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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scott Patterson, May 19, 2018.
For those who have done both, which is your favorite and why?
I think Heaps is more beautiful. More variety, more sheer "wow", more sense of traveling through the mountain. Imlay is fun also, but Heaps just feels like you've gone somewhere and done something sublime.
I agree, although if you want some pothole work, you’re more likely to find it in Imlay. I’ve done Heaps 6-7 times and only once had to do something even remotely like a pothole escape. In Imlay 6-7 trips and I’ve had to do a pothole escape every single time, some trips were harder than others, but there was always an escape. I’m not trying to say Heaps is easy, just that it seems to be more consistently full than Imlay, or maybe I’ve just been lucky.
A couple questions come to mind to help narrow this down as both are obviously stellar canyons.
1. You wanna lug the 300 footer through and do a big air rap? Heaps
2. You want the possibility of a shorter canyon day? Imlay sneak
3. You prepared for keepers? Certainly possible in both but as Tom stated Imlay is more likely based on history.
4. You wanna do a heck of a lot of raps (Heaps) or a hell of a lot of raps (Imlay)?
My favorite- Heaps. The one I would repeat next- Imlay. How's that for an answer...
Imlay is my favorite of the two, not even a close comparison. I may be somewhat biased because I did Imlay almost completely empty making for lots of fun challenges. I did Heaps almost full with only 5 semi keepers so it was in romp mode. I really enjoy obstacles, the more physical and the more problem solving, the better. Imlay gave that to me. Heaps was a lot of fun but was well below the difficulty hype (but met the epic hype with the final rap) imo. From what I understand, Heaps is very rarely in a harder mode with lower water. Does anyone know if this is true? I'll be doing both of them again next month and I am excited to see how they are with different conditions.
I have done both canyons upwards of 20 times.
Heaps holds it water much better than Imlay does. But when Heaps gets difficult, it can get VERY difficult; very VERY difficult.
When low, Imlay potholes can be hooked out of (mostly) efficiently, because hook holes are already in place. There are very few hook holes in Heaps.
That sounds really cool. I'll have to keep my ears open to hooefully catch heaps in hard mode some day!
And just so you know, Anthony, and because I know you are up for challenges, using the drilled hook holes in Imlay or Heaps is a cheat. Try to do it without.
Also of note, I suspect that neither Imlay nor Heaps have been done without using the bolts, which are also cheating.
Anthony, Taylor, and I actually have plans to remedy that in June.
Stevie B and I got pretty close in Imlay. I recall we happy hookered the last pothole anchor to get out. No drilled holes to ascend. And I think we avoided most bolts to rappel from, excepting one or two rap stations (one of which would have been easy to avoid with "natural" anchors). Doable.
I think Heaps in the seldom seen low water version would be really hard to ghost. That one pothole with the overhanging lip has poor clearance from the previous stance for tossing a bag past down the smooth hallway. Maybe a well trained Poe tosser...dunno. What a game!
I've only done them each once, both in tippy-top full and fast condition. No pot hole escapes in either.
I prefer Imlay. It certainly took us a lot longer and felt like a bigger deal, but maybe that was just because we did it first.
I do think that Heaps is prettier, at least through the green and iron sections. But I'd rather do the last 2 hours of Imlay than the last 2 hours of Heaps every time and twice on Sundays. Not to mention the walk is a lot shorter from the West Rim trailhead.
You could probably jump a lot of the raps in Imlay I would imagine having canyoneered with you.
I'll just potshot all of the full pools too....just to be sure
Having done each 3 times - I would just slightly prefer heaps. It is more majestic and grand. I would rather do the relatively simpler and shorter final rap in imlay but nothing like putting an exclamation point on a big day with final rap series in heaps. The trash compactor in imlay has been unruly in three different ways and always causes some angst. The hike to imlay has more bushwhacking too. Prefer carrying less rope for imlay and agree with other posters more potholes to escape in imlay. I like the pools and swims and long sections of twists and turns that heaps offers. I have seen heaps only in various versions of full to partly full. I suspect it has been some years since it was super hard mode that Tom talks about - with all the gopros these days someone would’ve captured some footage of those conditions. Yes I know it’s dark and people are busy but if you bring your GoPro you don’t pass up that footage. Makes me think it hasn’t been very very hard for a while. The beauty, length and otherworldly feel give the nod to heaps for me.
Both can turn epic super quick if someone is unprepared, gets injured or team gets delayed. I know there are some super tough canyons outside of Zion but I am always in full respect mode with these.
Love to do either of them every year if I could.
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