Irish Jihad 2013

This FAQ page was born out of a need to answer questions.  When designing the Irish Jihad we tried to keep the pages simple and clear.  However we knew there would be things we overlooked or didn't make clear.  With that in mind we decided to create this FAQ as a way to answer questions that arise as the event runs its course.  If the FAQ does not answer a question you have, feel free to ask us via email or you can ask questions in the forum where you might have heard about the event.

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 (24 hour period) 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.

Is the event name appropriate?

We understand that to some, Jihad may have some negative connotations.  It is  not the desire of the organizers of this event to create controversy or offend.  There are two commonly accepted meanings of Jihad:   An inner spiritual struggle and an outer physical struggle.  These struggles can sometimes take on a religious influence and can be violent or non-violent.  It is a shame that in the US we have become painfully aware of the extreme definition of this word. We understand feelings can run deep. Our sympathies go out to those who have suffered because of extremists. We apologize to any who may be offended.  

Completing the Irish Jihad route may prove to be both an inner struggle and an outer struggle to participants.

Has the Irish Jihad Event been cleared with the BLM?

We have a Letter of Agreement with the BLM. The Hanksville office was terrific in working with us and requiring the minimum from us to have this event. They could have required permits, fees, and insurance but in the end a simple Letter of Agreement was sufficient for both sides.

The parts of the agreement that canyoneers need to know about are these:
*If this event is held in the future, the BLM reserves the right to require an SRP (Special Recreation Permit)
*The BLM assumes no legal liability
*The restroom is available for use at Hog Springs Recreation Site. All other human waste must be packed out and properly disposed of.
*Help us clean up public lands by packing out ALL trash generated by your activity.
* No temporary or permanent structures or signs will be installed in the canyons or areas used for camping during the activity.
     Just to be on the safe side, we take this to mean no fixed ropes, either.
*Disorderly or otherwise objectionable conduct will not be tolerated and could be the basis for denial of similar agreements in the future. *Precautions must be made to protect natural resource values, cultural or historic objects, aesthetic values on public lands. (Fixed ropes could fall under this also)

Can I fix ropes in the Canyons Prior to Participation?

The Hanksville BLM office has been supportive of our event and has required the minimum from us.  We would like to remain in good standing with the BLM to make this event a success and possibly repeat the event in future years.  Part of our agreement was to not place any temporary or permanent signs or structures.  We have decided to include ropes in our interpretation of those rules just to be safe.

Who gets a Patch and who is entered in the drawing for prizes?

Everyone that donates or registers as a participant will receive an 2013 Irish Jihad patch after the end of the event.  Basically everyone that gets involved will receive a patch.  Those who participate in the Irish Jihad and successfully complete the route will also be entered in the drawing for additional prizes.

How do we Register as a Team?

Each person can register individually then notify us who is on your team and let us know if you have a team name.  If you know who is on your team or what your team name is you can give us the information on the registration form.  Or you can email us later and tell us who you are teaming up with and what team name you have decided on.

Optionally you can have one person register the entire team at once.  They can pay for all team members on the registration form by selecting the proper quantity on the registration form.  If one person registers an entire team all at once they should tell us the names of everyone on the team and the chosen team name when filling out the registration form.

If you have registered as individuals and later want to form a team, just send us an email and we will list you as a team.

In the end teams don't change anything about the event.  Teams are just a fun way to say who you will be with while participating in the Irish Jihad.  We will group participants together on the Irish Jihad Community Page as teams form.

We encourage people to form teams as a safety precaution.  It is always safer to travel with a partner(s).

Will I receive a package and if so When?

As the event nears the end date we will have a good idea of how many people have entered or donated to the event.  At that time we will order the needed number of patches to distribute to everyone.  After the close of the event we will mail out an Irish Jihad 3013 patch to everyone.

The drawing for the Prizes will be done after the close of the event.  After the drawing we will mail your prizes to you.

So in short you will not receive any packages until after the event has closed.

Why does the registration form say a package will be shipped?

North Wash Outfitters is assisting us with collection of participant fees and donations since they have a payment system already in place.  Part of the payment process says a package will be delivered to you via UPS.  The message is part of the ordering process and does not apply to the Irish Jihad 2013 event.   As the event comes to a close the organizers of the event will mail out patches and drawing prizes.  This mailing is not connected with North Wash Outfitters.

After registering you may receive an email saying your order was shipped.  The email is simply a confirmation saying everything was processed.  There will be no packages shipped until after the Irish Jihad 2013 event has ended.

How do I prove route completion and time?

The event is not organized on any one day.  Each person decides when they want to participate and simply does so on their own schedule and own time with no supervision.  Reporting completion of the Irish Jihad Route is done on the honor system.  You don't need to send us photos with time stamps, send in GPS waypoints or track logs or prove to us in any way that you have completed the route.  We trust that the canyoneering community is comprised of individuals who are trustworthy and will be honest.

Why don't you use GPS or Digital Photos for proof of route completion?

GPS track logs, waypoints, digital photos and other digital forms of information all have time stamps recorded within the file.  These time stamps can be used as proof that someone had been where they said they were.  However the time stamps are easily altered with freely available software making it possible for people to make false claims.  This makes digital forms of proof unreliable if people choose to be dishonest.  Rather than find a way to police the event we have chosen to trust in the honest nature of our friends in the canyoneering community.

Why should I NOT reveal route time?

The Hanksville office of the BLM has been wonderful. In explaining to them what we want to do and why, they were lenient in their negotiations.  One of the organizers has put their name to the agreement saying we would behave according to their rules. We weren't required to apply for a permit, pay fees, or get insurance. They took us at our word when they were told canyoneers are an honorable bunch.

One of the big issues is being a competition. I think we would all agree that rushing through a canyon is risky business and that human nature makes us want to be the biggest, bestest, strongest and fastest.

We have purposely avoided using the word 'competition' in describing our event. A head to head competition would most likely lead to very bad relations with BLM and other government agencies in UT (parks service, forest service, etc); and, lead to having to apply for permits or being denied completely in the future.

How awful would it be for SAR to spend thousand of dollars rescuing individuals and receive only a few hundred dollars from the Jihad donations.

We decided, in the planning period, to keep peoples' times confidential until after the event to keep the naturally occurring competition to a mild roar. That hopefully keeps us and you from some unnecessary legal, financial, and physical risk.

We need your help in this. We need you to agree to not publicly reveal your times. We would hate to have to make it a condition of participation.

How can I donate but not participate?

If you would like to donate to SAR but not participate in the event, you may do so in $15.00 dollar increments.  For example choosing a quantity of 3 on the registration form will charge you $45.00 and proceeds will be donated to SAR.  To donate simply fill out the registration form and select the option for "donate only" then fill out the remainder of the form.  Your money will go to the SAR fund.  You will also be included in the list of people who receive an Irish Jihad 2013 Patch after the close of the event.

What if I don't have technical experience?

Each of the Irish Canyons are technical slot canyons with a 2A or 3A rating on them. Although, they are beginner friendly, basic technical skills are required. One must know how to setup and rappel safely. Depending on when the canyons are done, building natural anchors may be required. If you would like to support our cause, you may make a donation by going here

What if I am looking for Partners

Finding partners can be difficult at times.  The hardest part is finding the right combination of people that are crazy enough to try this, who are technically capable and are people you would like to spend many hours with during a long physically taxing day.  A search for that combination is best left to the individual.

If you can't find partners in your personal contacts you can post a partner request on any of the canyoneering related forums you are affiliated with.  A lot of friendships have been made over the years by people asking for partners this way.

With that said if you still can not find partners and want some you can send the organizers an email at  We DON NOT guarantee we will find a partner for you.  We can however gather the requests and introduce people to one another and let them work it out from there.

What if I am not familiar with the area?

If you have the technical skills to complete the routes that is half of the battle.  The other half is being familiar with the area.  Simply having route descriptions and following them would not be very productive when attempting to do all 7 in a day.  Some of the canyons can be upclimbed while others can not.  There are places to escape the canyons to circle back to the top to start another fork.  There are other nuances you may notice as you become familiar.  These things can be very important when planning a route that will be efficient enough for you to realistically complete the route in 24 hours.

It is possible to complete the route if you are unfamiliar with the area but it would be a difficult task.

What you do have on your side is time!  The event is open from March 17th through May 30th.  If you live close enough to the area you can make a couple weekend visits and get familiar with the place by descending various canyons on your days there.  As you get a sense of the place you can begin to formulate a plan of attack.  Planning your route and making it happen is a large part of the fun, its a mental game as well as physical.  Route descriptions for each of the canyons is available here on BluuGnome.  Links to each one is listed on the main Irish Jihad Page. 

If you would like to prepare for future tech canyon events, you can take canyon courses through a trained guide like those offered at North Wash Outfitters.