East of Association Peak lies a point that can be seen from the highway. It has no name nor does it seem fitting to call it a mountain, so I called it Association Hill. This hill has always intrigued me and with little else to do late in the season, it seemed like a good idea to reach it. It would offer close views of Association Peak and End Mountain as well as an opportunity to scope out approaches for these mountains. (An easier route is to take the trails I used for Association Peak.)
To reach the hill, we stayed on or close to the boundary line dividing park and Indian lands. We hiked up and over the east end of Mount Yamnuska and then followed branches of Old Fort Creek to the base of the hill. After leaving the creekbed we hiked up the wooded slopes to the top.
Most daunting was the 300 m elevation loss going over the east end of Mount Yamnuska. After trekking six kilometres we found ourselves only 100 m higher than our start point!
After reaching the top we had a good look at Association Peak and End Mountain. We considered continuing on to reach the col and descend the drainage separating the hill and the peak, but bad weather moved in suddenly and we ended up retracing our steps in a whiteout.
The storm passed quickly and the sun even came out for a short time. For the return trip we decided to go around the east end of Yamnuska. Although we had to do some bushwhacking, this route was a bit shorter and it shaved off nearly 200 m gain/loss.
Association Hill may be short on stature, but it offers great views of Association Peak and End Mountain.
Starting up the cutline road
Looking back down the cutline
Hiking down the south fork of Old Fort Creek, our objective ahead
Crossing the south fork. East Peak of Wendell in the background.
Going up the north fork of Old Fort Creek. Association Peak on the left.
We'll soon leave the creek and head up the slope (not seen here). Association ahead.
We come out of the trees to see the east face of Association Peak.
The top is in sight
Mount Yamnuska on the right
View a little later
Association Peak appears close by.
On the summit, we watch the snow squall coming in
Snow squall moves in fast
Looking back at Association Peak and Association Hill
Interesting rock on Yamnuska
82 O/3 Canmore