Eliminate or change the SK ratings for Sea Kayak Route/Places
From the 2/7/15 Sea Kayak Summit - all of the leaders from the represented branches at this summit (all branches except Kitsap and Bellingham) agreed that SK ratings for a route/place (NOT an "Activity") was of limited usefulness. Many agreed with the suggestion of changing the route/place rating to something more general such as "beginner, moderate," or other phrases that referred to the amount of POTENTIAL exposure, but did not purport to address all of the varying conditions that could occur at different times and in different weather.
Chris Williams worked with our Sea Kayaking Leadership on this issue. It was decided that having difficulties on Sea Kayaking Routes & Places is desired. Like all trips, difficulties can vary widely based on weather and other conditions.
Chris Williams commented
This was re-visited in 2016 and the SK committee members (acting individually in most cases) voted overwhelmingly to keep the default ratings. Their survey results can be analyzed here: http://app.surveygizmo.com/r/94856_5722731501eca1.33199943
Henry Romer commented
I totally agree with Beth. Almost any route can be selected or experience a wide range of SK ratings for the rating parameters based on current and weather. While some will have minimum ratings for crossing length, route descriptions often cover a variety of options that change this even. The activity listing and leader notes are the place for this to be added. In general the trip leader will select a target SK rating when they schedule the activity. At that point they have a itinerary, a date, predicted tides and currents and a season with an expectation of possible weather. Things still may change, but the general practice has been for the leader to manage the trip to keep it within the original published SK rating.
Ronald Jones commented
Not sure the proposal for beginner/moderate, etc., fully considers the implications for assigning difficulty designations (SK or other) onto route places. A trip activity for a kayaking route/place can vary from quite easy to really difficult depending on route and conditions, from SK II to V and easy to difficult. Keep the SK as a separate box and add to route description.
Beth Owen commented
Sea Kayak routes/places should not have SK ratings since it holds little value in this context, and is just confusing. Let the leader list each activity with it's own SK rating, to more accurately reflect what to expect.