End Mountain

elevation: 2,453 m. height gain: 1,520 m.
area: Ghost River,AB map 82 O/3

Ref: The Raffinator
trail to cutline

If you plan on climbing Yamnuska's Shoulder via the cutline; from the east end of the parking lot, walk the road and look for this trail.
Scramble: RT 16.0 (includes Association Peak); 7.5 up. This season seemed to be the time to get up End Mountain; since Raff posted a route up this Front Range summit, almost every scrambler I know has ascended it!! ... I didn't want to feel left out!! All kidding aside, the route on the west side of the mountain is aesthetically appealing and offers a short thrilling crux chimney; adding to the compelling factor is the possibility of ascending a second summit with very little extra effort. On the down side is that it requires a lengthy hike, about 30 kilometers. One has to ascend Yamnuska's Shoulder, descend in CMC Valley to then contour up and around the shoulder of East Peak of Wendell and lose height again when going down to Old Fort Creek. The good thing about this circuitous approach is that good trails are used all the way. It's possible to cut down the mileage but requesting a permit from the Stoney Tribal Administration is necessary to permit access to the shortcut ATV trails on the Stoney Reserve; since we didn't go that way, I won't talk about this approach. After crossing Old Fort Creek, there's two options: bushwhack to the horse trail or walk downstream about 400 meters looking for the obvious trail on the shoreline. The good trail leads all the way to Association Pass. From the pass, we ascended grassy slopes and started traversing towards Association's north bowl. The sidehilling on the talus slopes to reach the Association/End Col isn't that pleasant but I like to rack it up as part of the price of admission for this twosome. Once on the col, the route to End is interesting and scenic. The crux chimney was dry when we went, there was no snow at the base of the gully to step up to the chokestone that must be awkwardly climbed over. Fabrice gave me a butt belay until I was able to grab on to the top of the chokestone and reef myself over; it wasn't gracefully executed but it worked! I knew going up that this slightly overhanging move would require a short rappel for the descent to be on the safe side; we came prepared and had a short length of rope just for that. The rest of the gully was moderate scrambling; we had to be careful not to let loose rock tumble down on each other, I guess that was the tough part... We reached the summit shortly after the chimney. We enjoyed the view and a snack before backtracking to the col for a quick jaunt up Association Peak.

on the cutline

On the cutline.

almost at the shoulder

Almost at the shoulder, dunno that we're saving that much time coming this way versus the trail but we had to try it!

looking down at the bow valley

Looking down at the Bow Valley from the shoulder.

at the old fort creek

After descending into CMC Valley and contouring East Peak of Wendell on a good trail, we finally reached Old Fort Creek.

association pass ahead

We hiked towards Association Pass on the horse trail.

we've come a long way

Looking back, Yamnuska's shoulder appears so far....

almost at the pass

Closing in on the pass.

climbing traverse

From the pass we started a climbing traverse towards Association's north bowl.

north bowl comes into view

The north bowl comes into view with End Mountain on the right.

association's north bowl

Association Peak's north bowl, you want to be fairly high on the talus slopes to avoid bluffs below.

at the col

Association-End Col.

dropping on the west side

Dropping on the west side of the col heading towards End Mountain.

broad ledges

The broad ledges that lead to the crux chimney.

handrailing the rockwall

Aiming for the broad ledge at the base of the rockwall.

looking back

Looking back.

pleasant and scenic

The route is interesting, pleasant and scenic.

getting closer

End Mountain is getting closer.

notch in the south ridge

The notch on the right prevents accessing the summit from the ridge.

buldge in the rockwall

Cool bulge in the rockwall.

crossing under the bulge

Looking back as I cross under the bulge.

crux chimney

At the crux chimney, I reefed myself over the chokestone on the left.

climbing the crux

Fabrice climbing the crux.

remainder of the chimney

The remainder of the chimney is moderate scrambling and loose in places.

looking down

Looking down.

section of slimy rock

At the top of a section that requires some stemming, the rock is slimy there.

out of the chimney

Out of the chimney, we carry on to the top.

looking back again

Looking back again.

at the top


eastern view

The eastern view.

south ghost river

Western view with the South Ghost River.

endless sea of peaks

Endless sea of peaks to the south-west.

view north

Saddle Peak and Orient Point to the north, Black Rock Mountain is visible on the far right.

heading down

Heading back down to the chimney.

locating the chimney

Locating the chimney.

a bit of stemming

Stemming the slimy section.

not too difficult

Not too difficult.

filling the water bottle

Filling my water bottle.

crabbing down

Crabbing down.

rapping the crux

Rapping over the chokestone.


Backtracking on the broad ledge.

the notch on the south ridge

Another glimpse at the notch in the south ridge.

in the crack

Please mountain, don't crumble...

association is next

Association Peak, here we come!

Continue on to Association Peak
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