Pretty hard for me to imagine fording the Suiattle, any time of year, with a 7-year old.
I think you could do it, but I would definitely cross the river first, put the kid in a life vest/harness and belay them on their crossing. A little slip in that spot could be a life altering event for everyone involved. You could stash the crossing gear behind a tree near the river for the rest of the trip.
An early 100 Hike's gave that exact advice for crossing Ridley Creek with the fam.
You won't get that advice in a hiking guidebook nowadays though!
-------------- " I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there." – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
We've done a couple of belayed log crossings before, and this worked pretty well. I still am pretty cautious about doing this only in times of slower moving water, but it definitely adds an element of safety.
In kayaking and canoeing if you fall out the first thing you want to do is cut any encumbering lines. That is why they carry combat looking knives close at hand. I have any number of gory stories I have heard of boaters in swift water tied to lines.
-------------- "You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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