By the Numbers: Salmon Speed Descent

Adding up three Idaho kayakers' nonstop 32.5-hour speed descent of the Salmon River

WORDS BY KYLE SMITH / VIDEO BY BIG CEDAR MEDIA

2.5 million: Number of acres making up the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

6,253: Elevation in feet near the headwaters of the Salmon River.

500: CFS at the Marsh Creek put-in.

120,000+: CFS at the confluence of Salmon/Snake rivers: 300 miles and 5,332 feet of elevation downriver.

3: Idahoans willing to give ‘er.

5: Hours of sleep before attempting the paddle. (Good thing they’re all night-shift nurses.)

20: Pounds of snacks in each boat.

15: Number of baby-sized-burritos split between the three Idahoans

5: Cans of espresso each for caffeine needs…not nearly enough.

2: Breakdown paddles.

3: Liquidlogic Stingers.

5: Short stops made the entire trip.

500: Estimated milliliters of pee accidentally leaked in each boat while trying to urinate out of kayak mid-current.

0: Hours of sleep in 32.5 hours of paddling.

1: Number of rolls the entire trip (done at night, in a scary rapid).

312: Miles between put-in and takeout, downstream of the Salmon-Snake confluence.

39: Weeks that Mike’s wife was pregnant at launch time.

700: Shuttle miles.

30: Minutes after return home from mission that wife’s water broke. Good timing.

1: Baby boy destined to kayak.

2: Weeks it took to fully regain feeling in fingers.


-- Read Smith’s full story on ‘Pushing Limits on the Salmon River,’ on Duct Tape Diaries and watch Dahl’s full film ‘The Long Stretch’ with support from NRS.

The Long Stretch from Seth Dahl on Vimeo.

More from Dahl: Teaching Blind Veterans to Kayak / In Love With Frank


RELATED:
-- The Chase for the Salmon Speed Record.
-- Inside the 24-Hour Distance Paddling World Record Descent of the Salmon
-- Grand Canyon Speed Record Falls (AGAIN)
-- High water on the Middle Fork Salmon.