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backpacking cross-country down Gardiner Creek

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backpacking cross-country down Gardiner Creek

Postby Andrew-Brownstone » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:05 pm

Looking for info regarding backpacking cross-country down Gardiner Creek to Woods Creek trail Kings Canyon NP (heard it can be sketchy, but if safe, it would be ideal for our trip). Advice?

Level 3-4 backpacker comfortable with class 2 terrain. --Andrew

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Re: backpacking cross-country down Gardiner Creek

Postby maverick » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:11 pm

Hi Andrew,

A lot of downed trees in the mid section and it gets progressively steeper as you descend.
The last 1/2 mile section requires good route finding abilities and even with that you
will have class 3 sections, descending with no views to choose the optimal/safest route makes
things even more dangerous, and with a wrong decision you'll get cliffed out or stuck.

Also this is a very remote route, so if you get injured your on your own, make sure to leave
a very detailed itinerary at home.

To be honest, if you do not have solid class 3 or higher experience, combined with great route
finding abilities you should not be considering this route, this is not a route to be putting your
class 2 experience to a test because it could end up being your last!
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member:
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Re: backpacking cross-country down Gardiner Creek

Postby SSSdave » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:35 pm

There is a reason why you won't find anything on the web about people using that route and the fact it is rather steep is only part of it. Much the same reason you won't find anything about people climbing up from the floor of Yosemite Valley up The Rockslides area even though there are places it is only maybe class 3 steepness.

Where Gardner Creek junctions with SFKR is only 5800 feet elevation. At that elevation on sunny aspects in the Sierra one finds some of the worst brush imaginable starring manzanita. Often such jungles are way over head height deep so if navigating through such one is down inside a cob-webby, often dusty, tarantula infested world gouging at everything moving through. A look at the satellite views shows how much of that route squeezed between steep narrow granitoid canyon walls is BRUSH. Most of we old timers of Sierra crosscountry during our youth sooner or later managed to find ourselves navigating down some steep brush infested slope and learned to avoid such. Places even a monkey would not like. The notion of also carrying a backpack through such places is far worse.
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Re: backpacking cross-country down Gardiner Creek

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:27 pm

I've been allot of places in the Sierra and going down Gardiner Creek is not going to be one of them. :D People with ropes have turned back trying to go up it.
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