Best time to hike The Subway

lostlandscapes

rope mule
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
328
What are your feelings on doing it in the morning versus the afternoon? I've yet to start the Subway before 11, mostly because I appreciate how that puts the final climb in the shade. But one advantage I see is that it looks like there was a good deal of sunshine making it into the canyon bottom--perhaps a blessing for those of us who suffer from instant hypothermia?? ;) On the other hand, I imagine that hard light makes the photography aspect a bit more challenging. Thoughts?


Nick: mod note, I moved this topic to it's own thread as I felt it could be very useful to find down the road. Taken from this thread: http://backcountrypost.com/forum/index.php?threads/the-subway-may-2012.897/
 

Nick

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Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,918
What are your feelings on doing it in the morning versus the afternoon? I've yet to start the Subway before 11, mostly because I appreciate how that puts the final climb in the shade. But one advantage I see is that it looks like there was a good deal of sunshine making it into the canyon bottom--perhaps a blessing for those of us who suffer from instant hypothermia?? ;) On the other hand, I imagine that hard light makes the photography aspect a bit more challenging. Thoughts?

I went back and compared times on my 4 trips by looking at metadata of photos. Time of the year will also play a role. In August in the middle of the afternoon, the Subway was actually totally in the shade. Same for the October trip when we passed through it at 3:30. The other two trips in May and June, it was in sun at 1:30 and 2:06.

May 20, 2012
8:40 - Leave Wildcat
10:30 - Bottom of Russell Gulch
1:30 - Subway in full sun
2:45 - Bottom of Red Ledges
3:40 - Dino Tracks
Anyone remember when we finished?

October 15, 2011 (entered via tech Russell Gulch route)
10:15 - Leave Wildcat
2:15 - Bottom of Russell Gulch
2:57 - The North Pole
3:30 - Subway in total shade
4:00 - Bottom of Red Ledges
6:45 - Left Fork Trailhead

August 21, 2011
7:45 - Leave Wildcat
9:40 - Bottom of Russell Gulch
1:49 - Subway in full shade - whaaaa?!
2:35 - Bottom of Red Ledges
3:55 - Dino Tracks

June 19, 2011
9:00 - Leave Wildcat (bad nav factored in)
10:30 - Bottom of Russell Gulch
2:06 - Subway in full sun
2:52 - Bottom of Red Ledges
3:42 - Dino Tracks

I've gotten some decent shots with it in sun. Definitely a good idea to pack the ND filters. Climbing the hill in the shade is nice but getting back to SLC at midnight is the sucks. I guess if you're camping nearby that would be the way to do it. But I dunno.. we ran into a lot of people log jams the day we did it later in the day. That sucked. I think I'm still a fan of the early start. Just make sure and soak in the river before climbing that last hill. :)

Taken August 21, 2011 at 2:01 PM on a sunny day.


World's finest swimming hole by ibenick, on Flickr
 
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