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Author Topic: Subway  (Read 2503 times)
Scott O.
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« on: November 05, 2012, 06:32:29 PM »
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Headed for The Subway in Zion Saturday. Anyone have suggestions as to clothing and/or equipment? This would seem to be on the edge of winter conditions. Thanks!
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PDobson
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 10:18:44 PM »
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I've been there for a few Thanksgivings and a Winter storm in February. It never gets really cold in Zion, but there are some world-famous ice climbs, so it is cold enough.

Nights and mornings are chilly. The coldest I've been down there was hanging at an anchor for a few hours before dawn. Completely stationary in the wind with baselayer, light fleece, and insulated softshell wasn't enough for comfort. That said, I had stripped to a t-shirt by afternoon, and I was sweating.

Dress in layers. A light base, an insulating layer, a shell for the wind and you'll be fine in the cold and heat. Add a light Primaloft for extra luxury in the morning.

A decent 15°F sleeping bag is more than enough for the nights.

Attached is a photo of Angel's Landing during a February storm. It's not something many see. Despite the snowfall, it really wasn't very cold. The snow melted quickly.

Phillip

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Frank Sirona
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 12:36:56 AM »
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Itīs a long hike which is not really difficult (and does not include any technical sections, when you get there from the bottom), but itīs quite strenuous - in particular when you carry some photo equipment. I would suggest you resist the temptation to bring in any photo stuff you will not need, such as any long lenses longer than 85 mm or so. What would be really helpful are hiking boots high enough to protect your ankles from being twisted, and hiking poles. Regarding drinking water, you could save some weight if you bring in only very little (one or two quarts), and instead bring a filter to re-fill your canteen. Thereīs running water all the way once youīve descended the gully down to North Fork.
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Frank Sirona. Large format photography of the Desert Southwest.

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PDobson
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 10:21:41 AM »
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I just looked up your intended route. I didn't realize how wet it can be. I'm really only familiar with the bigwall routes in the park so the details of the canyons sort of escaped my radar. I don't want to unintentionally sandbag you.

If you plan on staying dry on your intended route, I'd stick to my previous clothing recommendation. Frank's recommendation of hiking poles is a good one too. You can never be too young or fit for poles.

The wet sections sound a lot like an underground cave/slot canyon we have here in Montana.  Lots of plunge pools, waterfalls and wading. In that cave (which is a constant 34°), I wear a cheap wetsuit under some fleece. A friend of mine wears waders and fleece, and it works well. Zion should be quite a bit warmer, so you should stay toasty with either choice.

I found a funny photo (video cap) of my friend at that cold anchor just after sunrise. Looks like he was wearing a light down, softshell jacket, and an R1 fleece over a wool belayer. This was Turkey Day, and it was definitely chilly before the sun warmed things up.

Have a great time. Zion in November is perfect: not too hot, fewer crowds, and beautiful light.
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ltphoto
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 05:04:33 PM »
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Do be prepared for some cold weather. There is a front coming through on Thursday night/Friday morning that will bring much lower temperatures and rain. Right now they are saying Saturday will be dry, but high temperatures in the 30's.

You will want wide angle lenses. As wide as you own. Keep the equipment light and then you can carry layers of clothing that you might remove during the middle of the day.

Hope you have a great time. It is truly one of the most spectacular destinations in Zion.
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Scott O.
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 11:12:20 AM »
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Since I am finally able to talk about this, I thought a wrap-up would be nice. The cold front did indeed come through, so we began our hike with temps in the 30's and snow falling. Took a portable tripod, D800, 14-24 and 24-70. Clothing was either waterproof or synthetic. Pack was a Camelback Mule, with around 3 quarts of water. Had walking poles, which I hadn't used before. Anyhow, about 2 miles in I slipped on one of the many stream crossings (quite a bit of water for this time of year) and went into the stream back first. My pack flooded and became heavy. Water came down my neck and soaked my inner layers. The weight coupled with my inability to use my hands/arms due to the poles kept me in the water until I could be pulled out. Nothing to do but keep moving and get back to the car as soon as possible. No problem getting out, and the synthetics kept me relatively warm. So I still haven't been to The Subway! Aftermath...camera was fine in a zip-lock bag. Lenses were only wrapped in newspaper type plastic bags as I didn't anticipate a total submersion for a couple of minutes, so they were drenched. Got them dried out and put in bags of rice. The 24-70 seemed OK and I used it in Zion later that day. But as a precaution sent both lenses to Nikon where they were disassembled and put back into tip top condition. Water intrusion was found. Cost was $600 each, thank goodness for insurance. The repair took less than 3 weeks including shipping, thank you Nikon Los Angeles. Singh-Ray cleaned and repaired 2 filters...great company and I highly recommend doing business with them. Anyhow, I'm sure there was a lesson to be learned in all of this, but I don't really know what it is! Maybe it is simply that I am too old to do something like this!
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francois
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 03:22:49 AM »
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Scott,
Thanks for your trip report. I'm sorry to hear that you haven't reached the Subway but it could really have been more serious.
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Francois
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