Peak District 26/09/2008

Woke up late so didn't get packed and set off till about 2.30pm, due to very slow traffic conditions it was about 7.30pm before I reached the peak district and the Castleton yha. Booked into the vicarage next door and managed to secure myself a single room with bathroom en suite. Turned out that Marcos and Dave were already there, but Lack of signal prevented us from meeting up till 9.30pm we were gradually joined by folks arriving, and after the last orders in the George next door we moved back to the vicarage to drink the beer that Nick had brought with him. The last to arrive was Emily and Livvy who didn't get there till nearly 1 am but made up for it by staying up late till 3.30am or later.
Up for biking but not for breakfast I had the bike already to go but disaster the group was one bike short. I gave my bike up to Sam to keep thinks moving and hitched a lift with Emily and her Dad to go for a 18 mile run stretched over 5 hours. Was good fun I enjoyed, hopping from boulder to boulder and plotting a clean course through the boggy bits. Emily's knee however was playing up a bit by the end, though she didn't complan about it. We got back and saw Nik and Daniel leaving to boulder but I was too badly in need of a shower to follow them. Went with Nick to Hope to get some beer and some cash. Then I led a breakaway group down the pub early when I got back to the vicarage, including, Matt and Adele and David and Carla and Rachael. We had a very nice meal with dessert then carried on to the next pub the castle were the others were eating we got a nice seat there and attempted to do a small pubcrawl. Myself and Matt went across the road and had sambucca chasers in the pub opposite then raspberry sambucca in the next pub which had a cabaret singer, but we quickly returned to the others. When the pubs closed we headed back to the vicarage and drunk some more but most folks retired by 1.30am.
Up early for caving, we drove behind the chap in his van to get to the Giants cave not far away. We kitted up with harnesses and as much warm clothing as we could manage under the suits, I as usual had my body armour on so I was a bit better off than the others. We walked in down a fairly broad tunnel then came to a drop of about 30 ft, We abseiled one at a time down this drop then proceeded into the crab walk, this was a very long fissure just the width of a person, the chap charged down these tunnels and I did a good job of keeping up with him, mainly by careening off the walls and forcing my self quickly through squeezes. Feet quickly got wet in the water pools, but the neoprene socks did a good job of keeping my feet warm. We occisionally rested to let the others catch up, and then we had the last challenge the vice which meant getting down low and crawling through some water to get to. We got wetter and wetter and went through pools up to waste deep and had to slide on our backs down a shoot at one point. Then we got to the lowest point the giant's windpipe. This was a long narrow tunnel with an ominous warning filled with water, we had to go one at a time and turn our heads sideways to breat, if you moved too fast you caused a wave which could go over your face. There certainly were some odd noises from the others as they had to lay down in the freezing water and inch forward. That was certainly one of the most extreme bits we then had to start climbing back up via another route, there were two places were we climbed up with the aid of noted ropes and on belay which were quite tough climbs, due to the slippiness of the rocks, then we had a hairraising abseil down to the floor of the crabwalk, we had to insert ourselfs in the fissure and do the best not to get trapped as slack would build up on the rope and you would then drop a few feet when you released yourself. Matt dropped about 10 ft nearly onto David's head, but luckily managed not to hurt himself. After that we just had to climb up the wire ladder and it was a short way to the exit, there were some very relieved faces that emerged intot the sunlight. After that I drove straight back to london uneventfully.



8th Day UK