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Depends on what experiences are discussed. I have been rowing for 20 years and I am at the top of my game. I know folks who do things that simply are beyond my skills. I figure I am in the 95% bracket. That last few points allows you to do the almost impossible. But getting there from here cannot be put in terms of hours on the oars. Sometimes dents in the boat and bug eyes are the only way to learn. Expensive lessons if you miscalculate. Which is why I am content not making those last few %age points.

Not trying to brag here. But like many things in life, it is hard to define when you arrive.

Mark and the bug eyed at times dog.
 

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It depends on what you want to experience. Whitehorse on the D is classic big somewhat technical water. One mistake and it would be bug eye time. The coast rivers offer a different challenge. They are tight and very technical, but not , for the most part, gonna fold your boat in half.

What are you trying to run? The worst piece of water that I run on a regular basis( for me getting to the bottom clean) is Russo on the JD. It is a short tight class 3. There are about 5 rocks on the middle that you need to swizzle around. Not "Big Time" water by most folks' definition. But for my runnings, a thorn in my side. But when we run it we are loaded up with probably 1000 pounds of gear, camp, food, dogs, and people. If you have ever run a heavy unresponsive boat, you understand the problem. A light boat is easy( and truth be told even Whitehorse is mostly my being overloaded that is the challenge. While I respect the water, I have the skills to make it to the bottom as long as I do my part. )to push thru. My boat is a flat bottomed plugging machine that backtrolls great but is very slow to respond when loaded down.

You do not have to run big or steep water to be experienced. As GranstP said, you can make it thru a thousand times only to get bit on 1001. But just because you don't run the Pipeline( or whatever big rapids) does not mean you are not capable of safely rowing thru your waters.

The closest I ever came to sinking a boat? The mighty Kilchis below the logger bridge.

Be safe and have fun.

Mark and the dog.
 
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