Association Peak and other stuff – August 30, 2008

Mountain heights:                  2382 m, 2375 m
Elevation gain:                       approx. 1800 m (ie. way too much!)
Ascent time:                           5:20
Traverse time to other stuff:   1:15
Descent time:                         3:55

Solo scramble.

Kevin Barton and I had first attempted this peak in April of 2006. The south ridge was a “no-go” and time restrictions had precluded another route attempt on the same trip. Since then Bob Spirko had found a good route via the northeast side of the peak and he had also explored the canyon that splits of the south side of the peak. This second route was the one I was interested in. Coincidentally Rick Collier had confirmed this as a viable scramble route three days earlier (perhaps that was the reason I picked this trip for the day). 

As expected, the long approach was just that – long! And not particularly scenic or inspiring either. I stayed on cutlines or trails to avoid too much bushwhacking, making the route more circuitous, but easier in the long run. Three hours into the trip the scenery finally began to improve as I started up the canyon. The water level was pretty low, which made it possible to negotiate a couple of very small steps in the canyon. With a high water level this route would be far more challenging.

About half way up, a more significant cliff-band (probably the location the “David Thompson Motor Inn” ice climb in Joe Josephson’s Waterfall Ice) reared up and I went to the left. Instead of traversing back into the drainage, I just kept going up (seemed easier) until I reached the ridge between Association Peak to the east and a couple of unnamed highpoints to the west.

The best plan of attack, at this point, would have been to head west to the unnamed peaks, traverse east over to Association, and then use Bob’s northeast route for descent. Instead, I immediately went east to the summit of Association. Thankfully, the summit view was pretty decent, as the ascent had been quite arduous and uninspiring.

After a short stay I decided I just wanted to be back in my car, with my bag of Sour Cream and Onion potato chips, box of Fruit Crème cookies, King size Mars Bar, and a can of Red Tangerine Fanta (all the major food groups). A traverse to the summit of End Mountain had already been ruled out, after Raff's valiant efforts earlier in the year. I was just about to head down Bob’s northeast route when I concluded that nothing less than an eight billion dollar bribe would ever bring me back to Association, so I had better check out those unnamed peaks to the west now, or forever hold my peace.

The traverse over to “Other Stuff” (GR294706) turned out to be the most interesting and enjoyable pat of the day. The ridgewalk was easy, except for a fairly short, but exposed section before the summit. As well, the scenery was very pleasant, especially all the steep walls and unnamed peaks to the west and northwest.

For descent, I used the wide gully just northeast of “Other Stuff”. That part was easy and quick. The hike back to Old Fort Creek was also easy, but not quick, as was the slog back up to the shoulder of Yamnuska – hopefully the last time I will ever have to do that.

Association Peak will plant itself firmly on the “Glad I did it, but never again” list.      


The east side of Yamnuska

The ascent canyon

Approaching the ridge; "Other Stuff" to the left

Same as above

The ridge to the left; thankfully the other side of the ridge is wide and relatively flat

Association Peak

The summit view to the north

The traverse to Other Stuff

More scenery along the traverse

Looking back to Association (left)

Looking back along the traverse; End Mountain is just right of centre

The view to the south from Other Stuff

Orient Point

Unnamed peaks to the northwest

Same as above; lots of steep faces to explore (not to imply that I'm about to do that!) 

Scenery on the way down

Looking up at the easy descent route

Looking back at Association