CANYONEERING PACKS Heaps Kolob Spry Mystery Leprechaun
CANYONEERING ROPE 8.3mm Canyon Fire 8mm Canyon Rope 9mm Canyon Rope 6mm Pull Cord
ROPE TOOLS Rope Silo Small & Large Bagarino Bagette
KEEPING STUFF DRY Small Canyon Keg Large Canyon Keg
ACCESSORIES The Clipster Scuttlebutt The Book

Pot Shots

Keeper potholes are one of the most-feared hazards found in canyons, and for good reason. Not escaping that keeper pothole means your canyon expedition has ground to a halt, and you might be bivied there, for a long time.

Soon after discovering keeper potholes, many canyoneers discover the "Pack Toss" as a method for getting past them. Tie a rope to your partner's pack, throw it across the pothole and over the opposite edge, and use the trailing rope to pull yourself out of the pothole. This works fairly well, but for longer and more difficult throws, there is the Pot Shot. Like a little Cordura purse, Pot Shots filled with sand on the spot makes the technique much, MUCH more effective.

I know they don't look like much -- little bags of Cordura, with some straps -- but...

This IS the Pot Shot 2, after all, the revised edition: while simple, the design is also sophisticated. Just the right size for throwing across forty-foot potholes, the slightly-tapered shape helps them empty out cleaner when used stacked for anchors. The outside straps are bartacked for strength, and a strap across the bottom is used as the "cleaning clip-in point" when stacked for anchors. Two belts go around the body, HELPING prevent blowout. (When landing with too great a force, for instance from a great height, the expansive force will blow out the side seams. Be careful how high you throw them from.)

Drawstring top. Uh... well, that's about it.

7 ounces (200 grams)

My first experience in a pothole canyon, Quandary Direct, taught me a valuable lesson. It seems obvious in retrospect, but it is essentially impossible to get an effective toss when treading water in a pothole. It is very important to do the toss BEFORE getting down into the water. For those who have not pot-holed, Quandary Direct in the San Rafael Swell is a good learning canyon.

Pot Shots have been used stacked as anchors, but the SandTrap is much easier to use, and has a much, MUCH larger margin for error. Many will enjoy the discussion on both over at the Bogley Internet Forum.

We carry Pot Shots when using the SandTrap, to carry sand to the Trap when the Trap location is devoid of good sand. Pot Shots are carried as a matter-of-course when there might be difficult-to-escape potholes - basically on Colorado Plateau explorations outside Zion.

Pot Shots CAN blow out at the seams, so we consider two to be the minimum Pot Shot "kit". Long throws necessarily require a lighter Shot. For the longest shots we have used four Pot Shots, each on a separate rope. Climbing multiple ropes out of a pothole can be a substantial athletic challenge, so be sure to bring a climbing 'gun' to do that!


Imlay Canyon Gear

PO Box 5532
2625 S State Street
Mount Carmel   Utah   USA   84755
voice 435-648-3089
fax 435-304-0096