecrated the cave but it has happened twice recently so it is a growing problem.
As has been said on here, this is the way a lot of people get into caving with a little curiosity that grows into a passion and a hobby, and its great that people are getting out and about, but it is bound to cause problems, as it is in the bothies in scotland where some have been trashed due to party revellers, obviously this is only the minority that behave in this way

« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 12:03:10 pm by MarkS, Reason: fixed quote »

Offline droid

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2021, 08:56:34 am »
Watch it.

You're repeating a few of the anti-CRoW arguments  :lol:
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline 2xw

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2021, 09:34:06 am »
What is the solution?

The cave is very accessible, it's on Google maps (and the ordnance survey), it's on social media, and it's one of the most well used caves by instructor led groups (counted 40 children in there last time we were in). There is a sign going up at some point, but short of putting a massive gate on it, or a smaller one inside (at who's expense?) There's nothing you can really do about it.

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2021, 10:14:05 am »
Putting gates on is a Slippery slope

Offline owd git

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2021, 10:37:31 am »
Today would be a great day to show anyone doubting the danger; ' a wrong day to do Garlands in flip flops. eh?'  :)
Hen racer? 2000 world hen racing champion( guess who has this years world champion hen!)

Offline pwhole

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2021, 11:06:41 am »
Putting gates on is a Slippery slope

In what sense? I spend a lot of my time fixing gates on caves and mines, nearly all of which are a good idea. The only reason we have access to places like Mandale Mine at all is because they're gated. Of course, training people to lock them afterwards is more difficult, but this is fundamentally the problem - people. And with regards to 'visitor attractions', most attractions provide more facilities than a shitty 'car-park', and probably declare their earnings too. Just do the maths, if they're all paying.

Offline Riven

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2021, 12:20:53 pm »
Barefoot caving is a whole new level of dumb.
I also agree that gating is the way forward, if not only to stop dumb people  getting injured. Although evolution might thank them later.

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2021, 12:35:40 pm »
If you don't gate it WE might thank evolution  ;)

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2021, 12:37:20 pm »
I can understand mines being gated as there is usually a deep shaft involved

Offline pwhole

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2021, 12:46:16 pm »
Well Giants has a shallow shaft involved, but then Garlands Pot probably holds the world record for accidents, rescues and fatalities in one single cave feature - it's almost certainly the most dangerous pitch in British caving, if you check the stats, and it's only what, 6m deep? It used to be deeper until they backfilled it from the blasting - probably a good thing, or there'd have been even more deaths. And that's mostly actual cavers! Who would no doubt have claimed to have sufficent skills, until they didn't, and in many cases, died. In that context a gate seems an almost trivial basic precaution.

Offline badger

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2021, 01:40:34 pm »
plenty of people in the world who don't have shoes, or can afford shoes and who probably go caving, our ancestors did not have shoes and we know they went caving as the have painted pictures on the walls.
like Josh said apart from trying to discourage them, did you point them in the way of newtocaving or a club or evening an outdoor instructor who could take them caving?
graffiti seems you think this is a new problem, no caver then has ever graffitied a wall when using carbide lamps, or littered the cave with spent carbide? so 2 recent incidents you say its getting worse.
And early caver never went caving in unsuitable kit, & what d you call suitable kit, say to the top of garlands as opposed to down garlands.
And can anyone truly say in all there years of caving they not done something which when you think about it was a near miss and got away with it. so near miss to me would be electron  ladder down garlands pot and not having the kit or the knowledge to hand to rescue you someone of the pitch. can everyone honestly say they always have rescue kit and know how to use it?

Offline pwhole

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2021, 02:14:45 pm »
The possible inadequacies of previous (or current) generations of cavers is not really relevant here though - caving equipment and clothing is as advanced and as safe as has ever been possible, so going unprepared and unskilled is just as daft now as it was in 1940 - the difference then is that only people who were passionate about caves and caving (and were prepared for the risks as best they could) went caving, and it was very much word-of-mouth or by publishing articles and surveys. Now social media has removed any hope of the first filter being applied, that of common sense, and cheap driving has removed the second filter, difficulty of access. I do keep wondering what's going on up there right now - I wouldn't like to be at Garlands Pot base after all this rain.

This is about trying to mitigate the risk of a future fatality, and excepting Giants from what most cavers would consider sensible safety procedures is somewhat baffling. The 'benefit of hindsight' is often applied after grim events, but humans also have the 'benefit of foresight', and it's usually called a Risk Assessment in the real world. Leaving it completely wide open as it currently is, could imply that cavers/landowners are encouraging unskilled operators into visiting a hazardous environemnt because it gives Cave Rescue valuable real-world experience, even to the extent of body-bags, but that is definitely more real-world than a live sheep, especially when you compare the final value and the cheque-books have to come out. I'm not trying to be a twat here, just guessing what an inquest lawyer might 'ask us' when the inevitable happens. None of this happens at any of the other 'pay-to-use' caves and mines in the area.

Here's an idea - the next sunny Saturday, DCRO park their van in the car-park and have a team sat there all day 'chatting' to visitors. Another team from DCA sit by the entrance with a click-counter, obviously counting the folks who go in, but in a 'friendly' way. Perhaps we have a laminated survey to hand to show them what they're gettign into. None of this should be intimidating, just letting them know that we all know what's going on, and they they are, after all, on private land. And that access is only permitted after paying the fee. I hate to be a rent-collector for the man, given that's his job, but I'd still do it if it meant keeping some chumps out.

And we've been talking about installing badger-cams for ages - can't we actually do it? One near the entrance, one at the approach to Garlands. One month battery-life, easy to swap. No privacy issues as it's private land, and supervision of the 'visitor attraction' for vandalism or inappropriate behaviour is well within the landowners rights.

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: Giants hole, mass caving groups
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2021, 02:20:26 pm »
Like Mark, my first few caving trips were done wearing a bobble hat, plimsoles and a hand held bike lamp down Suicide Cave and Old Tor Mine. There was no such thing as social media in 1978 but if there had have been I would probably have been posting on it and likely getting a load of flack from the cave police.

I soon moved on to a carbide lamp and certainly left my mark on many a cave passage. I even wrote my name on the wall opposite the miners toast in Speedwell after connecting Peak and Speedwell together in 1984. It was difficult to find a blank space to write it as every man and his dog had already put their names on the wall.

Even when I eventually had all the right gear I definitely had no idea what I was doing.

Some people just aren’t happy unless they are winging and moaning about something or other.

Mark

 

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