Caledonia County Highpoint Trip Report
Date: April 29, 2007
After completing Butterfield Mountain, I continue on to Signal. I continued up
the road around the bend and across the bridge and in five minutes reached the
height-of land just before bridge #3. The road continued on beyond this point and,
based on later reviews of satellite imagery, seems to pass a few ponds
before meeting up with the approach road at the first junction.
At this spot (due magnetic south of Signal's summit) I began ascending along a
gradual remnant of a woods road (Brennan's perhaps?) but decided to save time
and start powering my way through the undergrowth -- thicker than Butterfield's
-- straight uphill. I reached the cliffy area in about 10 minutes and decided
to cut to the left. Proceeding steeply through difficult stunted pines,
I finally reached a relatively open valley which I took to the flat area
at around 3,060 feet.
From here, I headed north-northeast up a moderately steep way through mixed
forest and suddenly hit the first significant snow I'd seen on Signal.
I gritted my teeth and began plunging through the 3-foot snow, post-holing often
in my bare boots. The terrain was very gentle, enough for me to become quickly
discouraged by the numerous "false summits" as I headed north and uphill.
I saw what looked like footprints in the snow, only to realize they were moose tracks.
After proceeding for what seemed like an eternity but was actually around 20
minutes, I reached what appeared to be high ground. There was no sign of a
summit canister or surveyor's tape, at least not until it suddenly came into
view when I was only a few feet away.
Feeling cold, damp, and a bit anxious, I scouted around for the high spot,
including a rise perhaps 100-150 feet east of the register. I was unable to
sign the register as the only pencil was broken. The next person up may want to
bring a pencil themselves, perhaps the extra one from Butterfield's canister.
I quickly began my retreat down this miserable mountain, crossing the snowy
terrain that doubtlessly would have been easier in the absence of snow.
I retraced my steps (often literally) back to the flat area and back down the
valley below it. This time, I miscalculated and ended up west of my ascent route.
I eventually came to the drainage brook and simply followed it along a
short distance back to bridge #2, emerging just across the stream from the
Butterfield bushwhack. Right about then, it began to rain more heavily,
so I pulled out my umbrella and walked back to the car.
Road-to-road, it was 60 minutes up and 50 down.
If you're as masochistic as I was, prepare to bring a good topo map (absolutely
essential), a compass (highly recommended), and a GPS. We got by on the former two,
but a GPS would have proved helpful at times. I'd recommend doing these
bushwhacks in fall or spring; bring snowshoes if it's after October or before May.
Though I regrettably did not see a moose (and am beginning to wonder if I
ever will during my four years of college here), there was plenty of,
Author: Chris Gilsdorf