Irish Jihad 2013

What is the Irish Jihad?

In the North Wash area there are 7 popular canyons that have Irish themed names; 3 forks of Leprechaun Canyon, 2 forks of Blarney Canyon and 2 forks of Shillelagh Canyon.  The routes are short and it is common for canyoneers to combine canyons and do 2 or sometimes 3 a day.  But what if you were to do all seven in a day?  Would you be able to complete them?  Jihad is a term that can take various meanings.  Two of the more common translations are struggle and holy war.  Doing all seven of the Irish Canyons in a day can definitely be a struggle and may even feel like a holy war.  So the term Irish Jihad is born!

The Irish Jihad event is aimed at creating a fun event for the canyoneering community and to raise funds for both the Garfield and Wayne County SAR teams.  All proceeds will be donated to SAR.

Irish Jihad Map

Example Pic. The red triangles at the top mark the top of each of the seven canyons. 
The light blue lines show the canyons themselves.
The orange lines show the lower non-technical portions of the canyons all the way to the pavement where they meet highway 95. 
The olive green lines show the commonly used approach routes to the heads of the canyon.

Irish Jihad - Route Rules

The Irish Jihad route includes all seven of the Irish Canyons.  You have to travel all parts of the canyons at least once.  You do not have to complete the portions of the canyon below each confluence more than once.  For example there are 3 forks to the Leprechaun Canyon system.  You do not need to complete the lower half of the canyon three times.  But you do need to complete the lower section at least once.  The portions of the canyon you must be in are the blue lines and the orange lines shown on the map.  You do not have to travel any part of the approach routes shown in olive green.

IrishJihad-CanyonMap.jpg (to load into a gps or mapping software). (to load into a Google Earth).
Right click any of the links and click "save as" to download.

There is no specific order to the route as long as you complete all seven of the Irish Canyons in a 24 hour period.  You can go up or down the canyons, in any order you like.  You can find your way between canyons on the road at the bottom, or cross country at the top of the canyons or even connect canyons by traveling cross country somewhere in between.  The route you choose is your choice entirely.  Plan your route, put on your game face and make it happen!

The Irish Jihad route begins and ends at the Sandthrax Camp area (shown on the map).  The entire Irish Jihad route is to be done on foot.

No support vehicles, no support crew.  No support other than your team taking care of themselves.  It is a good idea to have extra food, water, gear etc to last the entire day.  Feel free to stash gear and supplies along your route for safety and lighter in canyon travel.  Please clean up after yourself when you are done.

The Irish Jihad route is meant to be completed in a 24 hour period.  This means that from the time you start from the Sandthrax Camp, you have 24 hours to complete the route.  The time includes rest breaks, food breaks, bio breaks or any other activity you choose to partake in.  The clock never stops running until you are back at the Sandthrax Camp.  Once back at camp, write your time down, but don't tell anyone. Times must not be shared with anyone, other than the organizers until after the event.

There can be many interpretations of what is the head of a canyon and what is the end of a canyon.  The end of each canyon for this event is where the route ends at the pavement of highway 95.  The top of each canyon is what is described in the route descriptions for the canyons here on

Leprechaun Right (east) Fork has an optional rappel up canyon of what is referred to as the head of the canyon in the BluuGnome route description.  For purposes of this event that rappel is still optional and does not need to be descended.

Route descriptions for the individual routes are available here on
Shillelagh Left (west) Fork
Shillelagh Right (east) Fork
Blarney Left (west) Fork
Blarney Right (east) Fork
Leprechaun Left (west) Fork
Leprechaun Middle Fork
Leprechaun Right (east) Fork

Canyoneering and the activities comprising this sport are inherently risky. I understand by participating in the Irish Jihad 2013 event I am personally responsible for my actions, safety, choices and the results thereof. I further understand that I am participating with my own gear and equipment, at my own pace and on my own time wherein the event organizers, sponsors, and donation recipients are not on hand for support. I further acknowledge that I am participating in this event voluntarily and out of my own free will and I will not hold any government agency, the event organizers, sponsors or donation recipients of this event liable in any way. I have read, understand and agree to this limitation.

Mum's the word, I further understand that my time for the event is to be kept confidential until the end of the event. I will report my time only to the organizers I understand that I may be disqualified from the event if my time becomes public before the official end of the event, May 30.

Sponsor Information

Example Pic.

BluuGnome offers a growing collection of canyoneering route descriptions and is a proud sponsor of the Irish Jihad aimed at raising funds for SAR, offering a fun challenge and promoting a sense of connection within the canyoneering community.

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North Wash Outfitters is an ACGA certified guide service offering guided trips and American Canyoneering Academy approved training courses as well as having available all the gear you need to get in and out of the canyons through our online store. We are located in Southeastern Utah in the town of Blanding.

Example Pic.

Stan's Burger Shak in Hanksville Utah is proud to be a sponsor for Irish Jihad 2013!
Stan's Burger Shak will match collected funds up to a maximum of $500.

Duke and Jessica Alvey, owners of Stan's Burger Shak/Chevron and Whispering Sands Hotel in Hanksville, are also members of the Wayne County High Angle SAR Team. They are embracing the canyoneering community in a variety of ways. They have a small selction of canyon gear for sale in their store; harnesses, helmets, carabiners, gloves, etc. If you forgot something, they may be able to salvage your weekend. They have also started a community board located outside on the front of their building. Canyoneers are welcome to leave messages regarding your whereabouts, canyon/road conditions, etc.

As an added bonus Stan's Burger Shak will also provide a free shake to those who complete the Jihad. On your way home from the canyons, stop in and claim a tasty frozen mound of deliciousness.

Example Pic.

Tom Jones of Imlay Canyon Gear is happy to be a sponsor for Irish Jihad 2013!
Tom will be adding a few pieces of Imlay Canyon Gear for prizes in the drawing.  The prizes are growing!  Thanks Tom.

Check out the Canyoneering USA for store, tech tips, beta and more.

Penny Martens, Matt Williams and Luke Galyan (BluuGnome) are the originators of this event and will be your coordinators.  Feel free to contact us through the email account for the 2013 Irish Jihad,


The registration period is from February 1st through April 15th.  All registrants and donors will receive a patch as the event comes to a close and will receive them by mail.  Participants who successfully complete the Irish Jihad Route will be entered in a drawing for prizes.  Late registration is not allowed.

Prizes for the drawing are:

  •  Imlay Canyon Gear Sandtrap
  • Imlay Canyon Gear Leprechaun Pack
  • Imlay Canyon Gear Rope Bag or Potshot (depending on availability)
  • Imlay Canyon Gear Rope Bag or Potshot (depending on availability)
  • Rest Stop Bucket Toilet
  • Gnome Gear Smooth Operator (BluuGnome version of the Fiddlestick)
  • Gnome Gear Smooth Operator (BluuGnome version of the Fiddlestick)

You can register as an individual or as a team.  Each person can register as an individual and tell us who is on your team and your chosen team name on the registration form while registering.  Or you can email us later to tell us who is on your team and what you have chosen for a team name.  Optionally one person can register for the entire team at the time of registration by selecting the quantity on the registration form and listing all of the names of your team mates and the chosen team name.  If you decide later you want to team up with someone, simply email us and we will group you together as a team when listing you on the Irish Jihad Community Page.

The cost of registration for the Irish Jihad 2013 event is $15.00.  You can also donate funds in excess of your registration fee if you wish donate more to SAR.  This can be done in $15.00 dollar increments by choosing a larger quantity on the registration form.  For example a quantity of 3 would charge you 45 dollars where 15 dollars is your registration fee and the additional 30 dollars goes to SAR.

If you would like to donate without actually participating in the event, you may do so in $15.00 dollar increments.  To donate simply fill out the registration form and select the option for "donate only" and fill out the remainder of the form to donate.  When you donate you can optionally use the comments section to indicate a team or person you are rooting for and the community page will reflect your comments.  You can also donate funds in excess of your registration fee if you wish to participate and donate more to SAR.

The registration form and payments will be hosted by North Wash Outfitters. 
Visit the registration form page at

We have started an Irish Jihad FAQ page to answer questions that have come up.  If something is unclear to you and you want clarification, please check the FAQ page first.  If your question is not there feel free to email us and ask.

Event Duration

The start date for the Irish Jihad is Sunday March 17th, 2013, St. Patrick's Day.  The end date for the Irish Jihad event is May 30th, 2013.

Reporting Completion

Email us at to report completing the route.  The deadline for reporting is midnight June 5, 2013.  If competing as a team list the time and the names of the people completing the route.  The Irish Jihad is not a competitive event so remember to keep your time under your hat. Don't tell others what your time is.  No hinting. No nothing.

Irish Jihad 2013 Community Page

A page devoted to the people of Irish Jihad 2013 will be maintained from the start of registration through the end of the event.  The Irish Jihad Community Page is the place to keep an eye on to see who has registered, who has completed and check on final reports. 
Here is your link to the Irish Jihad 2013 Community Page.