Standing in Catalina State Park, I'm not sure which peak is Buster Mountain so I failed to take a pic. I and a hiking friend headed on the "Birding Trail" and soon went off trail. Well, once it was an off trail but enough people have passed through that now there is a trail.
Reaching a secondary peak, we could hear voices below and saw a couple of people far below in Alamo Canyon. Looking to the east....
...the awesome Wilderness and Laviathan granite domes. Not sure which is which. I think it would be neat to stand at the base of them and root around so that was a secondary goal for today's trek.
The final push to the summit required quite a bit of scrambling in and amongst boulders. That was fun.
The summit was marked by an innovative cairn and beneath it a jar with the summit register. We paused here and again looked at....
...the domes. From here, not much climbing would be required as we were about at eye level but time was slipping and we decided to continue without the side trip to the domes.
While the route had been fairly easy to follow, from this point on, there was no trail or any indication of a route. We descended to the grassy saddle and went left. I had a gpx route to follow but it was a circular route back to the parking lot and after awhile, we decided, if we were gong to bushwhack, we may as well do it while going directly toward our goal.
I saw a broad expanse of granite that would be much easier and quicker to descent and so headed toward it.
Beautiful as we carefully walked down the surface.
At the bottom. we found a rock that looked kind of like a whale. We slowly walked.crawled, stumbled steeply through this wash. I kept looking for a place where we could break out of the wash to the surrounding slopes. Without the benefit of retained moisture, the growth is less thick and easier to work through. Finally,we did so and looking back...
...the granite slope stood out. We finally escaped with the longest 5.5 miles I've ever experienced. Plus a bit over 2000' of climbing.