Were you conscious of the fact that high water on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River starts at 5 feet? That is to say, if the movement is steady and the water is cooler than normal, which should serve as an indication as it is much tougher to bounce back from a flip or when swimming.
If it so happens that you are considering Rogue River rafting white water trips in Oregon by Orange Torpedo the Middle Fork section of the Salmon River at high water, then you should observe some guidelines:
- Every person paddling should be provided with PFDs that are new with plenty of flotation capabilities.
- Drysuits or wetsuits should be a requirement for everyone
- River guides need to be competent enough and provide their guests with sufficient boat spacing and flipping rafts.
- Those who seek such an adventure should be in perfect bodily condition.
- Safety kayaks and catarafts are deemed an excellent idea.
- Boaters and rafters should know each other well and trust one another.
- Consider organizing a trip with Orange Torpedo Trips.
How to Deal With High Water on the Middle Fork Area of the Salmon River
Depending on where you are when rafting the Salmon River, you should educate yourself on what could happen.
Experienced river guides would advise you what to foresee when you find yourself in 5 to 6 feet deep water. You notice that the river flows steadily with a couple of eddies during the initial 22 miles or so. In situations like these, flips are high risk. Therefore, you need to be prepared for prolonged cold water swims.
When you find yourself in 6 to 7 feet deep water, know that the greater, continuous movement of the river make flips and swims even tougher to recover from. As a result, boating groups need to be more competent, and everyone should work together as jointly and cooperate with the river guides as they know the river well. Everyone in this area needs to be in good physical shape.
If you have to cope with 7 feet deep water, then you must be prepared to extreme flows, which should only be taken up by very experienced boaters who recognize this part of the river inside out. Aside from that, they need to have enough high water boating experience and know how to raft very demanding waters.
Other Considerations You Should Know
During high flows one need to ask yourself if:
- Is the river busy rising?
- Could the weather forecast influence how the river would perform for the day’s rafting activities?
- Any wood fragments are drifting around in the river?
If you said yes to any of the questions named earlier, then it is a positive sign that the Salmon River should be treated with discretion as it would be erratic. Therefore, boaters would have to reassess whether it is desirable to start their trip. Should large logs be drifting around all over the place, then is advisable not to start the rafts? Maybe the trip is already in progress. In such instances, the river guides would stop the trip until such point where the river goes down, and the logs stopped drifting.
You may recall we talked about the original 22 miles that start at the Boundary Creek to finish at Pistol Creek, which is the most challenging section to raft in during high water conditions. In numerous situations, individuals would bypass the upper section of the Salmon River and rather fly into the Indian Creek Airstrip.
Also, remember that you should never be too proud to seek help. In fact, Orange Torpedo guides are more than happy to offer a supporting hand. Also, when they notice a powerful rapid, they will temporarily hold the group and determine the severity before proceeding. They invariably have everyone’s best interest at heart. Soon the guides would advise you to pull on your life jackets, attach the helmets and splash as hard as you can.
Some parts of the Salmon River is not for the faint-hearted. However, with the support of Orange Torpedo Trips, there shouldn’t be too much to worry about.