From the Wolf Creek Trailhead (see Getting There), hike the 10.3 miles to Gardner Meadows, immediately south of Gardner Mountain, with good campsites available. North Gardner and Gardner can be climbed from here.
From Gardner Meadows do an ascending traverse NW into the valley SW of Gardner Mountain. As you approach the south ridge of North Gardner, find a high basin between Gardner's summit and point 8487. Hike into the basin and ascend to the ridge on the left. Upon achieving that ridge the westward views begin, so early light is best. Ascend this ridge to point 8487, which is essentially the south peak of North Gardner. Continue toward the summit staying left of the ridge when necessary.
If Gardner Mountain is also targetted for the same day, the connecting ridge from point 8487 to Gardner is also a scramble-hike, and the descent to Gardner Meadows can be made down the broad snow/scree couloir that begins SE of the summit of Gardner. There is a cliff band near the bottom of this route, but we found an easy ramp to the left of the stream.
Below is map containing the approximate route we used with rough mileages between significant points.
An ice axe may be needed depending on the snow conditions. There is enough loose rock that some may prefer a hard hat as well.
If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.
Would it be possible to put some stats (i.e. hiking distance, elevation gain, etc.) from Gardner Meadows campsite? That could help a lot of people (myself included) when planning a future trip in the area.