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Giant's Hole - Derbyshire

Listed under Caves & Caving in North West England, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Giant's Hole - Derbyshire
  • Photo of Giant's Hole - Derbyshire
  • Photo of Giant's Hole - Derbyshire
Photo of Giant's Hole - Derbyshire
Photo by daveclucas
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Giant's Hole, an ideal cave for beginners has much to offer to all grades of caver. It contains sections which are well-decorated with speleothems , a stream, pitches, crawls, squeezes, climbs, cascades, ducks and a canal offering most of the typical caving obstacles which make caving so challenging.
My second caving trip in Derbyshire in the early seventies, it has been revisited by me many times over the years.
The entrance section follows the river which sinks at the entrance along a passage which has been enlarged by blasting for a failed attempt to turn it into a tourist attraction. After a short distance Base Camp Chamber is reached. This is the site of the campsite used by early explorers in the days when a sump blocked the passage. This had to be bailed out and someone had to stay on guard to ensure it didn't flood while the team was on the other side. These days it's an open passage and progress is easy to the first pitch, a 10m drop into Garlands Pot. The stream now enters a narrow rift passage where progress is made by walking sideways, hence it's name Crab Walk. This continues for about half a kilometre with a couple of short climbs on the way until the first major obstacle is reached - The Vice. This is a very narrow restriction which requires some skill and a relatively small girth to pass. Beyond here a right turn takes you into the Eating House. Leaving the Eating House a short low passage on the left leads to a cross rift where a high level traverse to the right leads to the passage which continues to Geology Pot, a 12m pitch. Just beyond the bottom of this pitch the stream is rejoined and followed down a couple of cascades which require handlines and through a short duck known as Far Curtain. A canal is soon reached which leads to the terminal sump. For the more adventurous there are a few other routes which can be followed including a long flat-out crawl in the upper series which leads to the nearby Oxlow Mine.

Written by  Dave Clucas.

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