American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Kate Gardiner, 1886-1977

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1974



Kate Gardiner passed away in her sleep at her home in Hastings, New Zealand on January 28, 1974. She was a member of the American Alpine Club from 1932 until 1971, when with failing eyesight and little strength, she asked to resign. She was also a member of the Alpine Club of Canada and the Ladies Alpine Club in England. She was the daughter of a well-known English climber, Frederick Gardiner.

Kate climbed in Asia, Africa, Japan, Europe and Australia, but her real climbing record was made in New Zealand and in the Canadian Rockies. She climbed Mount Cook in 1928 and while climbing Mount Tasman in 1933, she and three companions were trapped by storm in a crevasse on the Fox Glacier for eight days. A hut on Mount Cook is named for her. Many first ascents are credited to her in both New Zealand and in Canada. In 1933 she teamed up with me for a horseback trip onto the Ice River valley where with Walter Feuz and Christian Hasler as guides we traversed the south tower of Mount Goodsir, climbed the north peak and made one other ascent. Her climbing career was the more remarkable as in her younger years she was tied down looking after an invalid mother and only started her active, serious climbing about 1926. She did war work in both World Wars in England but later settled in New Zealand, living on a sheep ranch belonging to a friend. She made many friends in Canada who mourn the passing of this interpid and ardent mountaineer.

Lillian Gest

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