Dates: 14th -15th October 2017
Staying at the TSG in Castleton is extremely convenient. Not only are you within walking distance of the great Peak Cavern, but you are also incredibly close to a large number of pubs and eating out options. The downside is the lack of parking. But the feel of being literally right in the centre of the town is great!
Saturday began with rough plans being made of trips into Peak Cavern.
|Last minute preparations.|
|Almost Ready, getting changed at the TSG “chapel”.|
We decided on 2 groups, one which would go and have a look at the fantastic Main Streamway and Lake Passage including Buxton Water, Far and Ink sumps and the other team would do a slightly longer trip including the main stream, the Galena Circuit and a visit to Moss Chamber. Some of us had been to Peak before, but none had visited Moss Chamber or done the Galena round trip.
|The two teams at the entrance of Peak Cavern.|
|The two teams at the Treasury Passage junction.|
A little further on is Surprise View, a simple fixed ladder leading down to the Main Stream way, at this point the groups went their separate ways and only bumped into each other once.
The photos below are a mixture of each group's adventures taken by various people.
|Claire in the Tube (photo by Morgan).|
|Duncan at the Lake Sump with a multitude of steel beams, scaffolding bars, and divers tanks! (photo by Morgan).|
|Tarquin puzzling over the many water pipes in the Main Stream inlet passage.|
|Claire in Moss chamber.|
|Different angle (by Morgan).|
|Derek at the Far Sump.|
|Derek in the Main Stream way.|
|Helen in ‘The Tube’.|
|Duncan passing under the low arch at the Muddy Ducks (on the way out).|
|Claire admiring a formation in the ceiling...|
In the evening Jo White and Stuart Bennett joined us for some pub grub, on the Sunday Jo went to a BCRA meeting and Stuart joined the P8 trip.
Due to time constraints the group split into two teams: one for P8, the other for Giant’s Hole.
Derek had previously visited P8 some years ago and had enough equipment to descend P8 on ladders. Neither Claire, Duncan, Helen or Stuart had visited P8 before and with limited time we opted for P8. The entrance is a sinkhole taking a small stream and we were soaked from the moment we entered!
|The team at the entrance of P8.|
|Helen descending the second pitch and this was the dry one!|
Stuart showed off by finding an alternative route down which he free climbed and avoided any soaking!
We then explored downstream and reached a sump after a flat out crawl in a pebble bed. Derek thought there was more to the system so we had not found the other sump which is as far as non-divers can go. Unfortunately time was against us so we decided to exit the system.
So there is definitely more to see and if tackled as an SRT trip I suspect much drier! The topo guide that was lying around at the TSG hut indicates there are several alternative high level routes that can be followed to avoid a soaking.
Giant’s Hole- The Round Trip: Tarquin, Gian, and Morgan
All photos in this section by Morgan
We found the description of the guide book more than a little tricky to decipher. So we sought advice from several TSG members and this was the sketch of the round trip in Giants they came up with!
|The sketch for Giants Hole.|
What an easy start to the trip, less than 10 minutes drive from TSG and a five minute walk to the entrance. £5 per person though!
|Gian and Tarquin at the entrance of Giants Hole.|
|There are some spectacular spaces in Giant’s- this is Tarquin looking up into Boss Aven.|
|Gian on his first ladder descent using his harness - which he rightly points out is far safer than wearing a belt.|
|Morgan with rock on both sides. It gets even tighter at the Vice, a restriction in the Crab Walk.|
|Occasionally the Crab Walk opens up - Gian patiently posed for me in this “S” bend.|
|The Round Trip offers a good variety of sporting challenges. There are a few tricky climbs in the upper series.|
|Entrance to Giants Windpipe.|
|Gian pictured carefully moving along the top of the rift.|
We climbed back up the ladder at Garland’s Pot, packed up and started to exit the cave. Tarquin climbed up to explore the “Old Upper Cave” on the way out. I decided not to join him as it did require negotiating more tight meandering passages while ascending. He thought it was well worth it.
All in all a fantastic trip. Sporting, wet, clean (unlike Peak Cavern!) and took a bit less than 4 hours!