Lady of the Lake to Lucerne, bus to Holden Village.
The walk to Holden Lake took us a little over 2 hours. From there the trail winds around the lake and then fades off into a short 100-yd bushwhack. The trail is not always easily identified up to Holden Pass but it is difficult to get too off track here.
Rather than camp at Holden Pass, we continued up to 6900', just below the waterfall slabs, where we found a great ledge to bivy. There were a few less mosquitoes (though they still made their presence known), the views were great, and we were close to water besides. For what it is worth, from the top of the waterfall slabs and higher, we did not bother filtering or treating our water.
We were walking the next morning by 6 a.m. Crampons, rope, and ice axe at about 7400'. Pretty easy route-finding across Mary Green Glacier and through the crevasses. The snowbridge across the bergschrund seems solid but requires caution. A steep 100-foot slope above that will take you to the moat. Once across the moat we jettisoned crampons and ice axes for the 900-foot scramble.
The scramble is itself class 3 or class 4. Exposure can be avoided much of the time with careful route selection. We encountered a great deal more loose rock than other trip reports indicated. I would not care to be on this route if another team were present for that reason. A helmet is mandatory here. We were up on the summit by 10 a.m. and spent a good hour enjoying clear views that extended all the way to the Olympics. We were the only 2 two summit Bonanza on this day.
For the descent we chose to use the rappel stations, equally to save time downclimbing and for safety. We had a 60-m rope and were able to easily find and traverse to subsequent rappel stations. We were glad to have brought our own webbing and rap rings; a couple stations were worse for the wear or missing rings altogether. The final rap station we identified required an exposed traverse that negated its benefit, so we downclimbed the last 200 feet or so after 5 raps.
Snow softened some on the glacier but was still manageable. We must have spent another hour or so relaxing at our bivy spot and packing up before descending. At our bivy spot we watched as a plume of smoke swiftly spread to an imposing cloud; apparently a lightning-strike had festered over a couple days until the wind picked it up in Devor Creek. (The previous day and much of our summit day were completely calm until the wind picked up in the afternoon.)
Toward the base of the waterfall slabs we encountered one team that was preparing to set fixed lines on the glacier; this is not entirely necessary and seems to make for very slow progress. We met another team just below Holden Pass. It looked like the following day would be busy.
We were back at Holden Village at 7 p.m. in plenty of time for ice cream.
Great climb on an intimidating mountain! The Mary Green Glacier route is pretty slick, figuratively speaking. After crossing from the glacier to rock, we waited out white out conditions for four hours before proceeding up. Got in plenty of sleep, but it foiled our plans for Martin later in the day.
Once moving again, the dihedral section proved to be the crux, with a friction move necessary for those of us with stubby legs. It only took us two one-rope raps on the way down. If you have a 50m and a 60m rope, bring the 60m.
12 hours camp to camp, minus the four hour nap makes about eight hours, all else included.
Did as part of my big Glacier Peak Wilderness Trip where we climbed Emerald, Cardinal (including its south peak), Saska, Pinnacle, South Spectacle Butte, Fernow, Copper, Flora, Martin, Bonanza and Dark Peaks. 9 days, 78.5 miles, and 44,300 feet gain!
Packed over Bonanza...up the Mary Green Glacier, then traversed to Dark Peak
W/ Fletcher and Damon. Route in perfect shape, ~8 hours camp to camp with an hour on the summit. Downclimbed the entire route. Did Martin next, which was a shitty pile of choss.
With Ron and Scott. Perfect conditions except for a hot hike in. Little buggy in the later afternoons at camp. Camped at Holden Pass. Left 5:30 am Saturday, summited about 9:30 am. Glacier was courteous to us. We placed no snow pro or rock pro. Met up with another group of 3 near the moat and all climbed together. They were Seattle Mountaineers. Good group. No raps, downclimbed it and it went well. Crux was probably the waterfall slabs on the descent. We punched out the edge of the snow finger so had to mantle up on to it. Had to be careful with my footing on the way back as there was more running water in the afternoon. 8 hours camp to camp. Cooler (but dry still) weather came in summit night and made for a wonderful hike back to Holden. Fun ferry ride on the slow boat. Only negative was the traffic back. Not home until 1:30 am in Portland. Other than that one minor part, what an amazing climb. Oh, make sure you realize the ice cream store is closed in Holden on Sundays.
Due to lack of funds, we went in via Spider Gap (aka the hardy way) with supposedly 17,000 feet of elevation gain over 3 days. We got about 500-600 feet from the summit. Not only did I not feel comfortable having my brother do a slippery slab move over heavy exposure, fresh snow was falling, and there were down sweeping clouds around us making it very dangerous. I would have had to throw out all reason to finish the climb, not a shred of guilt was felt for turning around. This is coming from someone who climbed Alpamayo, Johannesburg, and many other difficult climbs.
~4h to summit from Holden campground, via the left-hand side of the Mary Green Glacier. Good peak, beautiful day. Trip report.
Great climb with good friends. I think this mountain may be more dangerous than some people realize, lots of loose stuff ready to come down. One of us almost got taken out by a snow slide very high on the face, moments after crossing a ravine, several truck loads shot down narrowly missing him. We were unroped, it would've taken him off the face all the way to the glacier I'm sure.
The snow conditions were abnormal, due to a lot of late Spring snowpack. The crevasses and waterfall sections were non-trivial. However, the bergschrund was very open but the standard route was not safe for travel due to a lot of snowpack and ice. We basically had to ascend the rappel route, which required a lot of extra time, focus, and determination. Thanks to Gimpilator and Dave for helping make this trip a success!!!
This was my 37th Washington County Highpoint summited.
The most technical climb of my life so far. The extra snow this year made the standard route impossible, forcing us onto harder mixed climbing. We did about 9 pitches on the way up and 12 rappels to get back down. My helmet saved my life on this trip.
Mountain and glacier in great shape. Great team with Greg, Grant, and Adam.
The snowthumb was my mental crux - steep snow above the open bergschrund. Rock quality was much better than expected. Fun climbing to the summit. A few raps and some easy downclimbing. Fun route.
Five hours round trip from Holden Pass. Elected not to rope up on the rock and down climb vice rappel due to loose rock. A classic Cascades route.
Fun rock sections, and classic glacier travel on the Mary Green glacier. Summitted with overcast skies but good visibility.
Summitted under clear skies via the "direct" route as described in Jeff Smoot's "Climbing Washington's Mountains." We started at 4:30 a.m. from Holden Lake and topped out at 11 a.m. Five double rope rappels and a bit of downclimbing brought us back to the snow thumb. Two other parties were on the route. According to the summit register, we were the first group this year to make the top.
Duane, Joel and I traveled to Holden and hiked to Holden Lake on Wednesday the 14th. We started from from camp at 5:15A and summitted at 1:15P. It took I believe 8 25m rap pitches to return to the snow thumb, then we hiked back to the lake, arriving at about 7:15 for a 14-hour day. The conditions on the glacier were perfect, but with the warm weather I'm guessing there will be open crevasses on the route within a couple of weeks or so. With this climb I became the second person to complete the county highpoints of Washington.