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In The Middle

A Fly-in Playboating Mission on the Middle Fork of the Salmon

With the Idaho drainage’s 2011 snowpack at 261 percent of average this past June, driving the only access road to the Boundary Creek put-in of the classic, 100-mile Class IV Middle Fork of the Salmon was simply out of the question. So with the help of Middle Fork River Expeditions in Stanley, Idaho, the C&K crew launched an aerial assault on the engorged river, flying in 16 boat testers, eight playboats, six rafts, and one cataraft—all in the back of one ancient four-seater Cessna. It took 10 trips over the mountains, timed in-between brief lulls in a three-day snowstorm. But after an emergency landing involving several members of the C&K staff inadvertently being reported missing to the FAA, the last case of Coors was unloaded and this year’s river-running playboat review trip was back on. Check out photographer Adam Elliott’s Gallery image in the December issue of C&K and stay tuned for the upcoming March issue for the complete river-running playboat review.