|This is the breathtaking
view northeast and down onto Company Glacier from the summit of
Bonanza Peak. There's about 5500 feet elevation difference from
the summit down to the valley floor at top right.
The summit of Bonanza Peak is about the right size for two people to mill around on the rockpile. One can literally look down in all directions without moving more than a couple of feet in each direction. We were the first party to climb the mountain that year (September 1968).
the southeast ridge of Bonanza Peak from the summit towards Dumbell
Note the alpine flowers on the rocks in the foreground.
I remember lots of great views, but I neglected to shoot them ! After we started down in rapidly failing sunlight ...
The image below shows the route of our climb the morning after. We came down essentially along the skyline, only (literally) dropping off the rock when it looked as though the transition would become more difficult, the farther down we got. This necessitated a rappel off a 50-foot cliff into the moat between the rock and the Mary Green Glacier. Mike went first; I belayed. After he rapelled down, Mike called up to me and said that he had touched an eight-foot-diameter rock in the moat ... and it fell over. Fortunately, not on Mike. When I came down, leaving behind a carabiner, as I did not have any slings, and I did not trust to be able to pull the rope through the hole in the piton, I discovered that we were faced with a twenty-foot vertical snow cliff.
|In order to ascend the snow
cliff, I used a technique about which I had read, but which I hadn't
tried. First, I pushed my ice axe horizontally into the
not-so-tightly packed snow. Then I chinned myself on it, kicked
in the points of my crampons, shoved my left arm up to the shoulder
into the snow, and reached up to push the ice axe into the snow again
with my right hand. I then repeated this process relatively few
times and rapidly gained the snowfield above. Mike passed our
packs up to me and I belayed him up in essentially the same
fashion. It turned out not to be any crisis at all, and was
is the same view at twilight the day before. Note that the
500-foot water fall just left of center is flowing freely.
Compare with the same place the second morning, after our climb, above. The sun has not yet started up the melting process again to feed that stream.