Signal Peak, Castle Dome Peak


By: Bob Herlihy


The heavy downpour of rain in the Los Angeles area Friday night may have been a factor in the small turnout that participated in the weekend climbing in Arizona. Only 10 people started out at Palm Canyon Saturday morning, to hike the long but easy route to Kofa Pk. This portion of the outing was led by Bob Herlihy and Jay Frogel. The moderate pace enabled us to enjoy the rugged beauty of this favorite desert peak. We arrived at the summit about noon to find Ken McNutt and Dave Peterson napping (?) in the sun-shine. They had arrived at the roadhead late and ascended the Palm Canyon Class 3 (or 4?) route.

After lunch, McNutt and Peterson very graciously offered to lead and assist the entire group down the Palm Canyon route. Those with little or no rock climbing experience overcame their initial apprehensions and we proceeded down the direct route. A fixed rope was used in two places and a 50-foot rappel was negotiated over a dry waterfall.

Fred Hoeptner and George Davis both attained their 5th DPS emblem peak on Kofa. This was perhaps the second scheduled trip to make the loop on Kofa - up the long way and down the direct route. Some of the group saw the pa1ms in Palm Canyon, which are the only natural growing palm trees native to the state of Arizona.

Most of the group and a few others met with Bill Banks and Steve Smith on Sunday morning to climb Castle Dome. However, they were preceded by McNutt, Peterson and Marcel Crampon who chose a more direct route with probable less gain (due to less lose on the way) but more extended difficult climbing. The main group found this trio to be less reliable as the promised jug of wine (as shouted down to them) could not be located atop Castle Dome.

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