Not-Imlay Canyon for the First Time! Zion National Park, UT


A couple year ago, maybe more than a couple, when walking out the Narrows after Imlay one July, we found some people rapping into the Narrows in an odd place. "What was it like?"  I asked.

"A couple long rappels, kinda brushy, not so good" was the answer.

This was the canyon that starts at the between-the-passes of the Imlay Right-hand Sneak route, and ends up in the Narrows not far upcanyon from Mystery at the head of the Gooseneck.  I immediately labelled it "Not-Imlay" but had not gotten around to doing it, as it did not sound so hot, and rapped into the Narrows. On that July day, the Narrows was teeming with people - rapping into the river among them would require care, and if the canyon was not so hot, why bother?  The canyon got mentioned not and again - and the omnivorous Luke Galyan put together a crew and did it a couple years ago. Then Mike S. this spring...  seemed like about time for me!

The Fast Way UP?

The Fast Way UP?

Amanda went in for the permit the day before.

"Four for Not-Imlay, please."

The desk-person looked at her with an air of annoyance: "You guys gotta get a better name for that!"

While the winter has been dryish, it is still winter more or less, and our little crew was looking for a dryish canyon to do. Tuesday I had done Keyhole with an old friend, and while it was short and not all so cold, now I was thinking cold cold cold, and anything that involved getting wet was out! Not-Imlay seemed like a good choice, even if it was expected to be not so hot.

Our crew today was all-Zion Adventure Company: Amanda Jessop, Rich McIver and Kat Power. Out for a nice Thursday stroll...

We rallied up in the morning and hit the trail, even without a scone. No wetsuits - good. A big strong guy to carry the 300' rope - good. Snowed yesterday - uh, hope it does not amount to much!

Frosty north-facing descent

Frosty north-facing descent

We tried to get a ride up on the carts for the new Angels Landing zip-line, but without a ticket, they kicked us out. We proceeded to the Imlay Sneak Route, and soon turned right and entered the Not-Imlay drainage. Down we went, avoiding the water on the canyon floor by traversing dirt high above, soon arriving at a very nice slickrock area that lead us down to the first rappel. Down we went. The scenery was fantastic, and the canyon a dropper. Eventually there were some downclimbs, and a rap from a suspicious bolt. Finally a final rappel into the Narrows, a long one, maybe 240 feet. I got the rope and a piece of webbing tangled 15 feet off the ground, and Amanda got the pull-cord all tangled up. Woe be us... (hardly)!

Bottom Belay

Bottom Belay

Nice canyon. No water. Good stuff. Fun one.  9 am to 5 pm.