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Unstable Wood Jam - Imlay - coulda been really bad

Discussion in 'Accidents and Near Misses' started by ratagonia, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Descended Imlay Canyon (right sneak) this last Saturday, Aug 22, 2015. We found some log soup and Shannon volunteered to go first... we couldn't really see what happened when it ended, but it looked like a nasty log-jam upclimb at the end there. After 7 minutes of struggling through the stew, Shannon got to the end and noted that one of the big logs there moved when she pushed on it. I am happy that Shannon was cautious.

    Video here: http://canyoncollective.com/threads/log-crawling-in-imlay-8-22-2015.21506/

    My turn. I rapped in and worked my way up there. Yup, with not much touching, it definitely moved. We're talking a log that is 18" in diameter and maybe 8 or 10 feet long, wedged in vertically. I was able to chimney up next to it and step over onto the pile without touching it. Shannon threw me up the end of a rope, and I tied that around the unstable log. The peeps back at the top of the rap in pulled on the rope and... without much pulling, BOOM, down it came, and the log next to it, and the log next to that! Glad I stepped back 10 feet.

    So be careful out there. If I was first in, with my tendency for impatience I might have pulled on it more vigorously from below... and been crushed between it and the log next to it, a bigger log. That would not have been pretty.

    Tom
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  2. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    I've said it before and I maintain that the ever-changing log jams just below the crossroads in Imlay are (can be) the scariest canyon obstacle I've ever encountered.

    Swimming under or walking over logjams that weigh thousands of pounds and hang inexplicably wedged 10' in the air is a little unsettling.
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  3. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    I think I remember some small pieces falling on or by you when we went through there
  4. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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    I recall a movie where someone slips between the logs floating in a river (from a log mill or something) and they closes in once he is under. :nailbiting: Darn, I can't think of the title.
  5. Morgan

    Morgan

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    image.
    A friend of mine on top of this jam in June, I agree this obstacle is continuously amongst the most dangerous ( at least mentally) that I've come across. I've crawled under several times and tiptoed on top too. Glad no one was hurt.
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  6. Cameron

    Cameron Long Tall Texan by birth

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    flashbacks! Doing that is like something you haven't experienced before
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Just a reminder, as the "season" opens in Zion, there certainly can be surprises out there. Bring lots of webbing and rings - anchors often get tattered by flow during the winter. Watch out for those unstable wood piles.

    It's good to be lucky, but it is also good to be good. And prepared. And smart.

    Tom :moses:
  8. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    reminds me of the garbage chamber in the original Star Wars movie..
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  9. spinesnaper

    spinesnaper

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    If only a log jam could be simulated. It would make an amazing gym work out. There is nothing that raises my heart rate to red line like fighting to get through a log jam. Ever notice how the sun is also baking on you in the Imlay log jams around 11:30 AM? Good times. Good times.
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  10. PG Rob

    PG Rob

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    Log jams are plentiful and unstable in Imlay. In the first section of narrows there is a pothole that is approximately 20 feet in diameter with a 10 foot log jam constricted into a narrow v shaped exit. Upon examining the log jam to climb it a lower log became loose and water started flowing... sucking everything out of the pothole. 4 feet of water drained out in 3-4 minutes.

    Point is... be careful out there :)
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  11. bhalvers2002

    bhalvers2002

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    Not sure if this is the spot you are referring to...

    upload_2016-5-12_11-36-7.
    April 2014. Log jam after Big Bertha area and the ensuing rappel into a pool. Very cool section. This jam took some creative climbing and if you look closely at the (poor) picture, a fair amount of debris unleashed on the first attempt to ascend. If I recall, couldn't touch the bottom while leaving pool....

    We went back April 2015. The whole thing was gone. Simply a scramble up into the V section. As others have said, these jams are very unpredictable.
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  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    This is the infamous "Birth Canal". Talk of wood jams or log soup mostly refers to stuff in the first section past the bivy Alcove, the "corridors", and to the section between where the Sneak comes in and the bivy Alcove.

    Tom
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  13. spinesnaper

    spinesnaper

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    Tom

    That's the spot I was thinking about.

    I believe that they trigger the five stages described by the Kubler-Ross model of dealing with terminal log jams: Denial-its just one log jam-we're going to blow through these. Anger-WTF?-why can't we catch a break?!! Bargaining-please part the waters and I promise I will remember to put the toilet seat down for my wife and pick up after my dog. Depression-OMG, we are never getting out of these log jams-what if every swim is like this between here and the narrows? It's going to take days to get out of this MF'ing canyon and I have to be at work on Monday. Why didn't I just do Pine Creek for the 12th time? Acceptance-Okay, just focus on getting through the next foot. The wall of unstable wood debris at the end of this pool will wait 20 minutes while I work my way through the next 12 feet.

    Ken
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  14. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Hmmm.

    Ha ha.
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  15. PG Rob

    PG Rob

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    That was the spot... crazy to see 10-15,000 gallons rush out of there in a few minutes.
  16. PG Rob

    PG Rob

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    didn't see upstream from the alcove, nut the corridor downstream looked similar to the above picture
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