Awesome canyon.. potholes pretty full. Had Temple of Sinawava to myself at dusk.
Did the sneak route. Took about 8 hours. Awesome awesome canyon.
Five people 21 hours and a very nice bus stop bivy. The narrows are nice in the dark.
On my Birthday! Potholes only offered minor impediment, as they were mostly filled in. We still used a hooks on some of the potholes, but the struggle wasn't too great. Greatly enhanced by teamwork. The last sequence is great, and the opening/drop into the Narrows impressive. Barely got out the canyon when massive thunderstorm hit, we hiked out of the Narrows in a lightning show.
We did it in a group of four. The pools were full and so we were able to move fast. We went through in 11 hours.
Sometime in 06 ? water at 1/2 capacity. very pretty final rap !
My partner and I descended the full canyon from Lava Point to Temple of Sinewava in 12h 30min. We would've broken 12 hours but I had to hike back up the Narrows section to retrieve a camera that was forgotten at the bottom of the ultimate rap.
The water was low. But we still only hooked out of 2 keeper holes. We did various bag tosses and an improvised and tenuous zip-line escape. No partner assists were necessary.
This was my 2nd 'technical' canyon. I was expecting a long and cold enduro day so we pushed it over easy terrain and downclimbed when possible to save time. I was a bit concerned that my shortee wetsuit would leave me cold but it worked well for me. FYI, this is a very committing environment and if your strategy backfires there could be very serious consequences.
2008 September 21: Full Imlay from Potato Hollow. Very long 22-hour adventure from the West Rim trailhead to Sinawava, with Rick Kent and Seahorse. Our group was perfect, with two very good climbing partners and one big Day Hiker to provide forklift and elevator assistance where required.
The water level is low, and all the lower section's potholes require a great deal of planning and effort to escape. Some of these keeper potholes were in succession, with no reprieve in-between. Since we entered the final section at dusk, we were forced to overcome most of the difficult pothole problems with only the light of headlamps. This final section of about one-third mile took about five hours.
I am glad to have done Imlay in these difficult conditions. If we had full potholes that required no difficult exit strategies, I would feel short-changed. I don't know how Imlay is in "easy" conditions, but with low water levels, it definitely stands out above other canyons in terms of difficulty and duration.
2010 October 02: Sneak Route with Rick Kent and Darija. Having been there once before, along with easier pothole conditions, made for a faster trip this time. Doing the final section in the daylight certainly helped speed things up too.
And once committed to the final pothole section, the day's 20% chance of precipitation decided to manifest itself in the form of every canyoneer's favorite: loud, booming thunder and then rain.
What an incredible experience. I suffered some mild hypothermia, even with a drysuit on....
One of the first canyons I did (September 1990). From Potato Hollow. It took us three days.
Difficulty depends on conditions. Sometimes a rap and swim canyon and sometimes quite challenging (when empty).
Would be a very hard to do "clean" without using any of the bolts or hook holes in low water conditions.