Sunday 19.2.67. GIANTS-FILTHY FIVE EXCHANGE.
Brian Thomas brings this unique event alive for you, right now. In 1967. Reviewed after only 49 years. Excludes details about a normal Giant’s trip.
Bailing, “Down” Party [F5]; Jeff Phillips [JP], Dave Wear, Pete Lord (Fly), Bob Fowle and Tim Brett-Holt. (first two on carbide; all members of Sheffield University Speleological Society).
Geology Pot, “Up” Party [F5]; Brian Thomas [BT], Dave Prime [DP], Brian Chadwick [BC] and Brian Dobson (first two not in wetsuits) [all in SUSS].
Other concurrent parties-
Eating-House Round Trip Party; Michael Binns, Joan Graham-Guthrie, Bob Smith, Keith Dennis, 2 of DP’s mates and “Carole” [all except 2 mates and “Carole” in SUSS].
Pegging in Ghost Rift Party; Bob Dearman, Bob Toogood [EPC?] [what a DUO! And in a cave!]
JP took his party down at 11.40 am. Snibb’s (MB) group vanished into Giant’s entrance at 12 noon.
BT’s quartet entered at 12.55, already in overdrive and highly expectant at the epic journey ahead. They passed the Snibb Round-trippers as the latter were climbing up to the North East Swallet Series. BT shouted “Banzai”; JG-G riposted “Shut up”.
Giants was wetter than usual; no hitches yet; BT’s “Up” party reached East Canal after 90 minutes. We sang for 1 hour and heard the Filthy-Five crew after 45 minutes. Smooth exchange, but they covered BT in mud en passant. Chest-deep walk/wade across the canal; then the almighty thrutch, for my “UP” party, began, into F5.
The Geology “Up” party went up a steep muddy slope for 30 feet, then a 5′ slide into a hole with water in the bottom. The 5th pitch was climbed in a narrow awkward rift. Hardly able to stand at the top – horizontal for 5ft then we faced out onto the fourth pitch – half way up it – we had to swing out to the other wall, clutching the ladder, then climb 10ft. BD and BT had tied up the bottoms of the ladders, so pulling them up was ok.
Incredible thronx up through glutinous mud and squeeze through the Dog Kennel. BC got his foot stuck here and we reached the bottom of the 3rd pitch – only 15ft not 30ft.A 7ft climb brought us panting to a chamber, after which DP and BC deladdered. 2nd pitch was mastered by BT and BD, although BT’s butty-box got wedged.
A little crawl forced us right to the bottom of Pitch l, in 2 halves. BT went to the top and into the inviting Valentine’s Sump (writer’s note – please tell me the origin of “Valentine” in this context – was F5 discovered on February 14).
BT met Tim and Fly having a go at the slippery rift (where Jeff P exhausted himself last time). We all came through Valentines; where Dave W and Bob F had just arrived. We all waited for Tim and Fly L, plus buckets and those 2 then continued up the Crabwalk.
Our crowd were going to do the same but the “adrenalin-high” members wanted to “do the lot” – which meant, after messing about at the waterfall, ascending. lnvolved a painful crawl too. Brian C and David P had gone ahead with 2 ladders, whilst the rest of us lifelined down to the Crabwalk. We exited/excited Giant’s at 7.30pm. Mike B was waiting for us; all the others had departed 30 minutes beforehand.
Snibb and Tim drove our party back to Sheffield, where we all attended at the Curry Inn-7 shillings for a full meal.
NB; using BT’s 5 assessment factors – trip scored 37 out of 50. Q.E.D. A Top 10 trip for BT – in at No. 5.
Trip summary ends. WBThomas.