Team: Jim T, Archie T, Chris Hibberts

The original plan for the evening was to go and look at the collapse in Makshill, but it didn’t take much persuading from Jim to sack it off and take Eldon’s newest aspirant, son of “….Legend and saviour of Eldon”, Archie T on a more enjoyable trip down Giants. Plan was to introduce Archie to SRT on Garlands and complete the round trip.

After meeting at the carpark and pre beers in a nice warm van it was time to brave the cold and kit up. Archie got a quick brief on his SRT equipment, and we set off up a very windy and cold valley to the entrance. Once in the entrance it didn’t take long to warm up and the trip to Garlands was pretty swift. I rigged Garlands and Archie followed, with instruction from Jim he was soon at the bottom of the pitch with no issues, mind you living with a legend who invented Alpine Caving Techniques this came as no surprise.

Jim & Archie bottom of Garlands Pot - By Chris H
Jim & Archie bottom of Garlands Pot - By Chris H

We made our way through the crab walk and Archie led the way, he was off like a whippet only stopping to check back to see if me and Jim were keeping up. I realised that although I’d done several trips into Giants with family and friends to the top of garlands it had been 10 years since I’d been in the crab walk and I was a little larger than the last time I’d been in there so some sections had to be passed by crawling in the lower wider sections especially at the Vice squeeze.

Having navigated to the end of the crab walk it was over to Jim to lead the way from the Eating House, I also realised that I’d never actually done the Giants round trip so it would be a first for both Archie and me. Following the way, we soon realised that we had missed a right-hand turn and ended up in Maggins Rift. Climbing back down we only then realised the size of the rift which was very impressive. Back on track we soon found the start of Giants Windpipe which was quite full with about 6/7 inches of space between the water and roof.

Archie Thompson Giants Hole - By Jim T
Archie Thompson Giants Hole - By Jim T

Finding the top of the crab walk the water below could be heard, with Jim giving Archie hints and tips on how to negotiate the climbdown we were soon back in the water and made our way to the bottom of garlands pot. We all made quick work of getting back up the pitch and Archie handled it like a pro. As we approached the entrance the temperature was starting to drop and the walk back to the car was even colder now with wet gear.

We changed and head to the Anchor for post caving refreshments only to find that they had shut early, we tried the Red Lion but this was shut too so called it a night and head off.

Archie was now keen to expand on his SRT training with plans to do a longer trip next week. Watch this space……


Chris H & Archie T bottom of Garlands Pot - By Jim T
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