Ascent of Bonanza Peak on 2015-06-28

Climber: Sean Albert

Date:Sunday, June 28, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bonanza Peak
    Elevation:9511 ft / 2898 m

Ascent Trip Report

Noel, Jared and I met very early at Noel's house on Saturday morning and headed for Fields Point on Lake Chelan to catch the Lady of the Lake to Lucerne. We caught the 9:30am slow boat, which was absolutely packed due to a huge director change over event up at Holden Village. As we approached Lucerne there were four school buses ready to take us up the hill. Due to the ongoing mine remediation we weren't allowed to bring our bikes on the bus (which was the original plan), and we couldn't ride the bus up or down the road on weekdays, more on this later. Our bus was loaded full with people as well as all types of cargo including things like tires...

The bus ride was very smooth up the 10+ mile road, which is in perfect shape due to the construction, as it was widened to get huge equipment up to the remediation. We reached Holden Village around 12:30pm and drank a bunch cold water and soda from the cafeteria. The weather was forecast to be extremely hot, 100's in the low lands, and boy was it hot! We dropped our approach shoes in the Hiker Hut and left the Village at 1:00pm heading for Holden Pass. We made Holden Lake at 3:20pm pretty worked from the heat and immediately jumped in the lake to curb heat stroke. We thought we might be able to drop our stuff at the pass/camp and climb Martin before dark, but with the heat we knew that plan was out. The route finding around the lake wasn't to bad, just a little shwacking and we broke out into the talus and followed a trail up towards the pass. We made Holden Pass at 5:30pm, set up camp, and found a slow trickle of water running from small but quickly melting snow patch on the saddle.

Sunday morning we woke up early and left the pass in the dark at 4:10am. We figured out a way up the notorious sketchy slabs, probably a little to far to climbers left, but we made it work and looked forward to rapping from trees above the falls on the way down. Jared led out on the glacier and picked a nice line high above all the huge cracks and constant ice fall. We were worried about the snow conditions considering how warm it was, but didn't encounter anything to difficult. We easily walked over the shrund on a large snow bridge. We passed under the hanging snow field above the glacier and transitioned to rock on a small ridge at 6:45am. We picked our way up the rock, zig zagging, but heading mostly up to gain the NE ridge just below the summit. We made the summit at 8am, the highest non-volcanic mountain in Washington! The summit register was soggy, so Jared donated a new pad.

We didn't stay to long since Martin was next up. We made one rap from just below the summit and then back down the glacier to the slabs. After looking for the standard tree rap station above the falls (destroyed by an avalanche) we rapped off a stump backed up by a cluster of trees. A single 60 didn't get us to easy terrain but we managed to traverse/deal with more wet slabs. A double rap would have been perfect but we only had one rope. We made it back to camp at 1:00pm, took us longer to descend... We decided to go for Martin, avoiding the math and time it would take us to get back to the Village and walk, yes walk down the 10+ mile road to Lucerne.

We made the summit of Martin at 4:45pm after what seemed like endless ribs and loose gullies. The ridge proper didn't look very easy so we stayed mostly to climbers right of it. This ended up being longer and harder than any of us had expected... We rapped from near the summit down the short chimney and down climbed everything else.
We made it back to camp at 7:30pm and packed up, leaving around 8:30pm. We made Holden Village at 11pm in the dark and ate dinner (dehydrated) on the porch. We all guzzled many cups of juice/soda from the cafeteria, which was still buzzing with workers at midnight. I think I downed 6. We left Holden around midnight and headed down the road in the dark. Note: We were told repeatedly that during the mine remediation the public can ONLY use the road between 7pm and 2am, this is why we were walking the road at night, cursing we didn't have our bikes. The road walk was a little soul crushing, even aided by listening to Micheal Jackson's Thriller on my I-phone speaker. We made the Refrigerator Harbor camp in Lucerne as the sun was coming up around 4am. 24 hours on the go. Didn't see anyone else on the road?

Monday morning we slept for a few hours before being woken up by lightening. It was hot and a much needed jump in the lake was long overdue. We relaxed and waited for the ferry at camp and then by the dock. While doing so we watched a helicopter suck up water from the lake and drop it on a fire started by the lightening that morning. What looked like a small fire to be easily put out by the end of the day turned into the terribly destructive Wolverine fire. The entire road to Holden and all around the Village ended up burning, glad we had a chance to see it and suffer on it before the fire.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6311 ft / 1923 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:6311 ft / 1923 m
    Start Trailhead:3200 ft / 975 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Sean Albert
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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