Canyonlands: Tales from Narrow Places

A Das Boot(in)’ good time!

Posted in Utah by canyoneering on August 12, 2009


Das Boot/ Subway, 3BIII
10.8 miles
Zion National Park


Das Boot, a canyon as fun to descend as it is to say.

Mike, David and I drove up to Zion late Saturday after work to meet Eric, Eric and Chris for a few days of canyoneering. Bright and early Sunday morning we headed to Das Boot. Our only real trouble of the day was finding the Das Boot entrance point after crossing Russell Gulch. David and Mike went one direction, Chris and Flagstaff Eric another while Phoenix Eric and myself found our own path to the bottom of the canyon. Arriving at the head of the narrows we were excited for a deep, dark and cold day. With full body wetsuits on, although not fully zipped up, we made our way into the slot. The narrows were beautiful and deep, reminiscent of Buckskin Gulch, surrounded by a symphony of sandstone fins. I had read that Das Boot is a good precursor to canyons such as Heaps and Imlay so I was prepared for a mini adventure filled with cold swims, potholes and tough down climbs. As it turned out we had an extremely hot day and very low water levels in the canyon. This made for easier going than any of us expected. The few pot holes we encountered were easily escapable. I am glad I had the wetsuit to cover my legs and for a couple swims although Flagstaff Eric went with no wetsuit at all as he has an unusually high tolerance to the cold.

After eating lunch at the junction with Russell Gulch we continued down the canyon. Having descended the Subway last October in abnormally cold weather, going back and doing it again in the middle of the summer was a real treat. The swims that had sent a shiver to my core and made my fingers tingle were pleasant and inviting in July. The warm water, intense sunlight, sublime beauty, great company and technical ease made the Subway feel like one big canyoneering playground as we took time to crawl through small tunnels in the rock, soak in pools and slide down natural water slides.