Send us a suggestion!

UT: Zion Imlay (flowing again)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Bootboy, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,669
    Likes:
    1,926
    Location:
    Utah
    For the second year in a row, we picked the best day of the year to do Imlay. The water was flowing pretty much top to bottom.

    The week leading up to the trip had us in suspense with every check of the weather, and with reports of roads washing out in So. Utah, we began to rack our brains for a plan B. The forecast got better and better as a small window of clear weather was forecast for our Friday the 13th adventure. Bryce @jollygreen left Thursday morning, snagged us a spot at Lava point CG, got the permit after some interesting observations at the BC desk. (I'll let him tell the story). Not far behind, we picked him up at the VC and made our way back up to Lava Point.

    Sleep evaded me. 4:30am couldn't come soon enough. At 4:05 I alerted Aubrey that it was almost time to get moving. We piled in the car and drove down to the West Rim TH, checked the gear and off we went, eyes on the sky the whole time. The presence of stars in every direction was reassuring. I figured, worst case scenario, we'd just get to hike the West Rim top to bottom in the rain. An hour and a half later we were picking our way down through the mud near campsite 8. Skies were still good. Rap 1, I got the brilliant idea to kick some small dead logs off the rap route to avoid pulling them down on us when cleaning the rap, after I had already thrown the rope. A small snarled log became tangled in the rope below me and weighted the rope such that I had to pull myself down the rope just to move. As one who does a little tree work, I should remember the first rule of such: Anything that CAN get tangled, WILL get tangled. After untangling the mess I thought to myself that the lack of sleep was seriously impairing my judgement. I became concerned about being able to make good decisions in the event of inclement weather or other unforeseen events.

    The ground was soggy and we knew that any potholes we encountered were likely to be full. At rap 3 the sight of water of unknown depth prompted us to suit up. this would turn out to be a very regrettable decision. As we whacked down canyon, sweat began to pour down my face. Stupid wetsuit... After an incident involving bad beta, not enough rope, stemming between a tree and a cliff, one handed knot tying, and crumbling rock at rap 5 left me somewhat rattled, I thought, "This is stupid, we have no business being here today". But after the big rap 7, with smiles all around and some good photos, I began to feel a little better about things. shortly there after we found ample water to cool off in and were actually glad we had our suits on at this point. I felt like we finally settled into our rhythm and our dynamic was beginning to click as it had in several canyons before. It was a hoot all the way to the cross-roads with skies staying clear of any threatening clouds. Opportunities to seek high ground in upper Imlay abound so I was able to relax and just enjoy the canyon. We were a bit late by my estimation getting to the crossroads, so lunch was hasty as eyes continually glanced heavenward. having done the route from here down in similar conditions, and being more experienced, Aubrey and I knew that we could make really good time from here down. Clear skies. Lets go.

    As was the case on our first Imlay trip the log jams immediately below the crossroads were very scary and unusually unstable. We proceeded cautiously, one at a time over, under, and through each menacing pile of logs. In my opinion, the log jams in Imlay are the scariest canyon obstacle I've ever encountered. It must be Imlay's way of reminding you that you would be wise to tread lightly and that you are a guest in this place, and that as such, you should respect the abode of your host. after the nerve wracking log jams, the fun resumed. We were absolutely flying. We did a fair amount of jumping which made things that much more fast and fun. Now before you get on my case for jumping, let me explain that we had an obligatory depth check by the first man down on rope at every short drop. When you see 6'8" Bryce's raised hands go under as he searches for the bottom, you feel ok about a 5' plunge. We still our fair share of raps.

    The worst of the obstacles was actually the quick sand. The first man down canyon had the honor of finding it, clawing his was out and pointing the others in a better direction, if there was one. The silver lining to the quick sand is that once one person has agitated it, it actually settles somewhat and becomes easier for each successive member to tread upon.

    Skies still bluebird

    4 hours after leaving the crossroads, we were packing our ropes in the narrows, pleased that we had decided to proceed and thankful that we moved so well as a team. We managed full Imlay from car to narrows in exactly 12 hours.

    Have I mentioned that I hate the Narrows? And that after a full day in a canyon I count it as one of the great tediums? ...As if my ankles need more rolling and my hip flexors aren't tired enough...

    Have I also mentioned that Oscar's is a little slice of Heaven sent as a gift to man and the weary canyoneer to replenish the burnt calories and remind them that bruises heal but good friends and good memories are forever?

    [​IMG]
    Pikan, Kuenn, MrAdam and 1 other person like this.
  2. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,669
    Likes:
    1,926
    Location:
    Utah
    Removed
    Tayres likes this.
  3. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

    Messages:
    1,295
    Likes:
    999

    Nice job! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on recovery here. Things sometimes go a bit wrong, and you question the options. Happens. Glad you stuck it out, made the right choices, and ended up having a great time.
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
    4,818
    Likes:
    5,920
    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Great TR. Congrats on sneaking in a classic in challenging sneaking-one-in conditions.

    Bad beta? or bad judgment? of the bad judgment of trusting the beta???

    :moses:
  5. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean OK with what happens

    Messages:
    227
    Likes:
    275
    Location:
    Boulder, UT
    Tobogganing in Imlay. Sweet! I'm guessing water was warmer and certainly more pleasant smelling than normal? Looks nice and piney rather than cold and clear. Very cool. Thanks!
  6. SCard

    SCard

    Messages:
    110
    Likes:
    141
    Excellent photos and video clips. thanks.:twothumbs:
  7. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,669
    Likes:
    1,926
    Location:
    Utah

    Yes.
  8. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,669
    Likes:
    1,926
    Location:
    Utah
    Only 2 stinky sections. the first logjam/ rap below the crossroads was pretty skanky. One more short section down low. Water temp was probably ~55F
  9. Blake Merrell

    Blake Merrell Lovin' Utah's Backcountry

    Messages:
    504
    Likes:
    532
    Location:
    Spanish Fork, Ut
    Wow! people who can make these kind of statements must be SUPER Spoiled! Do you just hate the amazing canyon walls and river, or the 1000's of people who have decided to come see the amazing place?

    I don't care who you are, the Zion Narrows is some of the most amazing sections of canyon I have ever seen! If it can't be loved by you, and outdoor pro, then what can?
  10. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,669
    Likes:
    1,926
    Location:
    Utah

    Oh I loved the narrows alright, the first 10 times through...

    I'm sure that the guy who eats sushi or lamb curry every day doesn't find it as awesome as I do. It's all relative. I grew up in Utah and red rock country has been my playground for years.

    Take my comment in the context of the trip report. Yes the narrows are amazing but just because I don't take time to put my hands on my hips and gawk open-mouthed every time doesn't mean I don't appreciate them for what they are. It's just become routine.
  11. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,669
    Likes:
    1,926
    Location:
    Utah
    As a note, the inaccurate beta was not yours.
  12. Blake Merrell

    Blake Merrell Lovin' Utah's Backcountry

    Messages:
    504
    Likes:
    532
    Location:
    Spanish Fork, Ut


    One word: SPOILED! It is hard for me to feel bad for anyone who lives a life where seeing such beautiful places becomes "routine" ;)
  13. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,669
    Likes:
    1,926
    Location:
    Utah

    I've made sacrifices to live the lifestyle I do. I never asked anyone to feel sorry for me. No hard feelings
    Blake Merrell likes this.
  14. Blake Merrell

    Blake Merrell Lovin' Utah's Backcountry

    Messages:
    504
    Likes:
    532
    Location:
    Spanish Fork, Ut
    no hard feelings at all :) you are still SPOILED though ;) haha

    BUT I feel that i am pretty spoiled myself. We do get to see some pretty amazing places! It just blows my mind sometimes how we start actually considering places like the Zion Narrows as a "slog" and begin to dread hiking through them. It just goes to prove that you have seen some AMAZING places and have done a TON of cool stuff to even be able to "hate" the narrows. yes, yes. I am jealous :D
Similar Threads: Imlay (flowing
Forum Title Date
Trip Reports Imlay from top Saturday 7/27 Aug 2, 2019
General Discussion Imlay Conditions Jul 8, 2019
Buy and Sell Imlay Canyon Fire 8.3mm rope for sale 100 feet Jul 6, 2019
Trip Reports First Not Imlay Trip of the Season - 6/27/2019 Jun 29, 2019
Buy and Sell Imlay Kolob 37/43L pack - $200 shipped (SOLD) May 29, 2019
General Discussion Summer's coming! Heaps and Imlay... May 12, 2019