Death Clouds on Mt. Baldy

All posts must be respectful

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Areas none
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 7111
Joined: Nov 20 1996 12:00 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Death Clouds on Mt. Baldy

Post by joebartels »

Most here have hiked in the Santa Ritas and come across the boy scout memorial at Josephine Saddle.

Cathy Hufault, sister of one of the surviving boy scouts, authored this comprehensive account of those 19 days in the fall of 1958, following a record-breaking blizzard that came out of nowhere and took the young adventurers by surprise...

Cathy wrote me
I think your members may be interested. It took 19 days to find the lost boys. Afterward, the searchers formed the Southern Arizona Rescue Association. It was the Arizona story of the year in 1958.
A local country music star plays the cowboy who found the boys.
The scene with the horsemen struggling in deep snow features the voice of one of the actual men.
It is only three minutes.
Here is the 3 minute trailer

Here is the book
- joe
User avatar
Posts: 4511
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: Death Clouds on Mt. Baldy

Post by big_load »

I've seen the book and I plan to read it before too long. I'm under orders to get through some more of my pile first.
User avatar
Posts: 1463
Joined: Dec 20 2010 7:14 am
City, State: Sunnyslope, PHX

Re: Death Clouds on Mt. Baldy

Post by kingsnake »

Arizona Public Media review of the book / incident / author interview. (Author is a sister of one of the survivors.) Apparently seven feet of snow where the scouts were. ... n-in-1958/ : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
User avatar
Posts: 642
Joined: Feb 28 2003 5:45 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: Death Clouds on Mt. Baldy

Post by rwstorm »

Another element of this story emerged earlier in 2012.. ... %20MTN.htm
Onward into oblivion!
User avatar
Posts: 52
Joined: Jun 25 2009 8:24 am
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: Death Clouds on Mt. Baldy

Post by mikehikes »

It is a pretty good book. Cathy did lots of research and interviewed tons of people. Even me, and all I had to do with the story was I threw Butch's <Ralph Coltrin's> newspaper route for a couple days while he was on the mountain. Oh. There are a couple photos of me in there too - - - as a ten-year-old!!

Back in my hiking days, mostly with the Southern Arizona Hiking Club, I managed to find myself atop Mt. Wrightson different 94 times. A number of times I did the hike with my brother while he pointed out some of the sites as he remembered them from 1958. But in his adult life he was more of a golfer than a hiker. Maybe I should have followed his lead? He is still playing golf and I am waiting for my second knee replacement! <Feb 27th>

Mike Coltrin
User avatar
Posts: 1637
Joined: Dec 25 2005 8:24 pm
City, State: Queen Creek, Arizona

Re: Death Clouds on Mt. Baldy

Post by SuperstitionGuy »

As a boy growing up in the 50's it was not uncommon for us to go overnight camping as a Boy Scout Patrol without adult leadership with us. All seasons and all weather did not hold us back. Even in the dead of winter we would camp out in the woods of the Minnesota river valley with our parents permission of course.

I remember one Christmas break night we were about two miles out of town, camped in a little valley that fed into the greater Minnesota Valley. It was so so cold, it had to be below zero and one by one most of the boys slipped out of their tents and sleeping bags and walked home. Not me, as I was not willing to be labeled as "chicken" the next morning. When daylight approached, my tent companion and I went to check on the others and we were the only ones still there. I asked Billy why he had not left as well and he said that because he lived on the far side of town he did not think he could have made it home alive. No cell phones of course to call our parents so we just stuck it out and walked home later in the morning after we had got warmed up around our fire and had time to roll up our gear and tent. Those were good days and toughened us for what life would challenge us with later.

Thanks for posting this story and although it had a terrible ending at least it prepared the local community to organize a search organization to help others in the future.
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
- Garth McCann from the movie Second Hand Lions

Another victim of Pixel Trivia.

Current avatar courtesy of Snakemarks
User avatar
Posts: 7541
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Death Clouds on Mt. Baldy

Post by chumley »

This article is dated this week (Monday) but appears to be simply republished as a "5 years ago" thing. (It says "last Saturday" referring to Gallas finding the third memorial plaque -- which occurred in 2012).

Nonetheless it's an interesting read and features some great PDFs of the original newspaper reporting of the incident 59 years ago. ... a7c11.html
Post Reply

Return to “Fatalities”