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News Subway (Zion) Conditions - ongoing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ratagonia, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    April 8, 2019

    Christian Boswell reported:
    Some LE's from the park descended the Subway on Saturday (April 6, 2019) 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.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  2. cboswel1

    cboswel1

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    Apologies, this was Saturday April 6th, not Friday the 5th.
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Thanks. updated above.
  4. YoungBuck

    YoungBuck

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    I had descended Saturday the 30th of March. The flow was manageable at that time, but there was still a massive amount of snow up top waiting to melt, this report doesn't surprise me much.
  5. Jman

    Jman

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    Were you in the group that was wearing wetsuits we talked to by the exit hill and said it was completely miserable wearing them?


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  6. YoungBuck

    YoungBuck

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    Possibly, we didn't take them off until the base of the exit hill and consistently took swimming breaks to cool off. We finished semi-early, back to our car around 3:30.

    Unless you are talking about being miserably cold in the canyon itself, if so that was not us.


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  7. Jman

    Jman

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    That explains those earlier footsteps that we saw in the canyon. A ranger at the Left Fork trailhead said today was one of the first groups through the top-down group in about two weeks. So yea. that wasn’t you guys then we talked too.

    We talked to a group of 4 who said wetsuits (in the canyon) was one of the worst decisions they made that day. The two ladies were very miserable and had chattering teeth but didn’t want to spend extra money on a drysuit.

    We had 5 in our group all in drysuits and had a great time!


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  8. YoungBuck

    YoungBuck

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    Definitely not us. Two of us were in 5mm wetsuits, with the rest having slightly more neoprene. No one was sweating in the canyon, but other than some nippy fingers everyone was happy with the temperatures the wetsuits kept us at.

    I can see how anyone not used to the water temps and/or in less neoprene could have been miserable going through there.
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  9. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    I went through yesterday, and while I certainly wouldn't send newbs in there anytime soon, I never felt like there was anything dangerous for our group. Maybe a little higher than @YoungBuck pics, but not by much. Not sure if the flow peaked on the 6th and is now dropping or what, but that was my take.
  10. YoungBuck

    YoungBuck

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    How snowy was the approach @Tom Collins? We were crunching on several inches of snow from before the trail head to the slick rock turn off.

    A ranger who stopped us to check our permit(bringing me up to a total of 5 LE run-in's in Zion in March) said that most the snow at Wildcat trail head had melted off while we had being doing Subway and anyone who had driven all the way in(to the parking lot past the road closed signs at the base of the hill) might have problems getting out of the mud it had become.
  11. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    There was some snow on the approach hike, but we were on mud most of the way
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  12. GravityWins

    GravityWins

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    I would somewhat needlessly echo Tom's advice that newbs not try Subway/Das Boot during the melt. On my last trip through Das Boot Nov 24 2018 I remember one spot that would be a definite strainer in flow with another possible strainer that could trap the unwary.

    On the 30th based on the snow up top and the melt we made the decision early in the hike to to skip Das Boot. We errored on the side of logic and safety. At the confluence of Russell and Das Boot I would guess that at 9:00am we had maybe 1+cfs from Russell and twice that from das boot. On that day and time with that group it would have worked to do Das Boot. Subway in those flows was relaxed and scenic, with some fun spots nothing instantly deadly to prepared, experienced groups. Yet Jman reports the same day a group of for made poor decisions and were miserable. Teeth chattering cold is one misstep from an epic.
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  13. Jman

    Jman

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    Well, Instagram photos make the Subway look so warm though...

    I looked closely at their wetsuits and guess they were in 3mm. They said it wasn’t their first time through so I’m sure that aided in their barely non-epic adventure...

    But still...






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  14. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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    Tom,
    What about lead? Would you lead a group of newbs through? I am trying to stay optimistic that I won't have to deploy my contingency plan for the end of the month. Although with the continued weather and increased melt-off, it is hard to stay positive. Sorry folks, I guess we will be spending the day at the Human History Museum. :D
  15. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    It has gotten colder, which is likely to slow down the melt.

    When are you going? Should I sober up CanyonMan?

    T
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  16. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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    2 1/2 weeks. If it was just me and my normal group I would probably have the "that doesn't look too bad attitude", but I am taking Newbs including my 3 daughters. So I will be very risk adverse. It also limits my contingencies.
  17. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Depends, how are they at stemming? In the narrow sections we stemmed out a few feet past the drops so that we weren't dropping straight into the pour offs and whatever hydraulics were there. Also I'd want at least one other experienced person to go with me so I could send them first and have one on each end. If they can handle that then they're probably ok, the stemming really wasn't hard, we really only went 2-3' past the pour offs (which were usually only a few feet themselves) and we were fine, however my sense of whats hard stemming wise is a little screwed up.

    That said, if you're taking kids and beginners it's probably better not to go unless the flow drops some in the next 2 weeks.
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  18. James Moody

    James Moody

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    Does anyone have a flow rate for the Subway? permits 4/20/19
  19. GravityWins

    GravityWins

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    There isn't a gage on the left fork, the closest thing we have is the snotel which tells you a bit about how much water is up high and how the melt is progressing. Look at the Snow Water Equivalent and see how it changes day to day. There are currently multiple threads discussing Subway conditions.
  20. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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    If you go, please post a report with pics of flow at the start and flow in the keyhole section. Thanks
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