TRIP REPORTS - what have you been down to? > Sporting Trips in The UK

Going crabbing in giants hole


It was 11pm, I was just having one last scroll through Facebook before going to sleep to see a post from the DCA that eldon quarry is out of bounds due to a filming project.
Balls!! I messaged Ryan as our plans were out of the window. He suggested Giants hole and I realised I had never been into that cave so we hatched a new plan to do the round trip.

The whole day at work dragged and when I finally parked up at the farm I was beyond excited. My first cave since lock down.

I did however at the back of. My mind have a silly thought that because it was an easy cave it would be boring. How wrong I was. Its a short jaunt down to garlands pot passing the very impressive calcite flow wall in boss aven.

There was already some one in the cave and rigged at the pot so Ryan rigged over the top so that they need not worry about us when they derig.
Route finding to this point was very simple and after the short descent which almost feels pointless carrying a whole SRT kit for, we entered the crab walk. Navigation here is simple, it's 500m of sideways walking through a wiggling spaghetti course. Absolutely brilliant fun and so impressive to think that it was just carved out by water. We knew we needed to keep going to eating houses for a right turn. Just before that the feature known as the vice was reached and I slipped through quickly. I was hoping for more of a fight but it went easily. Great great feature though and for those that have maybe put on some furlough weight it'll be tricky.
To ensure we were at eating houses we left the bags at the turn and nosed further on and sure enough we hit sump 2. Perfect. Back we went and onwards. That's when we got turned around a bit. Surveys are great, but they are also 2D and trying to represent a 3D route. So we came to a T junction that we weren't expecting. We turned right as this seemed the logical way but it quickly shut down as a dig in progress. Hmmm, that's not on the survey. So we went left. There were 3 ways on. Ryan tried left again and I went right and up. Mine didn't look very well trodded for such a popular route. It climbed to a squeeze and a righted way on. Looked fun but didn't feel Like the route.

Ryan emerged from the left and said it was taking him down to a sump. So we tried the 3rd way onwards. This went through a duck and then to some impressive engineering. There was a dammed wall and some syphon piping with a pump. We didn't touch the pipe work but took turns to crawl in the water filled tube down as far as we could go. Eventually my warmbac suit let water in and my balls receded. Time to turn back, this wasn't the giants wind pipe, we aren't far along enough. At this point we were running out of time. We had ages until our call out, but I was conscious that I had to get up at 6am for work and so we turned back. On the way to eating houses  we looked up warsa and saw and opening with a yellow knotted rope. Ffs that's the route. However, we knew how long it would take to get back to the pot from this point via the crab walk. We didn't know how long the other route would take us, so using sound caving judgement we took the crab walk back. 500m feels like forever when winding through that tight passage. It's such a stunning feature.
Back at the pot only our rope was left so the other group had gone. We just had to hope that they hadn't unscrewed out krabs. I ascended, waited for Ryan to come up and derig and then we whizzed out of the cave.

It was so hot and humid as we exited the cave at just before 11pm. Then raced home, leaving Ryan in Notts, I climbed into bed at 1.15am content with a great adventure and excited about the prospect of going back to complete the round trip.

Now, how radioactive am i? Should I avoid spiders for a bit?

You def missed the knotted rope climb out of the eating house and ended up a St Valentines Sump - with the siphon!!.

Ah cheers mate, I did wonder what sump we were in. Does that drain and go anywhere?

It can be bailed (if the hole you pour water down is co-operating - sometimes it seems to be blocked) and leads to the "Filthy Five" series of muddy pitches, which offers an alternative route to the downstream sump (East Canal). Free diving Valentines Sump is definitely not recommended as it's quite long and has a low bit just before surfacing at the far end.

If you go down to East Canal by the normal route (via Geology Pot etc) the lower streamway breaks out into the large East Canal rift. The the left is the main part of the Canal and to the right is the base of the final drop of the Filthy Five Pitches.

That sounds like a really interesting route 😁😁😁


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