Trip report written by Will Volpert.
Once again, called Ryan Morgan and he came through big time to find a great run for us. The Truss was wicked low for a raft run but the Orletta Stretch is the section between the bottom of Little Zigzag and the BZ put in. The hike down with a raft it brutal. The first run we did on October 26th we carried the inflated raft down the creek bed. That was heinous. The next Sunday on the 2nd, Dana and I hiked in with a rolled raft. That too was difficult. Maybe there is no easy way.
Nonetheless, once you actually do get down to the river you are treated with some great class III and IV drops for about two miles. It is fairly continuous initially, and then mellows. It picks up again just above The Flume. After the Flume, there is short rapid that bends to the right. Make sure you eddy out immediately after this drop. BZ Falls is just downstream. Scout from the right. Both times we ghost boated the raft and I jumped in just after the falls off the cliffs on the right.
After a summer of guiding on the Middle Fork of the Salmon, Skip and I headed back to Oregon to find places to live and new rivers to see. The first run of the Fall for us was the White Salmon. I think this is sometimes referred to as the “Middle White Salmon” or perhaps the BZ Corner stretch? I’m not sure. The put-in is awesome though. You slide your boat down a crazy ramp maze. Our take-out location was just below Husum Falls on the left. There’s a small pullout with a bunch kayaking trucks normally parked there. Easy to find.
Aside from Skip and I, joining us was Aaron (had never rafted before and just wanted to get outside) and Zach from Echo River Trips. Zach was kayaking so the rest of us were R3ing an Avon Adventurer.
It was definitely a little boney for a 14′ raft but we made it through without getting stuck or scraping rocks too badly. The majority of the run is class II with maybe two or three class III rapids. Of course, Husum Falls is a cool looking rapid. It’s a class IV kinda-waterfall, maybe eight vertical feet. Very easy to put the boat in the right place but also easy to get launched out the back, which is exactly what happened.