Fellow kayakers said it couldn't be done. Rumors spread of pros getting their asses handed to them there. The local kayak shop said it was way too high and wouldn't be any fun at this level. CRC calls it V+. No one was willing to risk the adventure for fear of failure. No one but me.
So, I assembled a crack team of probes from all corners of Colorado (mostly front rangers with the most to loose due to the epic drive). We met in Steamboat for a warm up on Willow Creek. "Gotta smoke this up to at least a IV+." Carnage abounded. Pins ensued. We were not detured.
After driving for hours ("I was messed up earlier, but finally sobered up on the drive out here"), getting nervous around the camp fire and drinking away those fears we deemed it runnable from 1,000 feet above the river!
All ya'll are wrong! Cross Mtn at 7,000 is IV+/V- and a solid portage-able class V. It was amazing and the best big water boating I've ever done although my big water list is really short. Very manageable, lots of edies, get their early and do two runs in a day. Thanks probes for letting me follow you down!