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Insomnia Canyon - Conditions Warning

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by zul, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. zul


    Sedona, AZ
    A good friend of mine ran Insomnia Canyon yesterday (July 2019) and his day was filled with cautionary tales and dangerous conditions. I was just glad to hear that he got down and out Ok. Insomnia Canyon has changed dramatically from prior years. The big winter runoff has left loads of debris in almost every pot and chamber making forward progress much slower and more difficult. X'd up log jams and moving piles, nothing real predictable in there.

    Both bolts on the big rappel station are no longer safe -- one is a slider and the other is a spinner. The car mat used for protecting ropes from the sharp edge is gone. Making things worse, the steep and narrow shoot leading to the precarious rappel station is loaded with unstable wood. He backed up the fragile 2-bolt anchor with loads of cord as best possible -- but this was by no means a solution, only a one time -- get us down, back it up -- sorta deal.

    Apparently, the webbing from the bolt station has captured debris during the big runoff and that stress has destroyed the strength of the bolt station. Once new bolts are placed, would chains and quick links reduce the stress on the anchor during runoff? Next group down should be prepared with a full scale plan and solution.

    I would like to hear what others think about the location of the current bolt station? As we know, these bolts lead to a sharp edge and plenty of core shots have been reported. I don't know if it is even possible to get bolts up higher, reducing the stress on the rappel line but then again -- reaching the current bolt station is already a long reach and a long tether. I would think getting new bolts located closer to the outter edge of the drop off would be beneficial -- but who wants to hang that close to make the placement? All of the awkward footing and available angles work against one another ... What we need is a 7 foot tall person with a drill to really fix this thing. Any volunteers?

    Insomnia Canyon is a dangerous place right now. Until the big rap station has been updated and re-drilled, should be avoided. Even after the repair, wood jams and difficult conditions will slow down unprepared groups.
  2. ratagonia


    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Pictures would be helpful... but you probably knew that...

    Thanks for the important warnings.

  3. Norb


    I ran Insomnia on July 4th. I would say that it currently earns it's '4' rating. Yes there is a lot of log debris, but nothing too difficult to deal with. The bolts are definitely a problem. The good thing about the build up of debris in the chute before the big drop is that there was plenty of material to make a good anchor. We rigged off of a really solid log as a backup/third anchor point. We even debated on whether to even use the bolts at all(the log was definitely good enough), but decided to try and equalize the log and bolts. With that being said, the bolts definitely need to be replaced - if it flashes and the wood jam gets flushed out, I would not want to trust those bolts. There are some options for knot chock anchors a bit before the bolts, but if people go in expecting good bolts, I could see someone getting in to follow from one of the people I ran it with.
    NorthBound likes this.
  4. BKNorby


    Tucson, Arizona
    Here is a picture of the bolts. The one on the left the hanger spins and the one on the right the bolt actually pulls out of the wall. Luckily, there was plenty of natural anchors to back it up with.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    NorthBound and hank moon like this.
  5. NorthBound


    It was a def. A scary rappel. The bolts can be easily replaced by some glue ins. ( be stronger and we wouldn't have to drill anymore holes) fun day cheers Joel, Belinda and Carl.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G892U using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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