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Ascent of Signal Peak on 2017-02-19

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Katrina + 1
Date:Sunday, February 19, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Signal Peak
    Location:USA-Arizona
    Elevation:4877 ft / 1486 m

Ascent Trip Report

We borrowed Pop's Honda Ridgeline so that we could get farther up the Kofa Queen Canyon. Sure enough, we were able to make it up the Canyon and to the trailhead, so to speak, although there were no signs. We knew where we were based on lining up our topo map with the terrain we could see. It was cool weather when we started and it had stopped raining a few minutes prior. The wash coming out of Indian and Ten Ewe Canyons was walk-able and dry despite that. We simply followed the most beaten path which was at times debatable. All trails ended up coalescing once the terrain got steeper and we forged ahead on the high ground between Indian and Ten Ewes. We saw a man a ways ahead of us and figured we were on the right path. The crux of the whole trail was maybe a third the way up where we had to figure out the easiest way up a rock face about 15 feet tall. It was a quick scramble, but we thought it was avoidable if we had spent more time or wanted to bushwhack. We then crossed a slope that was very wet and crumbling, but it was more annoying than treacherous. This got us to a point where we had to do a steep set of switchbacks which put us on a ridge flanking the eastern side of Indian Canyon. We were rewarded with a misty view of a waterfall ahead and a relatively flat trail. The man was still a bit ahead of us. The trail soon brought us adjacent to the creek and there were one or two tricky spots where the steep slippery rock was tough o get traction on as you stood a five to ten foot drop over the creek. Next we crossed the creek (It was super shallow and only three feet wide where we did) and then headed west up a unnamed valley with a cliff faced sub summit on the upper left. We though this might have been the top, but we weren't sure. Fog rolled around the peak and we couldn't get a good idea of our goal at this point. We soon caught the man at after crossing this tributary trickle at a face of smooth red rock. He told us he was climbing the mountain to celebrate his 60th birthday. He'd failed the weekend prior and was back at it. We hiked together, finding our way past that false summit and hooking left once we got to the top of the drainage; the trail still obvious and easy to follow. It passed another false summit which was on our right, then arrived at the highest saddle where we got our first glimpse of the other side, including Palm Canyon. It was only a glimpse because we were above a cloud and had less than a second of a view of some palms. From here it was a two minute walk to the top. There was a cold wind at the top so we didn't want to stay long, plus the view was more impressive during the hike than in the cloud. We started down before the man, but he soon caught up to us. We think he realized that we were the only ones on the mountain today and that it'd be safer to go down together. We chatted some, and made the decent at our own pace, with the man finishing the hike at the same time as us. The hike down was uneventful, but had spectacular views to the north and east. Everything was red speckled with green. We also saw some big horn sheep droppings, but unfortunately no sheep.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2163 ft / 658 m
    Extra Gain:77 ft / 23 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.3 mi / 5.3 km
    Trailhead:2868 ft / 874 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 49 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 28 Minutes



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