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UT: Zion Full Full Imlay Aug 5 2018

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by ratagonia, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    With the Angels Landing trail closed due to collapse, thus starting Imlay from Lava Point, it makes sense to do the full Imlay, as much as I am not as fond of the top half as of the bottom half. With thunderstorms almost every day in the previous week, it would be full, and fairly warm. That huge flood on July 11th might have brought a few changes to the canyon, what would we find?

    We on this adventure was Cassy Brown from Springdale, Mike Cressman from Henderson, Sara Morger from the City of Salt, Kate Duffy from Flagstaff, Ali Miller from Columbus and Tom J from Mt Carmel. Pictures this Rave by Mike Cressman and Sara Morger, and a few from my camera.

    [​IMG]
    Cassy leading the pack with a smile!

    A 5:40 am start brought delightful temps for the walk to Potato Hollow. We dropped in at the actual head of the canyon, FiddleSticking off a tree, then several short raps down the watercourse. The Potato Hollow spring is dry, so this section was just a bit wet, and did not include the waist-deep pool I had found previously this way. We made our way to the long rap down the upper headwall just as the day was heating up. Down into the shade… ah…

    The upper Imlay has a bit of brush and is mostly shaded, and with the recent rain was lush and beautiful. Many short rappels, many swims and deep wades (refreshing), but also slow-going as wading and swimming is slower than plain hiking. The time slipped away as we worked our way downcanyon. What looked like log soup ahead prompted us to finally put on wetsuits… kinda of a false alarm. Eventually we arrived at the Crossroads area and calculated the time – if we wanted to catch the last bus (9:15) we need to hustle. But first, Log Soup!

    [​IMG]
    Sara enjoying log soup

    Thankfully, the log soup was short, and dispatched with vigor. Like the upper section, the lower was full full full – fuller than I have ever done it. Seems like the big flood three weeks before had also moved a bunch of logs around (or out), and put a lot of sand in at places. Many changes to the canyon, but full as it was, relatively fast. Certainly there were not problems escaping potholes.

    [​IMG]
    Terminal Narrows, close to the end

    We got to the end on schedule, rapped down our rabbits who dashed downstream to make the last bus (2) and then the oops bus (1). Tom Mike and Cassy walked out a bit slower, Mike complaining every time either of us got close enough to hear… Our rabbits drove back in to pick us up. 5:40 am to 9:30 pm (for me).

    Fetching the car at Lava… ugh. Then the drive home, interrupted by an hour nap at the North Fork Road for me… a fine day out in the wild with fine friends!!

    MORE PICTURES AT THE LATEST RAVE
    etai, RossK, Anthony Dye and 13 others like this.
  2. srosander01

    srosander01

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    Location:
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    With the water levels being so full in August, would you expect that the canyon will retain a significant amount of water through mid-October? Does this canyon tend to drop water levels pretty quickly?
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Imlay tends to lose water fairly quick. At least to the extent that it is unlikely to stay in the "full, pretty easy" condition for more than a couple weeks (at most), and will soon be in the "kinda full, only 4-6 pothole escapes" condition for a while after that (assuming dryish weather from here on out).

    Tom
    Alex Temus likes this.
  4. srosander01

    srosander01

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the response. I'll plan on being prepared for lower water levels. Any tips on finding a good bivy spot near the crossroads area? We are planning on an overnight trip to bag this canyon, and want to make it as smooth as possible.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    There is "the usual spot" under a big overhang, but the quality of that spot varies widely as at times it is wonderful soft flat sand, and other times yicky gravelly mixed with mud. Still a good spot because there is a kinda flat slickrock place to cook, and a pool there that usually has good water and is easy to pump from. If doing the Sneak route, you can get there without doing any rappels or swims... or you can suit up and follow the watercourse and do a short fun section of canyon.

    Tom
  6. srosander01

    srosander01

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    Late morning start and we are embarking from Lava Point, so bivy it will be. We want to get the full route experience for our first Imlay descent. I'll have my camera in my shiny new PicPocket that I received so expeditiously...so thank you for the great gear! We'll be hoping for clear skies, strong anchors, and great memories. Cheers!
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
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    With all this rain, the anchor webbing gets pounded. In Imlay, people are usually in a hurry and/or cold, and pass on the anchor maintenance. Would be great if you brought a bunch of webbing and took the time to replace the worst of the anchor webbings.

    Tom
  8. srosander01

    srosander01

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    We should have 100' plus of webbing in our combined packs. Replacing worn webbing at anchors where needed shouldn't be a problem.
    ratagonia likes this.
  9. Alex Temus

    Alex Temus

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    Sounds like a majority of the rappels are pretty short, and the longest is 165-ish. For a group of 6, what ropes would you recommend to move quickly and do the canyon in a day?
    2 - 120ft
    1 - 200ft
    and a pull?
  10. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
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    Longest rap, the headwall rap, is 170 feet. Last rap is 110 feet. No other raps in the canyon are... well, no raps in the lower half (the Sneak half) are longer than 60 feet, except the one going into the bivy spot (through the two pools) which is about 60 feet, but you need another 10 feet at least to get to the place you pull it from.

    For full Imlay, 6 people, I recommend:

    1 - 175' or more.
    3 x 120'

    Tom
  11. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Imlay is a good place to bring extra short ropes. You could easily get in trouble with the bare minimum of rope. No reason to take that kind of risk with 6 people. I mean, there are 45-50 rappels to stick a rope on, although you'd have to work pretty hard to stick a rope on most of them.

    If I were doing it, I'd carry a rope per person although most would be short (80 feet).
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Exactly, which is why I suggest bringing 3 x 120'ers in addition to the 170+er.

    Why 120's? I like carrying ropes that are long enough to handle almost all of the rappels by themselves. Rather than spend energy managing the position of ropes relative to the lengths of various raps. Bringing a LOT of ropes tends to just spread the group out, which does not enhance speed. The limiting factor is still the speed at which the caboose is pulling and stuffing ropes, and moving those ropes forward. With more ropes, it seems those in the caboose are more stuck in the caboose, and those out front are more inclined to stay in the front. Not MY preferred style, but YMMV.

    Admittedly, our six-person Aug 5 full full Imlay was hampered by my choice to bring only 2 x 120'ers plus the 175er... one more rope would have moved us forward a bit faster.

    Tom
  13. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    There's a funny thing about the 100 foot barrier. Nobody minds carrying a <100 foot rope. They'll even throw two of them in their pack. But ask them to carry a >100 foot rope and all of a sudden everyone is turned around fiddling with their pack top.
  14. Scott Byington

    Scott Byington

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    Location:
    SLC, UT
    As of Oct 13, Imlay was full of water.

    I want to give a big shout out to the guys we met at the trash compactor; great group of guys.

    As for our set up we had 3 x 200 ft (1 too many), and 1 x 100, we replaced a hand full of anchors but we were hampered by time as the canyon action packed.

    Gear setup to stay the night (Fri/Sat): Sol Bivvy, Sea to Summit Ember EB III, XTherm Neo Air, Stoic base layer top, REI base layer bottoms, Icebreaker med hiking sock, Rab micro alpine jacket, Smartwool beanie and gloves.

    I wore a Henderson 7/5mm wetsuit, 3.5mm neo socks with a wool base layer.

    At the wilderness desk they said the Narrows water temp was about 54ish.

    Awesome experience. Great many thanks to our team who helped make this happen.

    "Imlay Mixer"
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