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Ascent of Signal Peak on 2017-02-20

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, February 20, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Signal Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:1164 ft / 354 m

Ascent Trip Report

Once again stopped by signs, security, bad luck whatever you call it....my goal was to hike in Crystal Cove State Park but for the second time it was closed with signs telling you not to go in the rangers would shoot to kill and all that sort of thing so once again. I had to find something else to play with. This time it was the dang storms that screwed up my hikes on Catalina Island earlier in the week. They want more days of drying out the trails. I get that but I do not understand all the signs that I found this week saying it is dangerous. Every place I did find to hike this week had some wet areas and a little mud here and there that you step around but the wind had pretty much dried things out everywhere I was able to go but.........I follow the rules so turned back again.

Remembering Signal Hill was nearby and I had summited it stealthily in the night last time I decided to make it a vertical hike this time. But everywhere I went to park it said private parking lot or private park or no trespassing. Of course there would be some security guard with orders to shoot to kill too so, I become more determine than ever to find a way to bypass all this litigious nonsense and signs saying don't do this and do not do that. I drove down hill noticing what a nice view this ridge has of the valleys around and the ocean too! I found public parking in the Newport Coast Shopping Center. Remembering that there is a gate and signs warning you at the paved entrance to signal hill and a billions warning signs about the private parks and reuse water landscaping areas I formed this clever approach. I swiftly walked up the public R/W from the intersection of Ridge Park Road and Newport Coast Road at around elevation 540 near the deep valley plunge off to the sea.

I hightailed it up the public S/W passing all the private park S/W and ridge locations that were being used by who knows who ( I presume those with the rights to walk there) and stayed in the public R/W all the way to where I could see the towers to my right. Then finding one of the steep concrete drainage flumes that controls run off from the side of the hill, I jump in it and climbed up the steep concrete flume where there were no signs, no warnings, no gates, no rangers trained to shoot peakbaggers. At the top the flume dumped me conveniently out onto the paved maintenance road for the towers inside the gate. I never went through the gate to do this. The individual sites are fenced but the road up here is walkable. Last time in the dark I was not able to play on all the rocks at the top but there was some minor scrambling to the top and great views this time.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:624 ft / 190 m
    Total Elevation Loss:584 ft / 178 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Grade/Class:1, and some minor 3
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Overcast
60F overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:624 ft / 190 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:Ridge Park Road to drainage to maint road to scram
    Start Trailhead:Newport Coast Shopping Center  540 ft / 164 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:584 ft / 178 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:same
    End Trailhead:same  580 ft / 176 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Irvine-2

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Signal Peak2017-02-20 a624 ft / 190 m
2Moulton Peak2017-02-20 b637 ft / 194 m
3French Hill2017-02-20 c306 ft / 93 m
Total Trip Gain: 1567 ft / 477 m    Total Trip Loss: 1090 ft / 332 m



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