Friday, July 9, 2010

Update on Mt. Wrightson from Gardner Canyon

On 4 June 2010 Jim Moutray sent me this update on the Mt. Wrightson from Gardner Canyon hike:
About a month ago after using your site including comments by Jason Adler our daughter and I went up the mountain. We drove to the trailhead in a high clearance 4 X 4, as you say a 2 wheel drive could do it carefully. Shortly after leaving Walker Basin area the trail is lost in the downed trees etc. We went up the side of the mountain which blocks a view of
Wrightson, heading in a NE direction. It was difficult but doable with 2 trekking poles each. After getting to the top of the ridge and heading south a mile or so Mt Wrightson came into view. Heading toward Wrightson keeping the elevation we had gained we saw the "meadow or park" area to our left and hit the Super trail about 20-30 min later. We enjoyed the rest of the hike to the top.

On the way down we stayed on the Super Trail as long as possible then down into the "Park" area. It is really a mess, probably much worse than When Jason was there. Down dead trees keep you from finding and staying on a trail. We did have high winds in March and April. It was quite difficult to make progress and a challenge to determine about where the Walker Basin area was. I had taken good looks back on the way up from Walker area or would have been in trouble. We took considerable longer to come down thru the park area to Walker than going up north of it cross country. Total time to the top from trailhead was 4:45, down was about 4:15.

I would not recommend that anyone approach Wrightson from Gardner Canyon. Think about 3 men with chainsaws and camping equipment could fix the missing part of the trail in 3-4 days. I would volunteer to help with a donation for an effort to do a fix. If I were younger would help physically, am 71 and fit but have limits. Thank you for your help with Sierra Club, maps etc. We live about 13 miles from Wrightson and would love to hike it again with guests and family that come, and to recommend it to others. At the top we visited with 2 couples that had tried a few days before to come thru the burned area but gave up. On that day they came in thru Madera Canyon.

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