Trip Location: Kananaskis front range
Trip Date: February 26, 2016
Trip time: 8 hours 42 mins
Distance: 28.8 kms
Elevation Gain: 2,250m
Route: Non official
Difficulty: Mostly easy. Moderate route finding on the backside ledges of End Mountain with one difficult move in the ascent gully.
Association Peak to End Mountain scramble loop is a phenomenal route that every true peak bagger is going to love. I had the Bob Spirko GPS loaded just in-case but it wasn’t even necessary…the trail from half way up the Yam shoulder to the Association Peak/Association Hill col is very well defined and easy to follow even in winter with some snow coverage. At the Association Peak/Hill col we trended hard left of the Spriko track and ascended nice firm ground instead of scree and gained about 400m. We topped out under the summit block and then traversed right just below the imposing cliff bands and then at an easy spot gained the Association/End col. From the col Association summit is basically right there.
We had read Raf’s End Mountain trip report prior to leaving and based on his writings headed over the back of the col, found our way across the ledges and ended up right at the gully he used to ascend. After a couple difficult moves we were up the gully and it was easy to the summit of End Mountain.
On the way up Association we had scoped a possible alternate descent down the front of End and decided to give it a shot. We all basically ended up following Joanna Ford down the front as she criss-crossed around cliff bands and over gully’s. The scrambling was never more technical than moderate but there was some serious route finding to be done. Props to Joanna for that one.