Author Cathy Hufault to visit SaddleBrooke

Author Cathy Hufault

Author Cathy Hufault

Chet Morgan

Author Cathy Hufault is coming to SaddleBrooke. Using a video and slide presentation, she will discuss her book Death Clouds on Mt. Baldy which relates the story of three Tucson Boy Scouts who were lost in the Santa Rita Mountains during a record breaking blizzard. The quest to find the boys became the largest search and rescue operation in Arizona history as searchers faced three to seven feet of snow and sub zero temperatures.

The search ended in tragedy with the three Scouts losing their lives. Cathy, just age 15 at the time, was a member of one of the families caught up in the sweep of events. A sister of one of the Scouts who survived and a friend and classmate of the 16 year old Scout who saved three lives, Cathy has been forever haunted by what happened.

Shortly after the tragedy and inspired by an intense desire to search, she joined the Civil Air Patrol. Other family members as well as many of the searchers also joined rescue organizations. The tragedy caused the creation of the Southern Arizona Rescue Association, an organization that has literally saved hundreds of lives in the last half century.

Fifty years later after Hufault had completed several successful careers, she decided to undertake her own investigation of what had occurred. In researching her book, Cathy walked trails in the Santa Rita Mountains and interviewed over 100 people in her quest to find out what really happened.

Michael Balke, academy award winner and author of Dances with Wolves, wrote about her book “a deeply haunting yet inspiring true story; Cathy produces a fascinating experience for now and generations to come.”

Emil Franzi of The Explorer in his review called the book “compelling one of the four books of the year.” J.C. Martin of The Arizona Daily Star, wrote, “No Tucsonan who was here on that November weekend in 1958 can forget the heartbreaking story of the six Boy Scouts on a birthday celebratory hike in the Santa Rita Mountains.”

Hufault has led an accomplished life. One of twelve children who grew up in railroad housing in Tucson’s inner city, she worked her way through the University of Arizona. She eventually became a successful real estate broker and was instrumental in starting up and serving for several years as vice president of Executive Relocation. In 1986 Hufault entered politics and was elected to the Oro Valley Town Council. Later she was selected twice by the council to serve as Mayor. A Tucson area resident, she has been married since 1963 to John Hufault and they have two adult sons and several grandchildren.

Cathy’s presentation at SaddleBrooke is at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, in the Coyote Room South at the HOA 2 Clubhouse. The public is invited. Her visit is sponsored by the SaddleBrooke Golden Eagles, a group which supports the Boy Scout program in the SaddleBrooke area. Golden Eagles Chair John Wiley is in charge of the event and can be reached at 825-8515 if you have any questions.