Mount Gardiner East Ridge

Fresno, California

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His fellow members of the Whitney Survey named Mt. Gardiner for James Gardiner. Their field notes describe the peaks. “Two peaks lying in front of the crest are especially fine, the northern one being a little the highest. This we named Mt. King, and the southern one Mt. Gardiner.” Mt. Gardiner sits like a mountain island above the deep canyons of Bubbs Creek, Woods Creek, and the South Fork of the Kings River. The top is a sharp, U-shaped crest with the higher summit on the north end. The exposed traverse along this knife-edged ridge leads to a thrilling summit. The first ascent of the peak was made by two of the eminent mountaineers of their day: Bolton Brown and Joseph N. LeConte. Meeting by chance in Bubbs Creek Canyon, they discovered that they both had plans to climb Mt. Gardiner. The two climbers were professors at rival universities, and we can assume that each had a strong sense of school pride. A few weeks prior to the ascent of Mt. Gardiner, LeConte had climbed University Peak, naming it in honor of the University of California at Berkeley, where he and his father were on the faculty. Brown had just come from the Kings-Kern Divide, where he had climbed a prominent peak and christened it Mt. Stanford. Norman Clyde described their route. “Possessing sheer cliffs to the west and north, it is an impressive peak from those directions. It can be ascended only from the south, and then only by crossing a saddle from a slightly lower peak, working up a broken rock face for about a hundred feet and thence along a ragged knife-edge to the highest point about 50 yards distant.”

Mount Gardiner: East Ridge Professional Review and Guide

"His fellow members of the Whitney Survey named Mt. Gardiner for James Gardiner. Their field notes describe the peaks. “Two peaks lying in front of the crest are especially fine, the northern one being a little the highest. This we named Mt. King, and the southern one Mt. Gardiner.” Mt. Gardiner sits like a mountain island above the deep canyons of Bubbs Creek, Woods Creek, and the South Fork of the Kings River. The top is a sharp, U-shaped crest with the higher summit on the north end. The exposed traverse along this knife-edged ridge leads to a thrilling summit. The first ascent of the peak was made by two of the eminent mountaineers of their day: Bolton Brown and Joseph N. LeConte. Meeting by chance in Bubbs Creek Canyon, they discovered that they both had plans to climb Mt. Gardiner. The two climbers were professors at rival universities, and we can assume that each had a strong sense of school pride. A few weeks prior to the ascent of Mt. Gardiner, LeConte had climbed University Peak, naming it in honor of the University of California at Berkeley, where he and his father were on the faculty. Brown had just come from the Kings-Kern Divide, where he had climbed a prominent peak and christened it Mt. Stanford. Norman Clyde described their route. “Possessing sheer cliffs to the west and north, it is an impressive peak from those directions. It can be ascended only from the south, and then only by crossing a saddle from a slightly lower peak, working up a broken rock face for about a hundred feet and thence along a ragged knife-edge to the highest point about 50 yards distant.”"

Activity Type: Climbing
Nearby City: Fresno
Class: Class 4
Local Contacts: Kings Canyon National Park
Local Maps: USGS Mt. Clarence King, Kearsarge Peak
Driving Directions: Directions to Mount Gardiner: East Ridge

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May 2018