Zion National Park Kicks My Das Boot into Subway

Almost two months ago, I dislocated yet another joint at Zion National Park.

Okay, let me start from the beginning…

It goes like this: last minute lottery permit; decide on Thursday evening to leave Friday after work; set out with friends also willing to be spontaneous; pack up stuff for a couple of technical hikes plus some; get ready for heat and adventure.

Zac grabbed a last minute permit for us to do Das Boot and the famous Subway canyon. Psychedddd – I asked Kent to come since we had a last minute spot. Zac, Lisa, Pat, Kent and myself.

So Saturday morning, off we went after a bagel-full breakfast and working line of sandwich making – Das Boot! This is a much more technical canyon than Subway so be sure to have all the goods and skills/guts to match. This would include a wetsuit, harness, belay device, rope, and other things…

Since I got injured fairly early, I’m just putting up photos of our journey until that point. Please find directions at Climb-Utah’s site.

First, we hike. Blah. In the sun… blah more.

I want to say we went right.

It was a hot day.

Kept right?

We read the directions, a lot.

Wahooo! Except, we wanted to get to Das Boot first. But, we do still follow this…

Walk walk.

The sun beating on us. Zac making sure we are on track.

Got a bit lost… had to bushwhack a bit.

Over that therrre ridge.

Patience is a virtue…

Close! We feel it.

In we went! Wetsuits changed immediately.

Kent and I dawned shortie wetsuits. It was do-able but definitely chilly.

Climb down.

A few obstacles…

Climbing over an awkward stone to get in an uncomfortable rappel position…

Kent sunbathing while the others set up the rappel.

So right here… is where I lost saw Lisa before I got hurt. Pat and her went on ahead while each of us took our turn down.

As I approached a small drop, about six feet down, I asked Kent to help lower me. I’m short. So, yeah… it was tall enough where you didn’t want to jump but short enough where you didn’t need rope.

Well, I’m not sure how… but I dislocated my right shoulder on that drop. Scooted over with one arm on my butt so that Zac and Kent could come down. I could feel my shoulder out of socket – there was definitely a large void where there shouldn’t be one.

The boys helped unzip my wetsuit and we moved it off my shoulders **ohh, scandalous** (um, just kidding). And apparently, Zac gave Kent a look but only to Kent as to not freak me out… Zac takes control and tells me we’ll have to pop it back in. He says to me, “I think that’s how you do it.”


Well, Kent held me down, Zac popped it back in and that was that. He did not take Go-Pro footage even though it was on his head! Aiyah.

This is what I looked like when I next saw Lisa and Pat…

Yes, that’s my arm hugging my body after dislocation as Lisa happily exclaims to have me smile for photos – oblivious.

Well, that’s it! About two thirds of the way into Das Boot, I had to be carried down drops. Where there was swimming, I had to hold on to someone and just kick as they guided us to the other side.

The rest of the day was still very exciting… Since I was down one arm, I couldn’t take photos! But here’s the story in words should you still be interested…

After Das Boot, we all thought it would be best if Lisa and I hiked back to the car with my injury and all… The boys continued onto Subway and we decided the girls would leave a note on the shuttle car after we got back safely and were on the way to camp.

As we backtracked a bit to the out point, we ran into a very nice group of experienced canyoneer-ers. They had been canyoneering day after day for several days already… We asked where the out point might be and they said it was a horrible idea – exposed, all uphill and another 4-5 hours still. We were better off going through Subway.

Well, we ended up going through Subway – the very nice gentlemen carried me down drops and obliged as my floaties while swimming through. The daughter and I talked about horses (I really want to learn how to ride!) and we hiked steadily and surely after the exciting “Subway” part that didn’t take too much time to get through.

I rappelled with my left hand and was lowered on a Munter knot once (so cool). We saw dinosaur tracks – uh, AWESOME (but I felt so old at that moment). Well, we got side-tracked somehow towards the end and came out onto the road rather than the usual end point at the parking lot. Lisa ran down a nice family that gave us a ride to that said parking lot while one of the guys and I were too exhausted to even move. And finally arrived at the end around 9:00pm.

Yes – much later than the boys anticipated.

Worried, we got a ride back to the top and half-way there, we saw Pat in the 4Runner. We beeped and waved him down where he shuttled us back to the top. The boys finished around 7:00pm and Zac and Kent were already hiking down again to look for us.

While I lay motionless in the backseat of the 4Runner, Lisa finally got a hold of Zac on the walkie and the boys appeared from afar. It was 10:00pm – we were a group again. Whiskey and beers were definitely in order at camp.

I’m still going to physical therapy for my damn arm! Zion – you are gorgeous but you kick das boot every time I see you.

Thank you to everyone on this trip – including the group that guided us through Subway.


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