The ridge portion is indeed enjoyable. Back in my home range, the North Cascades, a knife edge like that we'd call 5.0. Of course, the rock would likely be crappier.
Took a day off work from my job at Furnace Creek Ranch to attempt this as a dayhike from Onion Valley. Really enjoyed the approach from Charlotte Lake. Started feeling not so hot at about 12,000 feet (I was living 200 feet below sea level at the time). I got to the base of the South Summit but decided to bail on the class 4 and descend into Gardiner Basin and eat lunch. Ended up hiking back through 60 Lakes Basin, past Rae Lakes, and Glen Pass. All in all a fantastic 17 hour day in the High Sierra.
First peak of a 3 day Labor Day adventure. Climbed Gardiner on Day 1 from Onion Valley. The final ridge to the summit was great fun on solid, exposed Class 3+ rock. Climbed Cotter and Clarence King on Day 2.
Climbed Gardiner after an exciting climb of Cotter. A slog up to the south summit. Some easy 4th class scrambling and a cool, easy knife edge lead to the true summit. I disagree with others here though - Clarence King is a much more serious and challenging summit.
Great trip with Vitaliy M. and Max up the NE ridge from the highest lake in 60 Lakes Basin before Clarence King the next day. Fun class 2-3 on the ridge surpassed only by the summit ridge. Really liked this peak.
With Tom and Laura. Mostly a sand-slog and talus-hop, but an exciting finish.
This was the toughest hike I've ever done. It took four of us 19 hours from Roads End 6:30am to 1:30am. With the huge amount of water runoff and snow around the South slope we decided to hike up to Gardiner Pass and across the ridge to the South summit because nobody had crampons or waterproof boots. This route does give you excellent views north along the ridge. There was a HUGE avalanche this spring that took out about 300 yards of trees for about a mile or two on the south slope of Gardiner Pass, be careful if crossing this mess. Also, the summit register is missing, so if you do summit bring a pad and pen to leave :(
Definitely more fun than Clarence King! Climbed in a day from camp as part of the Kings Spur traverse (CK, Cotter, Gardiner). Coming from Gardiner Lakes, I took the sweeping ridge that leads to the lower summit. It was fun class 2-3 scrambling the whole way, and the summit ridge was loooots of scrambling fun. Staying on the knife-edge the WHOLE time bumps up the difficulty to a short 5.5 move.
Long day hike out from Onion Valley. Easy ascent/traverse leads to the South Peak where the fun begins! Descended East Chute and climbed Mt Cotter before the long exit via Rae, Glen, and Kearsarge Passes. Pictures and trip report
Not quite the slog I recalled now that I was only carrying a daypack. Much nicer! Trip Report
Ascended the south slopes, then descended the east chute to head over to Cotter. Looped back via Sixty Lakes Basin and the Woods Creek trail--a very long, rather tiring day. The bushwhacking past Charlotte Dome pretty much sapped any drive I had to go and climb that thing, at least until I forget how bad the brush was...
The knife edge is a fun scramble, with nice exposure and perfect holds right where you want them. Some of the easiest 4th class I've climbed in the Sierra.
East ridge was climbing at it's best!
Long day climb from Onion Valley. Climbed solo in a near whiteout.
mconnell and I were on a grand tour of the Gardiner Basin, climbing Mt. Gardiner on the second day. We carried all our crap up to nearly 13,000 ft at the south summit, traversed over to the north summit and back, then carried our gear down to Gardiner Lakes. I had a helluva headache at the high altitude, but the climbing on the knife edge was fantastic. And the climb from Charlotte Creek is an amazing slog. Worse than Mt. Clark's NW Arete approach! Trip report