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Trip Report: Canyoneering in Zion NP (page 8)
All photos by Todd unless otherwise noted.

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As our grand finale for the week Tom, Aaron and Todd set out for a day trip via the shortcut route to Imlay Canyon. The group departs before dawn and with a brisk pace arrives at the crossroad entrance to the canyon at 7:40am only to find that Aaron's wet suit (which was attached to the outside of his pack) had fallen off at some point during the approach. Doh! He heads back to see if he can find it, and fortunately comes across it only 20 minutes back up the trail.
Disaster (or at the very least, a major inconvenience) averted, we gear up and dive in to the canyon, soon reaching the first rappel. The Imlay Rope Silo in the foreground has proven to be a boon in canyons with lots of water like this one since it keeps your rope afloat. You should buy one right away.
Though we're prepared to tackle the many keeper potholes for which Imlay is noted (or notorious), recent rains have filled the canyon to the brim and there isn't a keeper to be found. A bit of a disappointment.
Here's yet another photo of the famous simul-rap from the natural arch. It's a pretty picture, but is a scene that I'm actually getting a little tired of (not unlike the Golden Cathedral in Neon).
It's a little brighter further down canyon (a welcome sight since it had been cloudy all morning). This photo was taken just downstream of the basketball Jones feature which, since the canyon is so full, any white man could jump.
There are several obscure references in the preceding sentence that I would be happy to patiently (and patronizingly) explain. 1 - Basketball Jones is a parody song written by Cheech and Chong and released on their 1973 Los Cochinos album, 2 - the formation in question is a hoop shaped/sized pothole, canyoneers are able to bypass a keeper pothole by leaping over it and catching the rim of the formation, an act not unlike dunking a basketball, 3 - 'White Men Can't Jump' is a 1992 movie starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.
Now that that's done, can I get you a cookie?
Here's Tom at one of the many short rappels..
The high water levels have reduced several of the short rappels to short down climbs or slides. Here we are entering the final series of drops.
Tom completes the final rap, takes a bow, and the fat lady sings.
A successful trip by any standards, we return with the same number of people we started with ("Our track record was due for improvement." Tom wryly notes when presented with this impressive statistic), and everyone is tired but happy. We return to the 'fake' world of cars and computers, responsibilities to fulfill and petty duties with which to attend. I'll end with an Edward Abbey quote:
One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.
             -Edward Abbey
Oops, ... ah.... how'd that get in there? That doesn't apply to our group, must be something wrong with my pasting button, let's try this one:
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you --- beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.
             -Edward Abbey
The cost of any such trip can not be measured only in terms of physical effort, you must also include gear destroyed or lost. Here's the tally for the week:
Steph (1'st Place): escaped unscathed
Todd (2'nd Place): 200 ft rope became core shot at the mid-point and is now 2x100 ft ropes
Tom (3'rd Place): 100 ft rope stuck at the top of the last series of rappels in Heaps - 50 ft recovered, Black Diamond ATC lost in a pool in Imlay, brand new holes in brand new backpack
Aaron (Last Place): 5 MP digital camera, death by drowning
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