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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Gardner Mountain & North Gardner Mountain

Perfect time to clime both peaks. The Sawtooth's deliver!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trail mostly clear of blowdowns.  Snow free.  Plenty of running water at Gardner Meadows.
    One small stream at base of Gardner base gully will disappear soon.

Easy hike to meadows.  Camped at a nice spot just past a small steam, 100 yrs before end of
official trail.  4.5 hrs.
Boots on trail at 6am.  Headed up grassy rib/ face just left of stream to base of Gardner
but decided to do N. Gardner first and did a mostly level traverse on scree then straight up to
achieve saddle ridge.  Headed NW and stayed near ridge top gendarmes as they are quite solid and fun.  C2 & 3.
Went over top of Pt8407, bypassed first gendarme on slight left.  Second one is crux:  either go down
150ft on loose but easy garbage left to avoid or do a few C3 + moved on right with exposure.  Party did both.  Both go.  The rest is mostly a C2 walk to top.  3hr 40min to summit.
Our party had seven and I felt it to be wiser to return to Gardner base and go up there.  Plus we needed water refill.
Gardner is so melted now it starts with a C3 gully for 100 ft then is just loose scree to summit.
We all felt N. Gardner is the better peak and much easier.  Keep in mind with snow, North would
be a bit more onerous.
9.5 hrs camp to camp.
3hrs 40 min to cars.
Beware of soul crushing trail runners doing both in one day.