Spillimacheen

Contributed by Michael Reeder
What It's Like
Short and sweet, Spilli has 5 major rapids with quality boogie water in between.
Class
V
Scouting / Portaging
Everything is scoutable and nearly everything is portageable.
Time
20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on time spent scouting and/or lapping rapids
When to Go
Spring and fall - low water season
Gauge
58.3cms↓ (Jul 30 13:30)
The best low-water run in the area, Spilli provides fun class 5 whitewater when everything else has dropped out. With slides, ledges, boulder gardens and a clean waterfall, Spilli has an impressive variety of whitewater for such a short run. 

The put in is just upstream of a B.C. hydro dam/diversion which should be portaged on river right to avoid trespassing. Below the dam and after after a short warm up comes he first major rapid, "Astro-lube". A bit tricky to line up, with a boil/wave at the top and a narrower exit than entrance, this slide can often send people into an uncomfortable, swirling eddy against an overhanging wall on river right. Best to set up safety on river left. Another section of boogie water leads to a long boulder garden that ends with "reach-around", a 6 foot sloping ledge at the end of a "z" turn. Reach-around can be scouted by eddying out halfway down the boulder garden on either side. Immediately after reach-around is a series of ledges known as 2 in the pink and 1 in the stink (noticing a theme yet?). There is enough space to stop between 2 in the pink and the ledge that forms 1 in the stink, however it is best to scout this whole sequence from the eddy river left after reach-around. 1 in the stink (also known as L-drop) is the trickiest rapid of the run. The rapid is formed by a ramp into a hole that then drops off sideways over an 8 foot ledge. the outflow from the ledge pushes into an overhanging/undercut wall on river right. This rapid is often portaged, especially at high flows, however too high of water makes the river left portage impossible. This portage requires a little bit of scrambling and team work to pass the boats around the drop and then either scramble down to river level or "throw and go". The flat, moving pool below 1 in the stink drops off a clean 15-20 foot waterfall known as happy ending. The last major rapid of the run, it can be easily lapped and is the home of many a botched downriver freestyle attempt. The run-out from here to the takeout bridge still has some nice moves, and it is best to stay alert for sneaky pieces of wood in here.

Flows: Spilli is in from 12 cms to 24 cms. If the diversion channel is flowing (visible from the takeout bridge), this takes 8cms out of the run (ie 20 to 32 cms is the runnable flow). Although it has been run higher than 24 cms it is not recommended as the portage route on river left becomes impossible and either climbing out of the canyon or portaging on river right would be quite dangerous and difficult. 

Put in/takeout: Just after Beeland on Highway 95 (travelling south) turn right onto Westside Road. Follow for a couple kilometers and then stay straight to get onto Giant Mine road (Westside rd takes a hard left at the junction of Westside and Giant Mine). Another km or 2 leads you to the takeout bridge. Stay on Giant Mine about 3-4km past the takeout bridge. Just past the B.C. Hydro access road on the left there will be a non-descript grassy area on the right that you can drive into to park. Find the trail to the river across the road and a little way downstream. B.C. Hydro has asked that we use this to access the river rather than their access road.
Astrolube (photo by Ben Hawthorne)

Astrolube from the bottom
The not-so-nice eddy at the bottom of Astrolube. A swimmer stuck in there would not be able to escape without a rope from someone on river left.
Lead in to reach-around

Reach-around
About halfway down 2 in the Pink. Stacked whitewater in the background.

Final ledge of 2 in the Pink
1 in the Stink

Portage route around 1 in the Stink.

The Glorious Happy ending (photo provided by Ben Hawthorne)

Happy ending. A great waterfall to lap to your heart's delight (and back's dismay).