Bonanza Peak is the highest non-volcanic peak in the Cascade Range and one of the most challenging summits included in this guide, all things considered. Bonanza Peak is a precipitous, heavily glaciated granitic peak rising about 15 miles west of Lake Chelan. It is a relatively remote peak with a complicated approach and without an easy route to its summit. You cannot drive there but must take a ferry halfway up Lake Chelan, then hire a “taxi” 12 miles just to get to the trailhead. This deters many from making the ascent, but the mountain’s sheer height and regional prominence make it a compelling climb.
The easiest route is via the Mary Green Glacier and the east face, a fairly straightforward but very committing route that combines steep glacier and rock climbing. Although the climbing is mostly Class 3–4, the rock is notoriously loose. As the highest peak in eastern section of the North Cascades, Bonanza Peak has supreme views, a sublime panorama of the Chelan, Entiat, and Sawtooth Mountains, and the peaks in Pasayten Wilderness and Glacier Peak Wilderness; northwest to Mount Logan and Goode Mountain, west to the Ptarmigan Traverse, and far south to Mount Stuart and Mount Rainier, to name only a few.
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