At what elevation do deer turn into elk? Is there always snow on Everest? Do you finish at the same place you start on this river? These are all excellent questions, and in the case of an upcoming packrafting trip, yes, you do start and finish at the same point on this river. This reminds me of an MC Escher etching showing water flowing uphill, but in this case the trick involves a 20+ mile hike midstream to regain elevation lost on the river, then connecting with another river which eventually leads back to where you started from.
Masterminded by Forrest McCarthy and friends, this 8ish day trip connects parts of the Main Fork of the Salmon River and the Middle Fork for roughly 150 miles of whitewater paddling through the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness area. Aside from lots of planning, what really makes trips like this possible are the durable yet lightweight Alpaca Packrafts which are capable of handling rough rivers with heavy loads, but at about 4lbs, can then be collapsed and carried. The connector hike between rivers should be brutally heavy, but at least it will be 50 pounds of the lightest gear know to man. :)
I’ll try not to lose my camera on this trip, and if so, I’ll post up some photos of what should be an epic adventure.
Help support StraightChuter.com and slice through the Wilderness with a Gerber River Shorty Blunt-Tip Knife from Backcountry.com. Click on the photo below…