I am Brandon (RiverDriver) from Creature Craft ( Creature Craft – About Us
), and I would like to address some of the inaccuracies that users have perpetuated in these comments.
First, the Creature Craft team that recently descended the Stikine took three boats and consisted of four people. Darren Vancil (solo boat), Mark Cramer (solo boat), and Mike 'Danger' O'Reilly, and 'Paperweight' Nate Dickison (dual oar rig).
Second, many people have expressed that Creature Crafts shouldn't be counted as 'rafts'. To be fair, this is accurate, it is not a raft. It is however an inflatable boat, which is important here because while this descent might not be the FIRST full descent of the Stikine, it is absolutely the first INFLATABLE BOAT descent of that section. (one might argue that portaging Tanzilla Narrows doesn't make it a full descent, but to each their own)
Third, comparing CC's to driftwood, barrels and otherwise uncontrolled flotsam is ridiculous. The boats are highly maneuverable whether paddling or oar-framing, or a combination of the two.
Fourth, CC's very definitely flip. Sometimes, when surfing on it's side in massive hydraulics, it will even barrel roll. -On a personal note, doing full on 360 degree revolutions, backflips, frontflips and wheelies in hydraulic features the size of a school bus or a small house is incredibly awesome and cannot be readily compared to any other experience that I have found.
Fifth, the idea that because you are in a certain type of boat as you travel downriver, the classification of that section of river changes (the whole 'CC's make class 5 into class 3' thing) is ludicrous and indicates a lack of understanding of how the classification of whitewater actually works.
Finally, the team was deeply saddened by the loss of Jeff West, as they had just met him at Bell 2 and again at the put-in shortly before. The team camped above Site Zed, and while doing the scout from the hills above the rapid on the following day saw Jeff doing the portage far below. He obviously didn't have time to stop and chat, as he was trying to do the 52 mile stretch in one day. On the following day, the team found Jeff's body river left about a mile above Wolftrack, not in the eddy by camp, and summoned a rescue helicopter.
Hopefully this clears some things up.