Can anyone confirm or deny whether Mark Cramer was on a cat boat and not a creature craft?
This whole argument is funny to me. As an IKer, I'm really used to people discounting what can be done with my boat of choice. Regardless of whether you "respect" my boat choice or not, I still need to be able to control that boat, read the water, scout and asses my line, set safety for my team members and on and on and on. None of those skills is any less important in a CC.
Purists have, by definition, spent a huge amount of time mastering the arcana of their sports of choice. When something comes along that allows a novice to do things it took them years to master, it's natural that the response of the purist is dismissive. But we've all seen young guns charging hard on V when they have III+ experience. Does that make the water they ran III+? There's a lot more to V than just the consequence.
I don't consider CCs to be rafts. An inflatable kayak is not a kayak. But the definition of class V is "Exceedingly difficult, long and violent rapids, following each other almost without interruption; riverbed extremely obstructed; big drops; violent current; very steep gradient; close study essential but often difficult. Requires best person, boat, and outfit suited to the situation. All possible precautions must be taken." Sounds like the Stikine to me.
The definition of class III is "Waves numerous, high, irregular; rocks; eddies; rapids with passages clear though narrow, requiring expertise in maneuvering; scouting
usually needed. Requires good operator and boat." Does not sound like the stikine at all, in any craft.
Now, CC may minimize exposure to consequences, which sounds a lot like "best person, boat, and outfit suited to the situation." Mitigating the consequences of a mishap doesn't remove the objective hazard. So, I'm gonna disagree that a CC makes a class V a class III.
So, while it may not appeal to purists, and may not be the most "soul boater" way to go, give the team props for having the skills to plan and execute that trip.