Death on the Green Truss, White Salmon - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-03-2012   #1
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Death on the Green Truss, White Salmon

From the Yakima paper:

A kayaker from West Virginia drowned on the White Salmon River Wednesday night. According to a report from the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office, 27-year-old Christopher Alan Schwer of Morgantown, West Virginia had been kayaking with local friends when he became wedged underwater in a log jam in the river about two miles north of BZ Corners.

Sgt. Erik Anderson of the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office said the location was a difficult site for recovery, with 75-foot cliffs on both sides of the river and no beach at the bottom. He said Klickitat County Search and Rescue, Skamania County’s Wind River Search and Rescue and Wet Planet Rafting were all involved in the recovery effort.

Through the efforts of volunteers trained in high angle and swift water rescue, the body was recovered about 7 p.m. Thursday night
This happened in the log jam in the exit from lower zig zag. Several of my friends were there and just couldn't quite get him after his planned log boof went under the lumber instead. It was a move that worked at higher water, apparently. The crew was able to get a rope in his hands while he was still moving around. After he went unconscious, they were able to clip a rope to his PFD, which then tore when they pulled (I'm assuming a shoulder).

As always, be careful, scout and plan your moves.

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Old 08-03-2012   #2
phlyingfish's Avatar
Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 269
This is really unfortunate, and my heart goes out to family, friends, and the crew with Chris on the river.

The Truss is full of wood right now despite heroic efforts by locals to clear the worst of it. Sometimes you got to know when to hold 'em.
"A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes writing for the majority in New Jersey v. New York
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Old 08-03-2012   #3
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Eagle, Colorado
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Very sad news. That could have happen to any of us on any river. Our prayers are with the loved ones and his colleagues from the trip.
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Old 08-04-2012   #4
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Teacher, Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Chris ”schwiggles” Schwer was a good boating buddy of mine back when he spent a summer guiding and boating here in Colorado. I remember pulling him out of a pin at the bottom of p.o.s. on home stake, and he was still super stoked and smiling. Schwiggles was one of those people that always made me a better boater...he was always having such a good time and was so stoked...that attitude was infectious to a boater like myself who was just starting to step it up. Schwiggles was also a talented photographer...he would often get out of his boat to take photos of us, and all of the first photos I have of myself boating anything noteworthy were taken by him.

This is a super shock, and makes me wish I could've been there to help. Thoughts and prayers go out to Chris's family, and the rest of the back east crew who I have been fortunate enough to boat with over the years. We'll never forget you Schwiggles, and I know you'll be keeping your eye on us. RIP.
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Old 08-04-2012   #5
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Jackson, Wyoming
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Sorry for your loss Buck. Words you've heard all your life apply here-- "be careful what you wish for" the call is always easier.
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Old 08-04-2012   #6
silverthorne, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
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Chris was a awesome guy, we will all miss him, got to enjoy the Upper Gauley with him and his crew. RIP Buddy. Andy the Mayor.
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