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Ascent of Signal Peak on 2017-02-25

Climber: Mike Zampino

Others in Party:Kelli Allstot
Date:Saturday, February 25, 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

Climbed to the top of Signal Peak via the Palm Canyon trail and then the Rusty Baillie route to access the upper reaches of the mountain.


Take the palm canyon trail to the palm canyon overlook. Once you pass this point the trail starts to diminish, but it remains heavily cairned for a while. Continue up canyon to where it starts to open up near the head of the canyon. From here you can find faint use trails up the South slope (Hikers right). It is easy to locate, as this is the first place that you can escape the canyon without running into steep cliffs. After a few hundred feet of elevation gain you will be on a ridge. To your left (East) is where the next canyon is that you will be hiking up. Take note of where you came up and out of the first canyon for the return trip. Then make your way up the ridge - again following faint use/game trails until this next canyon starts to close in. The trail will then cross over to the south side and will eventually start to hug the walls along this side of the canyon. Follow this to the headwall. As it starts to get filled with brush you are near the top of this second canyon.

Here is where the easy technical section starts. The first pitch starts behind the tree as high as you can start. Work you way up the rock and left (easy) until you can clip the one fixed piton. Then it is one move to gain the lip of the big ledge and walk up to the shallow cave where there is a belay station. We fit 5 people on this ledge. From here the real fun starts. The first part of pitch 2 is easy, but you cannot clip in for about 30 feet. Past this piton is the crux (5.4). The wall thins out slightly, but you are at least clipped in. Once you make the second clip the scary part is over and the angle of the wall starts to be more forgiving. However, be aware that there are several loose rocks and holds near the second belay station. We clipped the belay station but kept climbing up and left to a large rock which was slung with some webbing. This was the top of the technical portion and you can take off shoes and harness here. It is a 60m rappel back to the canyon floor.

From here you need to do some easy 3rd and 4th class scrambling up and to your right. There are three gullies. The two on the right will take you toward the summit. The center one seemed to have less brush, so that is the one we chose. Work your way up this gully. As you near the top you will see a peak in front of you which is NOT signal peak. We worked our way up towards this peak since the terrain was not as steep and worked our way beneath it until we gained the next ridge. As you work your way up Signal Peak will come into view toward the North East. Gain the ridge and it is an easy walk to the top of Signal Peak.

Prepare for the steep lose descent. Consider bringing trekking poles. However, there were plenty of solid rocks to step on to prevent falls. I think I only slipped once.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2942 ft / 896 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:Rusty Baillie
    Trailhead:Palm Canyon TH  1935 ft / 589 m
    Grade/Class:5.4
    Route Conditions:
Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Rope
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Sunny and Cool
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 6 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes



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