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Ascent of Bonanza Peak on 2019-07-12

Climber: Michael Lewis

Others in Party:Josh Lewis -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Friday, July 12, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bonanza Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:9511 ft / 2898 m

Ascent Trip Report

Josh and I got up at 5am and drove from Lynnwood to Chelan in 3 hours catching the Lady of the Lake II out of Chelan on July 11th. We took a nap on the boat to save energy for later buying a couple cupcakes (2 for 1) before disembarking. We left Holden Village at about 2pm after hitting up the buffet leftovers and got to Holden Lake by 4pm. The waterfalls coming off the glacier above and pouring over the massive cliffs were just as intimidating as ever. Josh navigated us up some braided trails using a GPX that got us to the climber's path with minimal brush. We made Holden pass around 5:30pm. I stupidly had us go higher up to about 6850' before setting up camp although we had a nice view of Bonanza. A deer kept us company but I had to keep my gold coins away from it. We woke up slightly late at 6, melted snow, made breakfast, broke down camp and started moving by 7am. The waterfall slabs were more melted out than last time and the slimy rock required some care but I don't remember thinking it was sketchy. The key was to aim high right against the wall and it follows easy ledges to the glacier. I led up the Mary Green Glacier, occasionally asking for agreement on direction until we arrived at the rock. We should have dropped the rope but brought it for an occasional rappel (never happened). We wanted to make good time so we could make the ferry out that night. We navigated gullies and ledges mostly up and left. Every now and then I would disagree with a gully and found some easier scrambling and we'd meet back up at the top of it. 500 feet of overall class 3 with occasional class 4 moves. It was challenging but not overwhelming. Sometimes I had to back track before I went up something approaching 5th class to find an easier way. Rappel slings indicated we were on route. The summit ridge was spicier than I anticipated and seemed to have some necessary 4th moves in it but perhaps there's a way to keep it all 3rd class if you go slow. We summitted just before 11am and then it was clear I was missing the boat. Instead of rushing down as originally planned, we took our time. We downclimbed a slightly different way that was more of a direct line to the ridge above where you leave the glacier at 9000'. We took our time and sauntered down the glacier. The waterfall slabs were wetter with all the snow melt so we moved a little slower going down them. Dried socks at Holden Pass and hiked straight down to Holden Village hoping for a buffet. We were too late but they had leftovers and graciously offered us a room for the night in light of us missing our boat home. The next day we upgraded our passes and waved to AJ Fisher and Eli on our way out. Later we would discover Eli took a fall on the waterfall slabs putting him out of work and crushing their summit bid. I might post a diagram of the falls and hopefully that will clear up future confusion on the slabs route. This is a beautiful but dangerous peak.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6285 ft / 1915 m
    Route:Mary Green Glacier
    Trailhead:Holden Village  3226 ft / 983 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Mud/Swamp, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy



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