April 29, 2009 in Outdoors

Kayaker plunges over Palouse Falls

By The Spokesman-Review
File photo

This file photo of Palouse Falls shows the green tongue of water at the top left that Tyler Bradt paddled over in his record-breaking kayak decent on April 21, 2009. The feat raises the question of of the falls’ height. Washington State Parks literature says the falls are 198 or 200 feet tall. Bradt said that after they dropped a rope from the rim and paced it off, he and his crew are more comfortable calling it “at least 186 feet.”
(Full-size photo)

A 22-year-old Missoula-area kayaker reportedly paddled over Palouse Falls on April 21 to set a world record for surviving the highest waterfall plunge.

The Spokesman-Review could not reach witnesses this week to confirm the feat, but kayaking daredevil Tyler Bradt apparently had a crew for safety, rescue and filming the drop, which they measured at 186 feet.

Washington State Parks lists Palouse Falls at 198 feet.

In an interview with the Tri-City Herald, Bradt said, “This is something we’ve been working up to for a while. We were really making calculated decisions.”

Bradt said that after plunging underwater about 20 feet and being submerged for 7 seconds, he surfaced from Palouse Falls’ deep pool with little more than a sprained wrist and windless lungs.

“I actually expected more of an impact,” he said. “Considering the waterfall, the injuries were pretty minor.”

Bradt plans to release photos as well as video.

The kayaker already has video of a 2007 record-setting drop off 107-foot Alexandra Falls along the Hay River in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

A post-Palouse Falls interview is available online at www.kayaksession.com.

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