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Association Peak

Difficulty: 
Moderate Winter Scramble
Elevation [m]: 
2382
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
22.0
Net Elevation Gain [m]: 
1000
Total Elevation Gain [m]: 
1400
Ascent Time: 
5:30
Bushwhackyness: 
Not Bad
Tripdate: 
Sunday, October 20, 2013

Carrying on with the theme for October of wandering around the front range for better weather Steven and I headed south to go up Association Peak, a less travelled (at least compared to its neighbour Yamnuska) rock north of highway 1A on the border of the Stoney Reserve and The Ghost.

Basing our route on Bob Spirko's trip report we headed out from the Yamnuska parking lot gaining the shoulder of Yam around sunrise and were soon on a very muddy (but wide) trail and aiming north towards the shoulder of Wendel Mountain. As Bob described there is another trail on the Wendel side of things which is in good shape and allows for swift progress down to the creek. Once at the river heading east and watching the north bank another trail reveals itself winding upwards towards Association Peak. This trail was also in fine shape and soon joined up with an old road that apparently connects north up to The Ghost.

From the road junction we started our ascent of Association gaining some elevation quickly and then sidesloping climbers right until we were in the wide bowl and could get a better look at ways through the cliffbands. Given the season conditions were pretty icy (you could have actually ice climbed one of the cliffbands!) and it took a couple tries to find a reasonable way through the prominent cliffband but after some axe and crampon work we were through and on the summit ridge (from which the summit is only a short flat plod away). Views from the summit were pretty solid with first time glimpses of mountains such as Orient Peak as the main attractions (and familiar giants in Kananaskis to the south). After taking in the views for a bit we decided to wander over to End Mountain and see how far along the ridge was winter-non-roped-traversible (knowing that there are several large Mount Cline style notches along the way). We ended up turning back at an exposed (but probably jumpable) notch without being able to get a closer look at the possible horrors awaiting would be climbers on the big notch but no worries, a more reasonable route is probably the east ridge anyhows. Descending back to the trail was slow due to slippery loose rock but soon enough we were back on flat ground and starting back across the two ridges towards the parking lot.

 

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