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First Packraft Descent of the Little White’s Class V — Including Spirit Falls

Warning: Attempt Class V whitewater packrafting at your own risk.

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If anyone is able to paddle some of the filthiest whitewater in Washington state, it may be Tyler Bradt. Bradt is a serious kayaker, and the current world recordholder for a near-200-foot waterfall drop. (He achieved the title for tallest waterfall ever run in a kayak on Palouse Falls, a 189-foot waterfall in Washington.)

Now, he’s back with an attempt much less steep but still as daring: paddling the Little White in Alpaca’s latest whitewater-specific inflatable packraft. Margin of error is already slight when you are paddling Class V anything, but how about when you don’t have a hard boat to protect you?

Even GearJunkie Motors Editor Bryon Dorr, an accomplished whitewater paddler, commented on this section’s difficulty: “Serious Class V. I’ve paddled this twice in a hard boat many years ago. It is stout!” This section of the Little White was first run in the 1990s (and there have been two deaths since).

The Little White Salmon River is a tributary about 19 miles long; the popular whitewater section is 4 miles long, all Class V. Rapids Bradt must navigate — in the packraft, mind you — include Gettin’ Busy, Boulder Sluice, Island, Sacriledge, Double Drop, Backender, S-Turn, Wishbone, Bowey’s Hotel, The Gorge, Stovepipe, Spirit Falls, Chaos, and Master Blaster.

Will he make it through the froth? Watch to find out.

Runtime: 5 minutes

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