Holbek and Stanley is definately the guide to have. I agree with Livingston though. Watch out for the ratings. It's not so much that they've sandbagged their runs, but that we in the rest of the country have overrated ours. The reason being is that the class sysem only goes I-V+ and each region trys to use the full range to describe their runs. But Cali by far has the biggest steepest runnable shit in the entire country. And a lot of it is wilderness on top of that. In Colorado, Cheeseman or NSV is the definition of V+ whitewater. In Cali, the definition of V+ whitewater is Devils Postpile of the San Joaquin or the Middle Fork Kings. And those 2 runs are a very solid step up from Colorado. I've always found it a little funny that the best section of water on NSV is named not after anything in Colorado, but for California. From the runs I've done in Northern Cali, it seems like adding a half a class to the Holbek rating roughly agrees with the standard set by CRCII. There are some exceptions though going either way.
And just think, Holbek and Stanley were running the Middle Fork Kings 20 years ago in the days that the Crossfire was a radical boat design
. There's no doubt those dudes have cajones. I bet some of the younger class V boaters on this forum have never even seen a Crossfire.