Bonanza Peak - Mary Green Glacier, July 2003
Ever since I first viewed the impressive hulk of Bonanza Peak from the summit of Chiwawa Mountain, I realized that I would one day have to actually climb the damn thing. Being the highest non-volcanic summit in the Cascades and the 6th tallest overall, Bonanza Peak holds an obvious appeal to any Cascade peak bagger. From the scenic boat ride up Lake Chelan, and the bus ride to the Lutheran retreat town of Holden, to finally a classic Cascades style climb, rife with voracious insects, route finding difficulties, occasionally loose rock and spectacular views, a trip to Bonanza Peak transcends the standard climbing experience and takes on the character of a true mountaineering adventure.
Joined by Eric Hoffman, I drove out to the Fields Point Landing to catch the 9:45am sailing of "Lady of the Lake II." We purchased round-trip tickets to Lucerne (Port of Holden) for $23 cash (or check) per person. We additionally had to pay $6/day, for three days to park the car at Fields Point. The two-hour boat ride to Lucerne is pleasant, despite the overbearing heat. The eclectic mix of devout Lutherans, tourons, and backpackers forced to share the limited seating on the boat kept us entertained. We got off the boat at Lucerne, fingers crossed, hoping that there was room for us on the bus. Seating can sometimes be limited and it might be advisable to notify Holden of your arrival date by writing as there are no phones in Holden. Fortunately for us, the Holden natives were expecting a relatively large influx of the faithful on this day and so sent three school busses to ferry visitors into town. We climbed onto the relatively empty 3rd bus and took our seats next to a party of three women from Oregon, one of which Eric and I found particularly appealing. Our gear is buried beneath a mountain of luggage, following behind us on a flatbed truck. (more...)
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