Ascent of Signal Peak on 2016-11-05

Climber: Swingshift Hiker

Date:Saturday, November 5, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Signal Peak
    Elevation:7841 ft / 2389 m

Ascent Trip Report

Drove back and forth for a half hour trying to find the trail head. I parked right next to the Forest Raod 1 mile marker as I thought I remembered it from previous TR's. There was a graded area on the uphill side of the road, so I thought it looked promising. However, the graded area quickly disappeared. It was getting a little late, so I made the decision to just head up the hill in the general direction of the summit, trying to navigate through the areas with the least undergrowth. At about 6900 ft, I came across what I could see was obviously the 4x4 trail I was supposed to take, and proceeded to do so to the summit.
It had snowed pretty hard the previous weekend and dropped about 4-5 feet of snow on the ridge. However, according to the NOAA Snow Depth Maps, it appeared that most of it had melted. I have been burned before by an overly optimistic snow assessment and decided to bring my snow shoes and crampons. There were shallows patches of snow on the trail leading up to the ridge, where the stone hut is located. Once at the stone hut, there is a remaining 3/8 mile to the summit on the ridge, where there were snow patches which got to 3 feet deep. However, the were interspersed with dry areas of rocks, so I ended up not needing any traction. For the effort, the views are very nice, allowing one to see south to the mountains surrounding Highway 88 and north to Mount Lola and beyond.
I followed the 4x4 trail on the way down, and was curious about where it met the road. As it turned out, I had past the trail head driving and had made note of the black spray painted letters on a rock spelling "MOE". However, I had dismissed it, not actually seeing a trail. The previously mentioned cairn was not there, so I made one. The cairn is almost exactly 0.35 miles east of the 1 mile marker.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1891 ft / 576 m
    Trailhead:5950 ft / 1813 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 5 Minutes

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