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Thread: Subway -- has something changed?

  1. #1

    Subway -- has something changed?

    All,

    I'm planning a trip down the Subway in about 10 days. Last time I did it was in 2011 or 12. My brother and I carried harnesses and rappel equipment and never had occasion to use it. Getting over the boulder with the log at the bottom was mildly assisted with a hand line, but far from necessary. Even the last "rappel" seemed like it was steep but only vertical for the last 10 ft. We just went down hand over hand on a hand line. I honestly was a bit confused as to how this was a 'technical' canyon. Given this, I was not planning to take anything but a rope this trip! But I've been reading on the internet how the Subway "isn't a hand line canyon anymore and so forth. What has changed?

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  3. #2
    Subway is considered by most to be a technical canyon. You will likely find the route more difficult than it was 5 years ago as the log you walk across above the last rappel has washed out. At the final rappel instead of rappelling from the anchors on the south side of the canyon you rappel from some new anchors on the north side of the canyon. You can still get to the south side anchors but you must "jump the gap", which is highly discouraged as a miss could be deadly and the landing when made has caused more then a few injuries.

    YMMV

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  5. #3
    Ok, I see. So the sloped "rappel" with an 8-10 ft vertical is on the south side...which you'd have to jump to? And the line down the North side is more difficult?

  6. #4
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    Ok, I see. So the sloped "rappel" with an 8-10 ft vertical is on the south side...which you'd have to jump to? And the line down the North side is more difficult?
    Yes.

    The problem is not the jump so much as it is the landing. The landing is steeply sloped. At least one person has fallen off that (15 feet onto flat rock) and several have had ankle injuries. At least one helicopter ride out this year.

    The new rappel on the North side is vertical and about 15 feet onto flat rock. Difficult to handline unless you are young and strong.

    Tom

    (Jeremy Gorzalski photo from last Saturday (or so))
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  8. #5
    Thanks for the picture. I see in the background on the left side where we went down before I believe - is it the worn spot where the fellow in the blue and red helmet is?

    The other spot does look more difficult. Still, 15 ft ... hmmm...

    Thanks for the input. Very much appreciated.

  9. #6
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    Yes.

    The problem is not the jump so much as it is the landing. The landing is steeply sloped. At least one person has fallen off that (15 feet onto flat rock) and several have had ankle injuries. At least one helicopter ride out this year.

    The new rappel on the North side is vertical and about 15 feet onto flat rock. Difficult to handline unless you are young and strong.

    Tom

    (Jeremy Gorzalski photo from last Saturday (or so))
    I was there this last Saturday too and recognize some of the same people. Small world. It was a crowded day for sure!

    I wonder if Jeremy was part of the “bro group” that we passed earlier at the top. There was like 5 dudes about 1/2 down Russell Gulch who were pounding their 25oz Michelob Ultra cans at 9:30am...




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  10. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    Thanks for the picture. I see in the background on the left side where we went down before I believe - is it the worn spot where the fellow in the blue and red helmet is?

    The other spot does look more difficult. Still, 15 ft ... hmmm...

    Thanks for the input. Very much appreciated.
    It's only 15' but I don't see how it is down climbable at all, and it's pretty much vertical so a hand line wouldn't exactly be fun. If you really are adverse to rapping there, better to make the jump in my opinion. That being said, I wouldn't jump it. When we were in there a few years ago and had what seemed like 30 people ahead of us for the anchors, we just rapped of meat and had our tall athletic guy make the jump.

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  12. #8
    Thanks everyone. Going to take rap gear.

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