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Thread: Imlay in September

  1. #1

    Imlay in September

    I plan on doing 2day Imlay before the months end. Been looking at bluugnome and Kelsey beta.

    Would anybody toss any advice my way?
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  3. #2
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badwobot View Post
    I plan on doing 2-day Imlay before the month's end. Been looking at bluugnome and Kelsey beta.

    Would anybody toss any advice my way?
    1. Kelsey beta is notoriously unreliable.

    2. Bluugnome beta is much much better, but also quirky.

    3. Please use the best beta available from someone who has been through the canyon 20 times: me. http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/...y-sneak-route/

    4. First time through? Do the Sneak Route in one day. Carrying the extra baggage, especially of fall level bivy gear, through the canyon is a REAL PAIN.

    5. Get an early start. As in Hiking at 6 am. Get an early start Pass to park at the Grotto. This will also give you a car in the canyon in case you miss the last bus.

    6. Count on it being quite cold.

    Other than that, just the normal everyday advice about Imlay. Be prepared to hook out of pools, count on it being a physically demanding day. Bring headlamps that actually work and have fresh batteries.

    Tom

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  5. #3
    If you have NOT done Imlay before I would definitely recommend going with someone who has been before. It can be difficult to find accurate GPS tracks & waypoints. I've never done the sneak route but I have heard it can be confusing & have read multiple stories with people dropping in to the wrong canyon, especially if you have not done it before. The full route (only route I have done) route finding is very easy as you just go to potato hollow & find the canyon that runs in to it.

    Make sure you have plenty of cold water protection: wetsuite, gloves, socks. Last year early October I used a 5mm wetsuit and got fairly cold. I don't usually get cold very easy so be prepared :)

    Pothole escape gear: 2 etriers & Hooks, pot shot, ascenders, & bolt kit. Bolt kit is not absolutely necessary due to everything being bolted already & most potholes already have hooking holes. I always carry my bolt kit through imlay because I have found a lot of the hooking holes are getting worn out. It also works great if you get someone else to carry it lol. Usually with a strong team you can avoid most of this stuff with good partner assist skills.


    Most of all have fun !!! Love Imlay !!! It's one of those canyons you could run every year :)

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  7. #4
    @badwobot

    From my experience, Zion starts getting cold around September 15th. To stay warm at night and in-canyon you will need to bring significantly more clothes/neoprene than you would during mid-August. Therefore, doing it as an overnighter seems a bit crazy to me.

    I'd just stick with doing one day route. If you haven't done 20+ raps in a day before, then do the sneak route. Bring a 5/4 wetsuit, or more. Post pictures when you get back.

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  9. #5
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakotabelliston View Post
    It can be difficult to find accurate GPS tracks & waypoints.
    Why would one need GPS tracks and waypoints? The Sneak routes are well-described from quite a few beta sources, and shown clearly on quite a few maps. There are places where using a GPS is very useful, but this is not one of them. Reading a map and understanding where you are going is a more-reliable navigation system than following a GPS route without benefit of map skills.

    I've never done the sneak route but I have heard it can be confusing & have read multiple stories with people dropping in to the wrong canyon, especially if you have not done it before.
    I have read ZERO stories of people dropping into the wrong canyon on Imlay Sneak. Perhaps you could provide links to these multiple stories. There are very few options in the area, if would be hard to mess up. "Not-Imlay" is a riff on Not-Mystery and Not Mindbender, NOT a description of a trip gone awry. Again, the navigation is pretty straightforward, and there are many descriptions that would get a person there, if they can read at a 4th grade level.


    ... & bolt kit. Bolt kit is not absolutely necessary due to everything being bolted already & most potholes already have hooking holes. I always carry my bolt kit through Imlay because I have found a lot of the hooking holes are getting worn out.
    Very few people own bolt kits, and even fewer actually know how to use them. Imlay is a trade-route canyon in a popular venue - need for a bolt kit is practically nil. A small cadre of canyoneers have worked over the years on assuring that almost all the drops (in the Sneak Route canyon) that 'need' bolts have at least one good bolt.

    It is smart to carry a 3/8" drill bit and drill holder to clean up holes if needed. However, in 25+ trips through Imlay, I have never actually done this.

    It is very helpful to have the correct hook to use in these holes, which is the BD Talon. I usually carry one Alpine Aider (BD, not available at the moment), and enough slings to cobble together another one, if needed.

    Tom

  10. #6
    Both times we did the sneak we started at 4:00 am. I found the hike up to Scouts Lookout to be spectacular in the dark. A completely different experience than most get hiking that route in the day with hordes of tourists. I would also say that the sneak route is pretty easy navigating especially if you take a look at Climb-utah's google earth images of the route. Whatever you do, have a good time.

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  12. #7
    Sounds like my previous post may have been a touch confusing. Wanted to clarify a little bit as not to create confusion.

    Stories I have heard from people getting lost on the sneak route are stories I have heard from people telling me their personal experiences (Canyon tales?) with difficulty route finding. Not sure of actual postings so I would have to search around & like I mentioned I have not done the sneak route, so I was simply just mentioning as word of caution.

    Completely agree that good map reading skills over ride the need for a GPS & I could have elaborated more on recommending the use of a map over the use of a GPS (as to what I was getting at). I mentioned the lack of GPS tracks & waypoints because I know a lot of people that are moving to a digital age & leaving the map at home (I don't recommend). Personally I bring both so I can record my exact travel log for personal use.

    When I said bolt kit I was not suggesting you would need to bolt anything in the canyon but suggesting you could potentially need the drill aspect in order to tidy up hooking holes in the potholes. I can't see any need to actually place & bolt & hanger.

    I usually always carry to much gear & error on the side of caution. Then I tell people I'm just carrying more weight to get in shape lol. If you do some online searching you can find a couple sites that have BD Talon hooks in stock. However they don't come with the small piece of webbing attached like they sale on the CUSA store which I have found very useful.

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  14. #8
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakotabelliston View Post
    Stories I have heard from people getting lost on the sneak route are stories I have heard from people telling me their personal experiences (Canyon tales?) with difficulty route finding. Not sure of actual postings so I would have to search around & like I mentioned I have not done the sneak route, so I was simply just mentioning as word of caution.
    The Sneak Routes are not exactly easy hiking. The Left Sneak in particular is not done very often, and there are places where there is little sign on passage. While the macro route finding is rather conspicuous, the micro-route finding is often not, and there are many opportunities (on both routes) to follow a less-than-ideal route. That said, straying from the ideal path gets one to unpleasant terrain, but does not lead to some other canyon (as was implied by your original statement).

    Thanks for the clarifications.

    Tom

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    My only advice is to move deliberately and quickly and have a team adept at leapfrogging to set up raps and assists, It's an awful lot of raps and assists.

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  18. #10
    All really useful information, you guys are awesome. I ended up going the same weekend.
    Did the two day version from Lava Point.

    Heres a short clip from the final narrows:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZ_C...ature=youtu.be
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