25K FELT LIKE BIG WATER 3+ w/4- at BD's
I paddled Cat April 25 this year right at about 25K and was expecting more gnar, instead got tons of fun without much hair. We read and ran the big drops blind due to some navigational challenges with and had no flips on any of our 6 boats. One experienced rafter got surfed in Little Niagara but pulled out in a miracle move. I was solo kayaker - only got flipped in my yak once entire run in BD3, due to semi-laziness, but all in all the group was sort of bummed the water wasn't bigger! Was expecting to be rescue boater, but no such luck.
I second the comment about maps - but I'd also take USGS quads to compare to the Belknap guide if you are not going down with people super-familair with each rapid location - its not super easy to tell which rapid is which unless you take it really slow, which we did not!
Super fun level, although that's my only Cat run. Plenty of eddies, big water calss 3+ w/ 4- at BD's but all the big holes were easy to miss as long as substance abuse was delayed. Best multi-day trip I've been on. In April, hardly anyone on it.