Sunday Morning 10/ 8: We arrived in Zion mid afternoon on Saturday. Much to our surprise, we were able to get a permit for Das Boot
and the Subway for Sunday, our first full day in Zion. The Watchman campground was full, but there didn't seem to be many poeple doing
canyoneering. Very odd, since it was Columbus Day Weekend, and the American Canyoneering Association had just finished their annual
meeting the day before.
Das Boot provides a longer and more difficult technical start to the popular Subway in the Kolob Terrace area west of the Zion Main
Canyon. It starts at the same trailhead as for the Subway, but you remain high as you cross Russell Gulch, and enter the Left Fork of
Great West Canyon about 2/3 of a mile further upstream. There is a lot more water to navigate in Das Boot and a fair amount of
swimming, but there was relatively little debris, and we were able to downclimb everything except the final rappel. As a result, we found
the canyon easier than we expected, and didn't think it deserved anything more than a 3BIII rating. However, the water is cold and you
spend several hours in it. We were comfortable in our dry suits, but I certainly wouldn't recommend trying Das Boot in anything less than
full wetsuits. Further down in the Subway, we met some newbies in shorts. Their teeth were rattling from the cold swim underneath the
chockstone. We sent them on to a sunny patch and stayed behind to coil up the rope.