Imlay

Last Candition: August 14, 2017

4.3

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 14, 2017

Full Imlay from Lava Point to the Grotto about 14 hrs. 4 people, 2 prior Imlay, 1 strong climber first-time canyoneer.

Water was low enough that some of the swims weren't swims, but high enough in potholes that a finger hooked in a hole or wriggling was enough to escape without help. Very hot. We all ran out of water (I shared 1.5 gallons with a friend--not enough). Taking photos (we did the canyon in formalwear), tough Trash Compactor, and darkness as we finished the last potholes and pools made us slower. Slipping on rocks down the Narrows was annoying and time-consuming in the dark.

My 6.5mm farmer john 3mm jacket was too hot for much of it (low cold tolerance). Those in thinner wetsuits were cold near the end but okay overall.

I prefer Full Imlay to Sneak because of the easy approach (vs Sneak's steep hours of bushes) and much higher canyon-to-approach ratio. However, it is a little longer. It would be a *lot* longer if the group is big or slow at rappels.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 28, 2017

Sneak route, 5 people all Imlay rookies, 12.5 hours from Grotto to Temple of Sinawava. Full conditions with a trickle of a flow. We were hoping for low conditions so we could do a lot of hooking and pack tosses. Instead it appeared to be as full as possible. It was a super fun swim fest we all loved--even my teenage son who hates everything loved it! All pothole exits were easy except for the trash compactor. It was a lot of work swimming through the debris and climbing out but it was our favorite hole and the one with the funniest videos (take your gear off your harness to make it easier). We down climbed and slid into several potholes we normally would've rapped if the water wasn't deep. We replaced webbing on a couple anchors, a couple others will need it soon. The two 1/4" bolts on RDC at the 3rd to last rap looked sketchy and probably should be replaced soon. The nut on top of one needs tightening as it is not below the top of the bolt.

3 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 23, 2017

Full Imlay starting from Lava. Bone dry, except for the biggest of potholes. The wet potholes were in worst-case-scenario conditions, meaning, if the water was higher OR lower, they would have been easier.

Wetsuits were mostly a burden on this 106 degree day. They were only nice to wear in 3-4 potholes that required some time in the water.

Our car-to-shuttle time was 14 hours moving fast. Fun for experienced canyoneers looking for a tough physical challenge.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 1, 2017

First time doing this canyon, so I don't have any comparisons, but water seemed really low. I had a 3/2 wetsuit on and felt okay, just a little bit cold. We hooked out of 2 potholes, partner assisted and climbed out of a few, and pot shotted one. Holes to hook on were okay, we needed to do a partner assists to reach holes that weren't blown out on one. Team of 5, 14 hours from car to shuttle via the sneak route.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: June 22, 2017

Replaced a few anchors, probably should have replaced a couple more. Water was very low generally. We put on 4/3mm and 3/2mm wetsuits near the end once we got cold (this was after several swims and at the 20' deep keeper that we bypassed with a guided rappel). We may have been fine without but were glad to have put them on.

Took us 13 hrs Lava Point to Shuttle with group of 4 (3 experienced 1 not so much).

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: June 17, 2017

Just did the full route from Lava Point on Saturday 6/17. 13 hours from Lava Point to last man off rappel in the narrows. Keeper potholes are present but holes to hook are in good condition and good placement for current water level.

Buddy boosts, potshot and pack toss also used. Most anchors are in good to fair condition. Very enjoyable day. Experienced crew of four.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: June 12, 2017

Full Imlay. West Rim TH: 0500 Back to Car at 2018.

Water levels were very low. Big Bertha had a 6-7 foot lip. Log soup was still an obstacle. Some of the overhanging logs became dislodged when climbing out.

Many anchors on the lower section were buried in sand and had to be dug out.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 14, 2016

From Lava Point. Water quite full. Several swims before the Crossroads. Beautiful fall colors. Those in dry suits were warm (except the one who tore the leg gasket the first time he put it on). One in a 3/2 wetsuit with a neoprene jacket and 1 mm rash guard action was chilly, but ok-ish.

Log jam just below the crossroads was very unpleasant. A couple of large logs wedged high on chokestones and a mess of loose stuff wedged underneath. As we started prodding the jam, several large logs broke free and fell (luckily not on us). Once through that mess, the lower canyon was fantastic. No hooking.

Lava point to Crossroads: 1pm - 10pm. Crossroads to Narrows (8am-2pm).

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 24, 2016

Full Imlay, potholes very full; no escapes. A touch of quicksand and one short log soup section that can be stemmed by experienced parties. 5/3 wetsuit was fine. TH start was 1:00P, out at Temple at 11:15P Good stuff

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 21, 2016

Awesome as usual. Right Sneak. 5:40 am start was perfect.

The driest I have ever seen it. Log soup in first section not an issue - low water helps. First two potholes were tippy top full, after that the water went away, big time! Big Bertha pothole was still shoulder-deep at the exit. Shoulder-stand required two hook moves to get out from there. Near the end, several potholes required hooking to get out. Very comfortable in 4/3 wetsuits.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 3, 2016

Right sneak was good. The ferns within are nice, and passage was not bad.

Imlay: Potholes were about 2/3 full. We had to hook out of two. One of the hooking escapes was hard. Some of the lower hook holes are stripped, so go prepared.

A third challenging pothole required a tough partner assist. Not terribly difficult, but not easy.

4 hours Grotto-to-Crossroads. 9.5 hours Grotto-to-Narrows. 11 hours overall. An awesome day.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 29, 2016

Imlay, Sneak 9.5 hours shuttle-to-shuttle, 2 Imlay 1st-timers. Approach 5 hrs including lunch break, Canyon 3 hrs, Narrows 1.5 hours

Imlay was about as full as it ever gets. It was closed two days earlier due to high water (day-of Virgin River was 110 cfs). What a blast!--super easy. Could float across potholes and climb out without assistance. The approach was by far the most difficult part; lots of bushwhacking, backtracking despite GPS, and steep slopes with loose soil. The Narrows were so high afterward we floated down them on our packs. A blissful day!

All but the final rap anchors could use replacing.

We carried a pool floaty ring ("pothole escape device") to boost morale. Spoiler: not especially useful.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: September 18, 2015

Right Sneak with a group of 5 (all first timers):

Left the grotto at 5:40 am - 4 hours of hiking later we were in Imlay. Took some longish breaks and were on the shuttle back to the Grotto after 12 hours.

Pot holes were completely full - no hooking or pot shotting required. In some spots, the water was actually flowing a bit. The log soup in the trash compactor section was thick enough to walk on in most places.

There was one rappel, in the Terminal Narrows I believe, where there was webbing around a log that was kind of loose. My group didn't see any other rigging options so we used that log, but if that log comes loose, it could provide quite the challenge.

I was in a 4/3 wetsuit and got a bit cold standing at the last rappel station (waiting to descend into the Narrows), but I never had to stay in the water for very long. Another in my group was wearing a 4/3 wetsuit and said he never got cold. The other 3 members of the group had even more neoprene and seemed to be fine.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 15, 2015

Experienced group of 4 of us went through the sneak route. There was some serious log soup in the usual spot at the beginning of the canyon. The canyon was fairly full of water, but a lot of the potholes were still at or very near keepers. We had to hook out of 2 or 3 and got creative getting out of a few others. We took our time hiking to the canyon and it took us about 10 hours trail head to trail head. All-in-all it was a great trip.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: June 26, 2015

3 first timers did right sneak. Left grotto at 4:40am to beat miserable heat. We arrived at the crossroads at 9:40am, and didn't ever leave the shade the entire approach. We set off from the crossroads at 10:20 and rapped into the narrows around 3:30. Overall 12.5 hours car to car. Pretty satisfied considering it was our first time and we enjoyed some breaks. All anchors good. Though it is still pretty full, the heat has reduced water level to the point of 4 pothole escapes. The rest are beached whale/assistable. I wore a 4/3 and was good, dad wore a 3/2 and barely felt cold until the last section of narrows, and my girlfriend stacked a 3/2 with a 4/3 and never complained (she's small and is easily cold). Overall great time.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 29, 2015

Group of 4 did Left Sneak from the Grotto. 4 hours to the Crossroads, 4 more to the Narrows. Out to Temple in 9.5 hours.

Easiest conditions possible - no pack tosses, no potholes, everything was beached whale'd with ease. We were all comfortable with 5-7mm of neo. Trash compactor was pretty easy by comparison to previous conditions.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: September 1, 2014

Full to the brim. 3/2 or 4/3 should work nicely.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 31, 2014

The canyon was extremely full. No keepers or even semi keepers. The only real tough part was the log soup section in the first narrows of the second day (we camped before rap 19). We found it easier to take off packs and throw them in front of us and stem a bit above the water.

3 of us had 5mm full wetsuits and neoprene socks and were never cold. One person wore 2mm on bottom and got cold a couple times.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 9, 2014

three of us did top down. The spring was dry but the pools in the upper section were in and not exceptionally clean. The usual log soup section wasn't too long. The potholes were pretty much full except Bertha was about three feet from the lip. Anchors in good shape. Good times had by all.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 10, 2014

Completely full. 1st time through. Full Imlay. Group of 6. Only 1 virgin to Canyoneering. 18 hours from lava point to temple of sinawava. 5:10am - 11:15pm. Arrived at final rap just before dark. Last man down was in total darkness. 30 ft log jam with 50 yards of log soup in front of it proved to be challenging. 2-3 hours could be shaved off next time with the same group and same conditions now that we've been through once. AWESOME canyon! Definitely not for wimps!

Ropes: 200,120,120,60,50,40

Wetsuits: most were 4/3, at least one 3/2, no one got cold.