Giants Round Trip - Alan Brentnall

Tuesday, 4 August, 2015

Cracking trip into Giants with six of us doing the Round Trip. Garlands was rigged for both ladder & line and SRT, so folk could (and did) opt for whichever they preferred, and soon we were heading down the Crabwalk. Our last two midweek forays down this tall, switchback passageway ended up in failure of a kind, as we couldn't get everybody through either the false vice, or The Vice itself, but tonight everybody managed all the obstacles, squeezes, Razor Edge Cascade climb, Comic Act etc with no problems at all.

A brief pause just before the second sump, and then we turned up the awkward little passage to the Eating House, and climbed the thrutchy knotted rope into Maggin's Rift. By this time, everybody seemed relaxed, almost looking forward to the next little problem as we passed through what must be some of Giant's most impressive passages. After pausing to point out the junction with Poached Egg Passage, leading to the Chamber of Horrors and the connection, and a brief look up at the ropes to Earth Leakage, we found ourselves at the start of the infamous Giant's Windpipe. But even this obstacle proved no problem tonight, and we were soon turning right into the crawls, slides and decorated passageways leading round to the roof of the Crabwalk.

Here we split into two groups with Jess and Julian opting to traverse forward for the Eye-hole and the scramble down to Chert Hall, while I lowered David and Gordon off the ring, down into the Crabwalk itself. Steve followed them with an abseil, leaving me to down-climb. Re-ascending Garlands is often an issue, as people will be getting tired at this point, but tonight it went like clockwork and soon everything was de-rigged, and we were heading out, pausing only to watch Jess demonstrating how she could get her sylph-like figure round the oxbow squeeze.

An excellent and sociable evening and a classic trip; three hours of absorbing caving - a first for two of the group, and it was really good to see the more experienced club members encouraging and assisting on the tricky bits.