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[TR] Bonanza - N.E. Ridge 6/22/2008

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Trip: Bonanza - N.E. Ridge


Date: 6/22/2008


Trip Report:

Last weekend, Zac and I climbed the N.E. Ridge of Bonanza Peak. It was a last minute trip. On Friday, we found out that the crane we were using to build with was finally coming down, after weeks of being shut down and in the news constantly. Having Monday off allowed us the time to navigate all of the travel it takes to do the remote Bonanza Peak. We changed plans (from Dragontail to Bonz) and headed off to Fields Point just in time to catch the boat to Lucerne. Soon, we were hopping on the shuttle bus that would take us to the trailhead at the Holden Village, now 2;30 p.m. If you dont know anything about the place, it is well worth investigating.Here is Zac , much happier after his "Indoctrination"

bonholden.jpgbonmine.jpg Greeted there with waving folk, rain,and ruin we set off in search of early season adventure. Finding snow at Holden lake, we felt lucky to find a dry spot there to camp.

Zac trying to hang our food(2hrs)


Again, more rain.

In the mourning it dawned with clouds , but not as much precip. We found another party just getting up after a go at the Mary Green route the day before. They were turned back by deep snow and snow slides. That made us glad we were trying a ridge route. We had actually hoped to repeat the Volken 3-summit Traverse . We later realized it was too early in the season to try such a committing endeavor. There was to be plenty of adventure just getting up the NE Ridge .I may make the climb sound terrifying, but it was very fun.

We first noticed there had been an inch or so of new snow that had stayed on the North Faces. There was also wet-Black-Lichen that was very slippery to put it mildly. The sun came out at times when starting the climb. When the route went into the shady, right side of the ridge, it would be cold and terrifying. On the left, sunny and mild.


The climbing became steep and very exposed with just enough loose stuff to send the brain into mortal musings. The route finding was especially difficult. Zac described one of the last obstacles as very "stressful climbing"


Many times I would go several directions until it felt feasible. The towers in the middle were overhanging at times and our packs loaded with bivy gear tugged at our balance.

Bon-lead.jpg It felt like it took us forever to get up the long climb but 3 and a half hours later we were the first to stand on its summit this year.

bonsum.jpg we agreed the climb felt pretty hardcore, and we felt it a sand-bag at grade III- 5.7! All-in-all, though, the climb was alpine bliss. We shared a great start to the season, and I now feel ready for anything!


Gear Notes:

4 cams 4 stoppers


Approach Notes:

drive to Fields Point take the Lady of the Lake to Lucerne( r-t-$40) . Have a reservation for the shuttle bus to Holden Village r-t $15)

Hike to Holden Lake( 2 hours, plus)Camp there or Holden pass( another hour and a half. Then 2 hrs to route and 3-6 rs on route. Leave time for an involved descent 6 rappels and steep snow/ glacier travel.

Summit Pyramid of Bonanza, NE Ridge on right


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Awesome! I hope the trail was clear of bush and alder. Two years ago WTA was working on the trails in the area! Great TR.

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