Forum Index > Trip Reports > gardners, shelokum, wolf head, wolftit, hoe - 2014-07-04
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iron
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iron
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PostTue Jul 08, 2014 10:10 am 
with a suspect forecast for the 4th of july weekend (possible rain pockets and clouds on the west side), we headed east to the land of sun. more specifically, to the gardner meadows area. i figured the gardners would be a good next step in the recovery process for hotpantz following her bilateral hip replacement back on march 25. so far she'd done goat lake (easy trail), haner peak (road walk) and adams (easy snow, though a lot of vert). the gardners would offer the joy of scree (yippee!) and would require different muscles to be used than on previous trips.

the trail was in great shape from the trailhead to the meadows. some semi brushy spots that would be unpleasant if wet, but otherwise nice. the forest starts with your typical east side ponderosas, but gave way quickly to a more lush vegetation with only a sprinkling of east side goodness. snowbrush was out in force and its aroma blended nicely with the butterscotch smells of the ponderosas. this valley has some large trees and appeared to have even bigger ones not long ago before the last fire tore through.

(editor's note: my DSLR didn't work for some reason, so all pics are c/o hotpantz

winding through the grass
winding through the grass
view of Wolfhead from camp
view of Wolfhead from camp

once reaching camp in gardner meadows, i took off to tag point 7574 (aka hoe peak). the three creek crossings were relatively easy due to the ample downed trees. conversely, the travel was not super easy due to the ample downed trees. oh well. eventually, debris lead to scree and it was easy to head up from there. i saw no signs of anyone ever on top of this bump (for good reason) and headed down. i stopped about 20 times to remove sharp needles from my boots. fun

upon arriving back at camp, matt and dicey just arrived. they planned to join us so they could go and tag wolf head and shelokum.
Matt and Carla show up!
Matt and Carla show up!

we hung out and chatted with one other group in the camp area before turning in. the evening brought very light sprinkles, but the next day promised sun.

the meadows shone brilliantly in the morning sun. the flowers here are second to none.
blue and blue
blue and blue

our path to gardner was pretty much straight up. some scree at the top, but its severity is overblown. do this trip in the summer, unless you really want to ski or glissade these slopes. otherwise, the flowers make whatever scree there is seem trivial.
Abernathy
Abernathy
rooster tree
rooster tree
abernathy ridge, abernathy, wolftit
abernathy ridge, abernathy, wolftit
the meadows from above
the meadows from above
shale fun
shale fun

there was a nalgene register on gardner with a bunch of loose papers. not too exciting. next, we headed over to north gardner essentially following the ridge or just to the south of it. there's basically a path the whole way and travel is easy. north gardner definitely had better views and the register was more fun to read.
lots of friends in the register
lots of friends in the register
we did it! Gardner in the background, taken from N Gardner
we did it! Gardner in the background, taken from N Gardner

on the way down, i found a hat.
the elusive mtn gnome
the elusive mtn gnome

and then figured i should go do shelokum since i was here. from the saddle south of north gardner, i dropped straight down a wide open scree slope. it was good scree. the basin above shelokum lake was filled with good sized larches and a decent amount of running water. a snow finger and some blocky talus took me back up to the saddle between shelokum and wolf head. i saw some gear left by dicey and matt, meaning i'd soon have company. midway to the summit we crossed paths and shared beta. the ascent to the summit was kind of standard variety travel in these parts. traverse. up. down. scree. loose rocks. lamont lake looks pretty awesome!
on the scree headed to Shelokum
on the scree headed to Shelokum

i retreated from the summit as more sprinkles came down and headed back to the larch-filled basin and then up to the saddle east of wolf head from where i'd stay on the south side of the ridge to its summit. only a few entries in the fay pullen register.

the wolf creek basin below the saddle is truly something spectacular. larches. white granite boulders. waterfalls. creeks. tons of flowers. wow. sorry, no camera with me....

the next day i left camp early (for me) to tag pt 7976 (aka wolftit). the morning sun today was strong and the fragrances were pungent. the route involved more trapeze work walking from downed tree to downed tree. my breakfast was shared with a woodpecker and another bird that liked to screech. BTW, gardner meadows is a paradise for birds. it had to be the highest concentration of calls i've ever heard in one spot.

much like the other peaks, staying on the south aspect of the ridge seemed most logical, though it was clear the ramps on the north side of the ridge would work too (with snow). the flowers scattered among the rocks were incredible. sorry, no camera with me...  after watching a few deer playing on the slopes, i tagged the summit. again, no signs of visitation. i thought this peak had the best views of all of them in the area, especially looking down into wolf creek valley and the meadows. the north side of abernathy is especially impressive, though the glacier shown on the map is long gone.

meanwhile, hotpantz enjoyed yoga in the warm sunlight back at camp. that, plus nice views.
forget-me-not Abernathy
forget-me-not Abernathy
thistle's turn to pose
thistle's turn to pose
valley of yellow
valley of yellow
more pictures in front of Abernathy ridge
more pictures in front of Abernathy ridge

we packed up and headed out under a near-hot sun. thoughts of our stashed beers kept us moving.
dive!
dive!
a bath and some stowed cider with 2 miles left to go
a bath and some stowed cider with 2 miles left to go

totals for all the peaks were about 36 miles and 15,500ft. hotpantz did great and although she's sore, there's no pain in her hips anymore. that's a successful trip in my book.

ice cream in winthrop and burgers in darrington. we wanted to stop at the brewery, but they were closed (we later learned there are now two breweries in d-ton). good food in marblemount looks to be closed for good. the oso landslide is very sobering.

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Jul 08, 2014 10:30 am 
up.gif  That's great that hotpantz is out and about so much already after her surgery.

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suziq999
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PostTue Jul 08, 2014 10:54 am 
olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
up.gif  That's great that hotpantz is out and about so much already after her surgery.

I am so ridiculously impressed also!

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chiwakum
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chiwakum
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PostTue Jul 08, 2014 12:15 pm 
up.gif  up.gif
Bummer about the DSLR. But did you find that you might have actually enjoyed the trip more because you weren't obligated to take any pics? I've taken several recent trips where I've lugged around 6 lbs of camera equipment that I didn't get around to using. I might start leaving the DSLR at home.

And what an amazingly fast recovery!!!

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diggityrisk
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PostTue Jul 08, 2014 1:10 pm 
Great to read your report. I'm Randy and was scouting the area that weekend and have now joined NW hikers. Nice shots

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raising3hikers
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PostTue Jul 08, 2014 2:56 pm 
very nice, way to find more peaks in there to get.  it definitely deserves another visit to the area.  glad hotpantz is doing so well

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Eric Eames
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DIYSteve
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PostTue Jul 08, 2014 3:34 pm 
Only 5 summits?  Lazyass  clown.gif

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iron
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iron
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PostTue Jul 08, 2014 3:35 pm 
6.

better?  hockeygrin.gif  moon.gif

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b00
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PostTue Jul 08, 2014 10:34 pm 
awesome!

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Redwic
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PostWed Jul 09, 2014 8:51 am 
Nice trip, both of you.

I'm glad to see hotpantz getting healthier and stronger, post-surgery.

I look forward to hearing about further progress.  up.gif

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Year 2021: 50 pounds lighter but not 50 points brighter.
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Stefan
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PostWed Jul 09, 2014 9:04 am 
awesome for getting out hotpantz!

hope the DSLR was just in the wrong gravitation vortex at the time.

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Art is an adventure.
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Stella
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PostWed Jul 09, 2014 10:08 pm 
We were on Gardner Saturday afternoon and snapped this picture of two people on North Gardner - maybe you and hotpantz? Kuddos to hotpantz for making the most of new hips.
Pixels of people on North Gardner
Pixels of people on North Gardner

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iron
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iron
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PostWed Jul 09, 2014 10:10 pm 
^ yep. that's us.

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twodogdad
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PostThu Jul 10, 2014 12:06 pm 
Watch out, Eric. If hotpantz was able to do that so unbelievably shortly after surgery, your record times are in jeopardy. Kudos, team Hot Iron. N

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tuck and roll
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PostThu Jul 10, 2014 7:40 pm 
Nice pics, even without the DSLR. I never get tired of seeing those meadows. up.gif

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