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Newb question about the subway.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dan H, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. Dan H

    Dan H FNG

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    Location:
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    I am a newb who will be leading newbs down the subway at the end of the month (in theory). If it is too blown out for us to go top down we may attempt a bottom up hike, the question is, is it possible to upclimb the final rappel at the subway? Pure curiosity. Thanks for being tolerant and harshly judgmental at the same time.
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  2. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    I don't know your climbing skills, so I'm going to go with 'maybe.' I can say that it has been done. You wouldn't climb the current rappel line directly, the climbing is done on the right side LUC, which does mean you have to cross the waterfall gap to proceed upcanyon. From my experience the climb is generally attempted from an obvious slab/groove around the corner from the rappel line, nearer to the waterfall. Having not bothered to attempt it myself I can't rate the difficulty except to say that it looks like the most difficult part would be getting started, particularly depending on how deep/high the water is at the base of the climb.
  3. Dan H

    Dan H FNG

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    I doubt it will even come up but it is good information. Climbing shoes are a light thing to add to the pack but I’m not sure the little bit of extra canyon would be worth the effort required to get to it if we aren’t able to come from above. In all my research on going the last week of April it looks like it could be suicide or a walk in the park. Thank you. I still hold out hope that we will be able to come from the top but it’s supposed to snow this week yet again. Not the best winter to get into canyoneering.
  4. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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    Question: I was wondering if one could approximate the flow rate of North Creek by comparing the flow rate of the Virgin in Springdale and St. George?
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Climbing shoes would not be helpful. I have done that climb up several times, almost always when there was a log there to help with the start. If you have a cooperative (preferably large) person to help boost you up, that is what would really work. Then you would want to do the LEAP to get across so you can go up-canyon. I would recommend rappelling to get back down.

    To get to that spot sometimes requires swimming two pools - aka you will want to have wetsuits.

    Tom
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    No. It would not give you a fine enough measurement of the Left Fork flow to do you any good. There are too many other sources of inflow and change to get a handle on the Left Fork flow from that comparison.

    It is just a matter of GOING!

    Tom
  7. Dan H

    Dan H FNG

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    Would there be any value in hiking to the confluence of left and right fork using the right fork trail on Saturday if our permits are for Sunday?
  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Yes maybe. There are several inflows into the stream between the Subway and the confluence, so it would be challenging to judge how much is too much. However, if it was clearly in flood, it would give you a definite NO. And it might be a nice hike anyway.

    Tom
  9. Dan H

    Dan H FNG

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    The definite No is exactly what I would be looking for. If I find a definitive no then we can relax and find some other exploring to do.
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  10. cboswel1

    cboswel1

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    Some LE's from the park descended the Subway on Friday in response to a call and reported back that the conditions were not ideal for even experienced groups. Take that for what you will, but the conversation was in the more candid sense and not the type you'd typically receive from the backcountry desk. If you or your party are newbs as you claim, I would highly suggest making alternative plans.
    hank moon and ratagonia like this.
  11. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    @Dan H Seems like the snow is melting rather quickly, I wouldn't rule out the Subway being possible by the end of the month. Hopefully there will be more trip reports a few days before your trip to help you get a better idea of what you might be in store for. That said definitely have a backup and don't hesitate to bail if anything makes you feel uncomfortable
  12. CRNPRES

    CRNPRES

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    There is a SNOTEL site that you can reference. Right now it is showing 1" of snow water equivalency melted in the last 24 hours.

    To give you an idea on the Saturday spoken above there was .5" of snow water equivalency melted in 24 hours was estimated to be over 20 CFS.

    There is still 31.5" up there at the SNOTEL site so high flow will continue for awhile.

    Even hiking down into the drainage to where Das Boot comes in, you will not know how much higher it may get due to increased melting as it warms up throughout the day (or how quick). I wouldn't put much weight on downstream since you would have to get lucky and see the peak to actually get good data (obviously if its way too big you could use it to decide not to). There is also a huge advantage to having done the canyon prior to high flow - you can judge the flow better, you know possible escapes, and possible obstacles that are hidden under the flow.

    This is just a reference. With day and night temps, you can make an educated guess but its still a gamble.
  13. Dan H

    Dan H FNG

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the input. It is looking more and more likely that we will be doing bottom up if we can go at all. I am planning to get shut down that way we don’t get stuck on going no matter what, leading to rescue or tragedy.
  14. baggiebloke

    baggiebloke

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    If you want an adventure, and can save the Subway for another day, there are other technical canyons nearby that are beginner suitable, do not require permits, and don’t have a lot of drainage or snow melt.

    Diana Throne Canyon between Mt Carmel Jct and Kanab is bone dry right now. I took 8 people down it last week, with two sets of ropes to keep it moving, and shot through in 2 hours. 2 of us were climbers so we could supervise each rope. Rappels are short and suitable for beginners. It is used by guides for obvious reasons.

    Water Canyon in Hildale is receding fast (most the snow on plateau is gone), and there are different options for where you start and finish. Still need a wetsuit. In general, the higher you start, the more and longer the rappels. I would suggest this is not suitable for a large party (>4), or someone with no rappel experience, but everything is rigged because of the number of guided parties that use this canyon.


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  15. Dan H

    Dan H FNG

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    Location:
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    I was thinking of Diana’s throne but we will be there before sr9 opens back up so we will stick to stuff accessible from Springdale. Any other good beginner canyons from the main canyon?
  16. baggiebloke

    baggiebloke

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    Ouch SR-9 closure really screws things up if you are staying in Springdale. Can’t get to Eastern area; can’t get in the Narrows because it is in flood; many of trails from main canyon closed for rockfall; Kolob terrace trailheads either snowed up or canyons in flood. You could do laps of Angels Landing???

    Seriously take a look at trails on Canaan Mountain to the south - it is overlooked gem of the area in my opinion, and is lot less crowded than Zion

    For technical canyon...look to the Leeds area, including Yankee Doodle. Similar to Diana’s Throne.

    Also, while not a technical canyon, a beginner group will find Kanarra Creek fun, with its two ladders up waterfalls. It doesn’t have a large catchment basin above it, and I have never been in more than ankle/calf deep water, when at same time Narrows has been closed due to snow melt flood.

    When it looked like SR-9 was shut in March, I actually canceled my watchman campground reservations for 1st week April, and based our trip out of Kanab/Paria. While Zion is a beautiful place, the trail, road and narrows closures really limit what you can do from Springdale itself. We were arriving from Vegas, so Kanab was about the same drive as Springdale, and no one in my party objected because it increased our options. The western GSENM has a lot more dry and/or less flood prone options - Round Valley Draw, Bull Valley Gorge, Wire/Buckskin Day Hike and Dunham (the latter the only real technical on this list), but are grand adventures for beginners.





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  17. Dan H

    Dan H FNG

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    Location:
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    Another question - where is the best beta for the approach from wildcat if it turns out we can do the top down route?
  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    https://www.canyoneeringusa.com/zion/technical/subway-top-down

    And a fold up brochure with that printed on shiny (but not waterproof) paper is available, from CUSA or in Sdale at ZAC and at the V Center bookstore.

    Also available en Espanol.

    Tom

    IML ElMetro 1200.
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