Signal Peak


By: Linda McDermott


Doing Kofa a second time was a mixed bag for me this time. The objective of a small group was to climb Kofa and Castle Dome in mid-January, and Julie Rush was great carpooling company on the way out to do the peaks.

Our group (the Roaches, Brian Smith, Sue Holloway and Cliff Jones) left about 7:00 am to do Kofa the Class' 2 route. We ran into a bunch of brush up the canyon, but not much other difficulty to get to the top of the peak. We ran into a bunch of use trails from time to time, either from the bighorn sheep or rugged climbers (probably sheep because few others are crazy enough to be out there). At one point eve stopped among a bunch of bighorn sheep scat and bones for a break. I shared my unusual chocolate-covered candy (labeled Bighorn Sheep scat), which truly was very edible chocolate-covered raisins. The day was overcast, which was great for climbing and for me, who hates climbing in hot weather.

Being at the top was interesting for me this time. I had climbed Kofa on January 13, 1996 the first time on a John McCully trip. It was fitting that this was the same day five years later that I climbed the peak. On the first trip five years ago,I had taken my dog Casie with me to the top. On this day, I was taking daffodils to the top of the peak for her because I had to put her to sleep earlier this same week. It was hard for me to say goodbye to the friend who had taken care of me (and I guess visa versa) for 15 years. If you see a daffodil taped with duct tape in the register, it's for her and her love of the outdoors. We got off the peak safely and camped at a wonderful flat spot on the excellent dirt road that goes into the Kofa trailhead. Julie and I were taking pictures and lagging behind a bit, so waved at Sue and Cliff where they had turned off the dirt road. About a minute later, Julie and I looked at each other and said, "Hum ...wonder if that's where the group stopped to camp?" We turned around and were heartily laughed at by the entire group who had pulled off there to camp. Great campfire, food and company.

The next morning I wasn't up to climbing Castle Dome, even though I drove almost to the trailhead. The sadness about Casie took its toll that day, and knowing the third class stuff on Castle Dome, it wasn't my day to climb. So Julie was kind enough to understand, and Brian Smith and the Roaches were kind enough to get her back to her car. I went home and immediately tried to find another hearty soul to go up Castle Done with me. Ron and Ellen Grau were those hearty souls.

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