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#1156719 - 09/20/17 10:58 AM [TR] Bonanza Peak - Mary Green Glacier 9/16/2017
bellows Offline

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 152
TRs: 29 Photos: 315
Loc: Seattle
Trip: Bonanza Peak - Mary Green Glacier

Date: 9/16/2017

Trip Report:
Bonanza Peak was the route du jour this past July after being relatively closed off for a couple years. Four trip reports were even posted on this site! I had plans to climb it then but they fell through and I didn't think much of it afterwards due to rumors of problematic late season glacier and moat crossings. But last week Wojtek thought the area would be good for high buck hunting so we decided to multi-sport the weekend and give the route a shot. It went, and rather easily.

Multi-modal transportation on Friday:

View of the peak from camp at Holden Lake:

Saturday we schwacked a bit around the east end of the lake before eventually picking up the climbers trail up to Holden Pass and eventually to the waterfall slabs. Bonus of late season climbing was the slabs were relatively dry and completely trivial. We went up the north side of the glacier to get above the bulk of the crevasses. The bergshrund midway up the snow thumb was easily crossed on the left side and at the top of the thumb we were able to step across a cavernous moat onto 3rd class rock where we rested and had lunch before the scramble to the summit.

Waterfall slabs:

Snow thumb:

Start of scramble with Holden Lake far below:

Smokey summit views:

Parting shot of Bonanza on the descent:

Sunday we got up early and moseyed back down towards Holden hoping to finish off the trip with a bang, but no luck on that front.

Wojtek talks to the locals, asking where their boyfriends are at:

Snow over the last couple days has probably complicated climbing it for the rest of this year, but for future reference it is certainly doable in late season.

Gear Notes:
We carried a small rack for potential moat difficulties but never needed it.

Approach Notes:
Watch out for the hunters!

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#1156720 - 09/20/17 01:01 PM Re: [TR] Bonanza Peak - Mary Green Glacier 9/16/2017 [Re: bellows]
JasonG Offline

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Good to know that glacial recession has worked in our favor for once. Do you think that huge moat has no chance of being a problem in late season, or it was a lucky coincidence that it was bridged?

I've noticed that the glaciers have changed enough in the last 20 years that it is hard to gauge when a configuration on a particular route is stable or not. Seems to vary significantly within a few years.

And glad you had a great trip, that is a favorite route of mine!

#1156721 - 09/20/17 01:51 PM Re: [TR] Bonanza Peak - Mary Green Glacier 9/16/2017 [Re: JasonG]
bellows Offline

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 152
TRs: 29 Photos: 315
Loc: Seattle
It looked like there were lots of different options. We had a big step across but even if that particular access was gone I think it could be managed. It might take some searching and some creativity with low fifth rock but it doesn't seem like it would ever be a complete showstopper for a climber with moderate skills.

I was more surprised at how closed up the bergshrund(?) halfway up the snow thumb was. I've seen pictures with it more open in early July some years.


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