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Ascent of Bonanza Peak on 2019-07-07

Climber: Ian Culhane

Date:Sunday, July 7, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bonanza Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:9511 ft / 2898 m

Ascent Trip Report

Climbed the standard route up Bonanza Peak from 7/6-7/8.

Left Seattle at 5:30 in order to make the 9:30 ferry from Field's Point up Lake Chelan. Arrived at Lucerne about 2 hours later, and then took the bus up to Holden, which took another hour. Once arriving we talked to a group who had just climbed Bonanza, ate lunch, and then headed up the road towards the trail. After about 15 minutes the road turns into a trail (the Lyman/Hart Lake Trail), and after another 15 minutes you come across the turnoff for Holden Lake.

The trail up to Holden Lake is really well maintained, with gradual switchbacks and nice views the whole way. After reaching the lake we easily followed the trail around the lake, which eventually turns into a climbers trail near a marsh/small meadow. The climbers trail isn't nearly bad as we expected; there was a ~20 minute portion of some slider alder bushwacking and navigation through a maze of different paths, but the one we took seemed reasonable and took us out to one of the main boulder fields. From here we kind of screwed up by heading directly up the boulder field (at the advice of a few day hikers we passed). After realizing we had gone way too high, we decided to do a rising traverse across some rock slabs into the forest to get directly to the pass. In hindsight heading back down to the normal trail along the waterfall stream would have been faster, but our route worked fine. There's also no water at the pass or on the route we took.

The next morning we headed up Bonanza at around 6:00. The approach to the waterfall ledges were easy; at one point you have to bushwack a bit to gain a boulderfield. The waterfall ledges were way easier than we expected. We got onto them right below the cliff band on the right, traversed ~50-100 feet directly left (crossing a waterfall along the way), then headed up mostly dry class 3 slabs for ~100 feet to flat ground.

The glacier was also pretty easy. We followed bootpack, which hugged the right side for most of the climb (you should always have cliffs just to your right). At about 8400' there was one large crevasse we crossed with a fairly good snow bridge. That said, the crevasse spans the whole glacier, and in 1-2 weeks the route will be out for the season. Getting off the glacier was easy, although we were in a cloud by then.

The top scramble was a lot more exposed than I expected; I would say the entire thing is class 4, as pretty much any fall would be fatal. We ended up doing some simulclimbing near the top, as the rock quality had gotten worse (at one point I nearly pulled loose a vertical 4'x 4' plate). Placements are pretty scarce but if you search you can find good ones. We brought a set of nuts and smaller cams (.3-1 of C4s), which seemed about right.

Didn't get any views at the summit, but we spent over an hour sitting there anyways. There was no wind and it was quite warm; I ended up taking a short nap at one point. We did roughly 10 single rappels to get down the summit block, doing a few short scrambles between rap stations. Most were in pretty good shape, although we did come across two that were pretty sketch.

The rest of the descent was pretty uneventful; weather cleared up in the evening. The next morning we took ~3 hours to get from the pass back to Holden, where we had a few hours to kill before the bus took us back down to Lucerne.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Tent Camp



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