Trip Report    

Intermediate Snowshoe - Mount Gardner

Mount Gardner

  • Snow and ice on road
  • The 9020 Road crossing of Harris Creek has neither a bridge nor a culvert.  We were able to wade and rock-hop on our snowshoes, but some of us discovered that our waterproof boots weren't quite.

After the previous weekend's heavy snow and rain, the weather and avalanche forecasts had finally settled down, giving us a beautiful partly-cloudy day for this trip.  This year's closure of the Tinkham Road (bermed just after Exit 42) added about 3 miles to our total trip since we couldn't park at the Tinkham Campground, but we knew this going in and had adjusted the start time a little bit earlier.

Snow conditions varied, from bootable up to the Iron Horse Trail, crunchy along the Iron Horse, to several inches of decent snow up high.  

Trip planning had identified a nice low angle route up from the Iron Horse to the 9020 Road, which worked out very nicely.  Lots of fun routefinding our way through the woods.  Once achieving the road, we followed its long switchbacks up towards the top.  It's not difficult, just long, and we stopped just as we reached the ridge because we had hit our turnaround time.  It would have been another mile roundtrip to hit the north summit, and as it was we returned to the cars just before it got dark.  About 6 hours up and 3 hours down.

The 9020 does traverse a big open slope that was pretty windscoured and which required careful travel.  But we were able to get good "bite" with our snowshoes; so ice axes weren't pulled out, but would have been a reasonable choice, too.

The 9020 has one big creek crossing at Harris Creek, with no bridge or culvert.  Rock hopping and/or wading required.  (If starting from Tinkham Campground, this crossing can be avoided, but at the expense of a steeper climb up to the 9020.)