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Trip Report    

Bonanza Peak/Mary Green Glacier

One of my most favorite climbs. The logistics of getting to Bonanza is long, but once there it is magical.

  • Sat, Jul 1, 2017 — Tue, Jul 4, 2017
  • Bonanza & Martin Peaks
  • Climbing
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trail to lake in great condition, some bushwhacking is required to get up to the Holden Pass.  The snow is melting fast but the route is still in great condition. A few crevasses are open on the glacier but easy to get around. Rock portion has a few snow patches, but most likely be completely melted in another week or two. 

Most people climb Bonanza in three days, but if you have four days you can take a more relaxing pace and climb Martin as well as  have time to enjoy the village of Holden, which in itself is a special place.

We took the Lady of the Lake boat from Fields Point to Lucerne, and got on the bus to the Village of Holden.  Once there we needed to pay for the RT bus and reserve a spot on our return. Cost $15.00. Previous reports said we could leave extra stuff (change of clothes or extra gear) at the hikers haus, but we found that not to be true. Maybe because of the holiday weekend, but we were able to leave our bags at the register office, which is the same place you need to pay your bus ticket.  

We started hiking from Holden around 2:45pm.  The hike to the lake is well marked on a maintained trail. From the lake we followed the trail to the right side of the lake and then looked for a path to lead farther right and up to try and avoid all the bushwhacking. However, we got right into the thick of it all.   From talking to others it sounded like we still needed to go higher and look for a game trail that leads you to the talus field.  We tried to find it on our return and still got stuck in the thick alder.  Not much fun at all. Infact, one member lost her phone in the thick of it.  We tried looking for it but impossible to find since we all were going in different directions plunging through the thick trees.  Once through the alder we found a nice path leading up to Holden Pass.  Good water source about 200 feet below the pass.  Snow covering the pass, but did find a couple of bare spots to set our tents.  Time from Holden to Holden pass, 5 hours.

We ended up climbing Martin the next day, which was a long, hot slug up with lots of loose rock and crossing from one gully to the next.  Reminded me of the West Ridge of Mt Stuart, but with all loose rock.  We brought a rope to  rappelling off the summit.  Another team also rapped down one of the long loose gullies.  We climbed down a lot of sketchy areas.  

Woke up the next day at 4 and started climbing at 5:15 for Bonanza.  Easy route up to the waterfalls, we ended up staying left and climbing the 4th class falls onto the glacier.  In another week this might be harder to do.  The snow is melting pretty fast.  The glacier is in great condition. A few open creavasses but easy to get around.  Steep finger of snow up to the Bergschrund.  Found two recent snow bridges collapsed.  We were able to go farther right onto the rock without much difficulty.  Once on the rock, it is important to stay climbers left. Best to follow the snow line up and stay slightly right of that.  Look for rappel stations.  The first one is about a double rope length from the top of the bergschrund.  However, we ended up following another team of two in front of us and ended up climbing  more to the right and got ourselves into a lot of trouble.  It looks very inviting to the right, but don't go there. The worst 4th class I have ever seen and no place to put pro. 

We found the second rap station and from there we found the rest of the climb to the summit very easy.  Best advice we had was to follow from one ledge to the next and we made it to the summit without any difficulties. Another advice is to stay climbers left of all the rap stations.  Do not follow directly up to each rap station.  Just before the summit you will see a large rock flack with four or five webbings on it, which is visible from farther below. We followed a short but steep gully up to that and then the route goes behind and around the rock flake.  From here there is a 40 feet, very exposed route up to the summit block. Some people may place a handline in this section. Great views of Glacier peak and the surrounding area. 

Decent: We ended up doing two single rope rappels and three double rope rappels down.  Most stations seemed to be set up for double rope rappels, but the problem is the rope gets tangled and higher chance of getting stuck. You can use a single rope, but will need to down climb in between stations. I was glad to have the double ropes, but the frustration of the entanglements I could have done without.  Total time from camp to summit 6 hrs.  Summit back to camp 7.5 hours.  


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Wes Neal
Wes Neal says:
Oct 20, 2019 08:36 AM

Wow Sharon, what an amazing and thorough report, filled with tons of great advice.

That's going to be up so much help in planning a climb.

Thank you!!!

Wes Neal
Wes Neal says:
Oct 20, 2019 08:38 AM

Wow Sharon, what an amazing and thorough report, filled with tons of great advice.

This is going to be of so much help in planning a climb.

Thank you!!!