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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Gardner Mountain & North Gardner Mountain

Delightful spring trip to climb both Gardner and North Gardner Mountains.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Ascent.  Followed climber’s path directly toward Gardner from camping area.  We kept left on the shoulder of the ridge and crossed several sections of relatively hard snow.  Gardner summit was bare rock but surrounded by several inches of snow. IMG_1380.JPG

    From Gardner summit we traversed scree and snow patches to Point 8487.  From Point 8487 we followed the climber’s path to the saddle, staying mostly to climbers left of the ridge proper.  From the saddle we followed climber’s path to the North Gardner summit, staying mostly on climber’s right of the ridgeline. IMG_1386.JPG Summit mostly snow covered. IMG_1388.JPG

    Descent.  From North Gardner summit we retraced our ascent route but traversed scree below the Point 8487 ridgeline.  We decided to explore the ridgeline route toward Lamont Mountain.  Ridge features forced us lower into the basin below the ridge proper.  We eventually decided that we had enough and proceeded back to camp.  The drainage below the Lamont Mtn—Point 8487 ridge was a good descent route in snow.  We made our way to open meadows on skiers right side of the basin.  From there, we eventually made our way back to the standard descent route and back to camp in Gardner Meadows.

    Time: 2h40m camp to Gardner Mtn. 2h05m Gardner Mtn to North Gardner Mtn. 4h10m North Gardner Mtn to camp, via Lamont Mtn exploratory detour.

Trip Date: May 31-June 2, 2019

Gardner Mountain & North Gardner Mountain

Start Location:  Wolf Creek TH

End Location:  Wolf Creek TH

Elevation Gain:  6056ft

General Activity Notes:

Stopped for a late breakfast at Three Fingered Jack Saloon in Winthrop (breakfast closes at 11:00, lunch opens at 11:30).  Carlos 1800 Mexican Cantina in Winthrop for a post-trip meal.

Approach conditions:

Wolf Creek trail is a pleasant hike and in mostly good condition.  Second half is rather brushy with some blowdowns but easily crossed.  4h40m to camp in Gardner Meadows.  We camped in the trees on the trail extension (after the true trail turns left to cross the creek).  One large group of high school students was camped near the creek and one solo hiker camped right at the trail turn. IMG_1375.JPG

Departure:  3h45m camp to trailhead along Wolf Creek Trail.

Permits required?

NW Forest Pass.

Driving / parking notes:

Lots of room at Wolf Creek trailhead.

Equipment notes: 

Carried and used poles, ice axe.  Carried but did not use crampons/microspikes. 

Required Skills:

Snow & rock scrambling skills.

Weather Notes: 

Day 1: Initially partly sunny, becoming overcast with occasional light showers, and one storm cell with heavy rain and hail.

Day 2. Mostly sunny and clear.

Day 3.  Sunny and clear, with above average temps.