Inspired by a recent trip report on this site and with three free days, I decided to take a solo trip up the wolf creek drainage. Did the 10 mile approach to Gardner Meadows on Friday. Left the car at 4:30pm and got there at 8:30. The trail was in pretty good shape for the first few miles, but then I encountered 10-20 blowdowns and the brush was pretty overgrown. Wildflowers were in full bloom.
Left camp at 7:30am and headed towards N. Gardner. Ran into snow around 7200ft and cramponed in perfect styrofoam conditions until around 8000ft when it began to soften. Leaving camp an hour earlier would have been perfect. Topped out on point 8487, and got my first good views of N Gardner and the ridge running to it. From this point I also got my first good look at the ridge running to Gardner. I was not yet sure if I would take it or drop back down the way I had come and traverse over. The ridge to N Gardner was technically easy and virtually snow free, probably class 2-3. On top I found a bronze mountaineers register tube with a melted spot on the cap. Lighting strike? I was on top from 10:45-11. On the way back to point 8487 I studied the ridge to Gardner a bit and psyched myself up to go for it.
Most of the Gendarmes on the ridge could be bypassed on the south side, and rarely did I have to make a tricky move with any real exposure below me, but this ridge was definitely a notch harder than the other one. I arrived at the top at 1 and met Nick from Seattle. We named the peaks that we could see and then headed down at 1:20. The correct gully is the farthest west, near the false summit. We glissaded and plunged in snow and scree back to 7200ft and then walked back to the meadow, arriving at 2:30. I considered walking out that day but a nap beckoned. The next day I walked out in 4 hours.
Hey, this is Nick from Seattle! Good to see your TR on here. What a beautiful weekend in the hills, nice to chat for a bit on Gardner. If I'm ever up there again I'll definitely do the traverse. Cheers
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases when you use our link(s).