Tyler Bradt Nails First “No Portage” Pack Raft Descent of Little White Salmon

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Extreme kayaker Tyler Bradt is as good as they come, most noted for running the highest waterfall ever in a kayak in 2009 when he soared off 189-foot Palouse Falls in Washington. Now he’s reaching similar acclaim in a pack raft, recently completing most likely the first “no portage” pack raft descent of Washington’s cascade riddled, Class V Little White Salmon River—including its famed Spirit Falls. . Bradt made the descent in an Alpacka Valkyrie pack raft, complete with spray skirt and inflatable floor.

In a YouTube post of the descent, made with filmmakers and a top-notch safety crew, Bradt says he took one swim at a rapid called S-turn, and that both the boat and the run was “amazing and exciting.” While it wast the first descent of the Little White in a packrat—that belongs to Sam Perry and former Alpacka employee Ben Phillips, who ran it in 2013 testing the Alpackalypse—it has been billed as the first “no portage” packrat descent.

According to Alpacka, the Valkyrie is “the kayaker’s packraft—the pinnacle of whitewater performance in an inflatable package.”

Alpacka pack raft valkyrie tyler draft
Brady, taking the plunge in his Valkyrie pack raft from Alpacka.

Designed for skilled whitewater kayakers looking for a backcountry and travel boat and developing paddlers looking to improve kayak skills in a more forgiving and easier to carry package, it features a modern creek boat styling and rocker with a patent-pending planing hull that provides true secondary stability and edge control. It comes with 9.5-inch tubes, two bow grab loops, two stern handles, one stern D-ring, two double D-rings, two ankle loops, three multi-slot strap plates, two seat ties, four tension strap D-rings. Made from a burly and proprietary 420-denier nylon hull and 840-denier nylon floor, for extra whitewater chops it also features the Valkyrie inflatable floor, tie-in seat, whitewater footbrace, adjustable foam backband, four-point thigh straps, and floor tension straps. For the skirt, which you don’t want to come off in whitewater like that, it features a  one-piece PEX coaming and ultralight spray skirt. The craft is rated and designed to support paddlers up to 230 lbs. and 7-10 days of gear.

Watch Video of Bradt’s Run Here

As an ambassador for Alpacka, Bradt is well familiar with the craft. “My first experience in the Valkyrie I could hardly believe I was paddling an inflatable,” he writes on their site. “It rolled so well, boofed like a dream, surfed waves, and edged so well. I loved that boat and got many happy days on the water in it. When the production version came out, I could hardly believe that it had again improved, everything I loved about the prototype was better. No small feat! I had been involved with prototyping numerous plastic boats over the years and the production versions always seemed to fall short after numerous last minute changes to be more conservative in making sure the boat want too much for the market. I’m so happy to see that every rendition of this boat was a leap above the last and the boat that is now on the market is undoubtedly the gold standard of packrafts by which all others will be measured.”

Alpacka Valkyrie
Bradt, boofing the Valkyrie…

Watch Sam Perry and Ben Phillips’ 2013 first packraft descent of the Little White in the Alpackalypse here: https://vimeo.com/112640615.

Get info on the boat HERE

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