It wasn’t a very nice looking class V rapid at all. It had some fairly serious swim consequence miles from a road or any help. We scrambled along the bank of the river figuring out how to get our raft through the drop, round the rock and pass the munchy whitewater and logs below. We scouted it, discussed it, and decided to run Double Drop on the Deadwood River, ID. The drop was clean, we missed the raft tearing bundle of sticks at the top left of the drop but "around the rock" like we planned, didn’t really happen. After back paddling like hell for a few strokes, I experienced the best highside of my life. If you are ever in a highside situation, I strongly recommend doing it in a raft full of river guides. It was almost surreal how textbook it felt. We were all on the rock with a paddle in one hand and the chicken line in the other.
A second later the current took the raft which drug us like rag dolls off the rock. I recall attempting to jump in the raft while still having my hand around the chicken line in a sort of acrobatic, aerial maneuver that, at some point, had my feet above my head. It didn’t work very well and I was in the water. My mind raced to the image of the rapid and the, “do not swim here or you will die on that log” conversation we had while scouting. It was only for an instant, I still had my death grip on the line and had all ready scrambled half way into the boat. I spent all of about 3 seconds in my Class V swim and it wasn’t even the worse swim of my life, but I will never forget that surge of adrenaline when my body hit the water.
I was reminded of my brief class V swim after Ethan, our shipping manager, flipped his cataraft in Jaws One on the North Fork of the Payette River. You can view his flip here. He was a little shaken up the next day and said his body was really sore after that swim, not because he bashed into any sharp rocks but from the intensity of the moment.