Imlay Canyonfire long term review

OK so I’ve been using this rope for a while now and T2 gave me a gentle nudge on https://canyoning.org.au to do the long term review I had promised on my original review so here it is.

I like them.

I like them so much I bought more in different lengths

Oh, you want some thing more substantial. OK

So a quick count up say’s I’ve used the original rope in over 50 canyons. Without thinking too much on it I’d have a conservative guestimate of an average of 3 drops and 4 people per trip that’s at least 600 descents on the rope.

So how’s it holding up?

Pretty bloody good to be honest. There is one bit where the sheath is a bit fluffy from someone taking a swinger and it dragging across a rock but all in all it still looks new.

The one bit of the sheath that is showing a bit of abuse

Feel: My original impression was the rope had a wirey feel and while it does soften a bit with use it still has a wirey feel. The newer one is less wirey (I believe Tom changed his weave slightly) but they are still wirey compared to other static ropes.

Handling: I also said it felt like it may be prone to tangles and knotts. This simply hasn’t been the case. It’s been pretty faultless and needs no more care on throw or pull down than any other rope.

They can be a bit hot on the hands when dry but I’ve recently retired by 20yr old Kong Robot and have been using a Crittr which has better control on skinny ropes, especially when going single rope and so I’m back to not wearing gloves.

Descent: On descent the rope feels great, some ropes I’ve used in the last few years feel like you are abseiling on a dynamic rope with the rope stretching as you get on and off ledges and juttering on over hung descents. Not so with the Imlay, no bobbing up and down, no juttering, just smooth descents

Water absorption: This is the other thing I love about these ropes. The tight weave just doesn’t seem to soak up water making them nice and light for the walk out without relying on stretchy waterproof/floating fibres.

Final Thoughts: So that’s it I’m more than happy with the Imlay and while I’ve had the chance to try a lot of other ropes while heading out with a few different groups I’m yet to try anything that would have me veering away from this rope in future purchases.

Cost: Imlay now has a local distributor and you can pick up the canyon fire for around $3.99/m

Specs: Imlay lists the rope specs as

ModelRated StrengthWeight grams/meterWeight lbs/100 feetWeight lbs/200 feet
8.3mm Canyon Fire4100 lbF57.3 g/m3.85 lbs/100ft7.70 lbs/200ft

The Blue water 8mm Canyon rope is lighter at 40g/m and has a higher tensile strength at 5000lbf(2.2kn) but it is $150 more expensive for a 60m rope.

Colours: Imlay has expanded the colour choice a bit. I’m not fussed on colours but it is handy to easily differentiate your different length ropes

canyonfire
Rope brand new out of box
Rope after an estimated 600 descents

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Galah Canyon

04/11/2018

Madie, Naomi and meee

My plans for the weekend were not going to plan but Sunday suddenly freed up and I thought Madie had a trip sorted out so I send her a quick message to see what she was up to and whether I can jump in on it. The reply was ” Nothing planned let’s do something”

Galah it is then.

Naomi joined us and we set off from the car park in high spirits.

The constant banter saw us eat up the walk in no time flat and before we knew it we were suiting up.

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Naomi modelling the latest trends for the fashion conscious canyoner

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Revelling in the the grandeur of a short tunnel like section ©Madie

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Naomi on the short abseil we would climb back up later in the day

And then the canyon opens back out and we wander down the pleasant creek to the main section.

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Time to throw ropes ©Madie

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The lower section starts with this impressive drop and then just gets better

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Finding the easy/fun way down the slippery wall

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Madie!

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It’s a really bad rope pull, you’d be better off pulling the rope on the boulder and sliding down the log on the next drop.

How did you get down the log? Asks Naomi

I’ll teach you to hump it. Says Madie. I’m a log humping expert…..

 

The canyon here is deep and impressive. A stunning bit of canyon

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Naomi at the top of the “Guide book abseil”

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Not quite how it looks in the guide book

We stuff around trying to re-enact the pose that features on the back of the 5th edition of the Jameison guide

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Ok so Madie is not wearing stubbies, volleys or a terry towelling hat as David Stuckey did when he posed for the shot that became the image on the back cover of the guide book and she is standing a bit to far along the log but we got close going from memory.

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Strike a pose

The other big difference is the  water levels. In the image on the guide book the water is all but covering the log and there is a nice flow coming under the chock stone above.

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Did I mention its a stunning section of canyon

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Remember to look up

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If memory serves me correctly you knit one pearl 2… ©Naomi

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©Madie

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©Madie

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Where would you rather be

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And then the canyon opens out. Tom rates it an 8/10 and I’d have to agree, if only the constriction was a tad longer it would be a solid 10/10

But we still need to get out and after a bit of route finding we pick up the right trail and find the climb where we decide to play it safe and belay each other up.

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I go up using a prusik on the fixed line for safety ©Madie

Then set a top belay for the girls

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©Madie

The exit follows the bottom of the top cliffline back around to meet the creek just below the upper section of canyon. From there we have a couple of options but choose to reverse up through the top section.

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a fairly simple climb up the first abseil

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From there we have a few deep wades and slippery climbs. Not wanting to either put wetsuits back on or soak dry clothes we opt for a quick undie run. Avert your eyes girls…

Naomi learns the hard way about the difference in grip on wet rock between bestards and her trail running shoes. Madie and I pretty much walked up the larger climb. Naomi had a couple of failed attempts resulting in some slides and loss of skin before we set rope on a meat anchor for her.

And before long we are back at the change point putting dry clothes back on for the stroll out.

Group size: 3. All experienced

Timing: 7.5hrs not rushing but not dawdling either.

Earth. it’s the insane asylum of the universe

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