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Trip Report    

Gardner Mountain & North Gardner Mountain

Pivot from Shuksan to the Gardners for good weather. Got that a lot of bushwhacking to get the skis back to Gardner Meadows.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Intermittent snow on trail after mile 6.

    Lots of blow downs.

    The steep(ish) portion of the trail where it climbs up into Gardner Meadows is impassible with flowing water on the trail and a total mess of blowdowns.  Bushwack required for about 400' to bypass. 

With the weather forecast not cooperating with our plans to ski the Sulphide Glacier on Shuksan, we decided to chase the good forecast on the east side of the crest.  We settled on the Gardners and hoped that the trailhead access would be largely snowfree.  Turns out we had no need to worry! 

The trailhead and trail are totally snow free for the first 6 miles and after that only intermittent snow until it became continuous about ½ mile from Gardner Meadows.  As a result, we carried skis over and under many many (many) blowdowns and several bypass ‘swacks around impassible sections of trail.  We found a great dry camp site at the same tree “island” with the single huge old growth tree referred to on summitpost and settled in for the evening.Nick blow down.jpg

conor creek crossing.jpg

Sunday morning we started skinning just after 6 and transitioned to cramponing at the mouth of the gully leading to the shoulder just west of Gardner Mountain’s summit at about 7550’.  After summiting we skied the ascent line, hanging a hard right (west) at the mouth of gully to aim west towards the approach to N Gardner’s false summit, point 8487.

We hit 8487 at approximately noon and declined to attempt North Gardner due to apprehension about climbing the 4th class sections in our ski boots after taking a look at them from the PT 8487/N Gardner saddle and due to changing weather conditions.

The ski back to camp from 8487 was a corn harvest and made carrying the skis 10.5 miles to camp the previous day seem worth it…right up until it was time to hike back out!

skiing towards Abernathy.jpg

With the benefit of hindsight, I would recommend going earlier in order to skin as much of the approach as possible or waiting another month for the trail conditions to approve and doing it as a scramble.


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Michael Knoll
Michael Knoll says:
May 16, 2021 12:46 AM

Very helpful. Thanks for posting.

Ian Dickson
Ian Dickson says:
Jun 06, 2021 10:04 AM

In a couple of years the pain will have been forgotten and all that will remain is the memory of the glory, i'm sure.