Family and friends are grieving the death of Maj StormoGipson, 57 who drowned on the Middle Fork Salmon on Friday, July 26, 2013. StormoGipson was paddling an inflatable kayak on a commercial trip. She ran into a log in a small rapid upstream of Veil Cave. The ducky overturned and the victim was swept under the log and into the branches.


The log was flagged upstream by a post erected on the right bank and wrapped with orange flagging. The tree burnt and fell into the river where it became wedged between the left bank and a mid-stream rock. The tree was part of the Papoose Creek Fire, which has burned 9,168 acres west along the Middle Fork Salmon. The fire spot-burned several miles of river bank starting below Big Creek. Forest Service personnel were stationed at Flying B Ranch advising boaters of the Papoose fire and warning river runners about log. The log blocked approximately two-thirds of the river. The right one-third of the river was clear. StormoGipson was a pediatrician at the Valley Young People's Clinic in Spokane Valley, Washington.