Subway trip mid June


Apr 21, 2014

Heading to the Subway in mid June with some friends and was hoping to get a better idea of what I can expect from the trail. I know there is water pretty much though out and I will need to look into getting a wet suit, but is there any other specific gear or equipment needed for this hike?

One of the guys I am going with and some of his friends are experience canyoneers, but I just wanted to get as much advice as I can before the trip.

Thank you
You need full rappelling gear now. It used to be that you could get by handlining it (although I wouldn't), but now the last obstacle has changed and it's a full rappel. There are also a couple others that you'll probably want to rappel, but it changes a lot. Last I saw Keyhole Falls had filled in so much that it was pretty easy to just handline. The Bowling Alley is an easy down climb but some people rappel there. Then the boulder jam right at the top most people rappel.

Yes on wetsuit. If you don't buy one, you can rent in Springdale from ZAC or one of the other outfitters.

The first 3 miles or so is dry coming down from Wildcat. Once you get into the pool at the bottom of Russell Gulch is where you should suit up (or at the boulder jam). Then after the subway proper, you can remove the suits and get ready for another few miles of crawling over boulders in the creek. Finish it off with a very hot and very steep ~400 climb back to the Left Fork Trailhead. Good times!

This video of mine from 2012 shows the new-ish final rap. Ignore the first ones though, those are in the more technical and optional Russell Gulch entrance.
I am kind of anal about getting my own gear... I think I will look into getting my own suit. I have a harness that my brother has used and I will double check the fit. I Have been wanting to get some canyoneering shoes for some time, so I think I will get a pair of five ten's. I have an Osprey 33 pack, I would guess that will be enough capacity for the hike? I also have a dry bag to put inside as well.
Wetsuits can be had pretty cheap if you're a somewhat normal size. When I was searching I found a ton at recreation outlet for cheap, but I'm big and they didn't work. I actually got stuck in one with my arms bent backwards. Had to yell for my wife to come and undo me. The canyoneers are a good investment too, IMO. I've used them on a ton of different hikes including long backpacking trips.

If you're putting anything important in the dry bag (like an expensive camera), it's worth double-bagging. Also keep it up high in your pack so you don't force it under water when you swim. Or just let it float.
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