The "Oro Valley Outdoor Fun" gang organized a hike to Buster Mountain, a peak on the western end of the Catalinas. Buster generally is swamped by the more prominent peaks of Table, Pusch, etc... Still, a worthy destination as we wait for a late arriving hiker who texted she was in the rest room but somehow, never hooked up with us, weird. Above, hiking buddy Liane doesn't seem to be paying much attention to hike leader John. Liane's a bit of a camera hog so John should not be offended.
We head out on the Birding trail and then, officially, go off trail. There are a lot of routes that access to the internet have popularized so while they are not official trails, many people passing have created trails. Note the long dead Saguaro. The right side looks kind of like a T-Rex head?
We had a couple of regroups as the gang was getting kind of spread out. Above, I am on what may be known as "Little Buster" as I wait for the rest of the group to arrive. LB is just north of Buster.
Looking south, I can see Buster which required us to drop down a bit and then ascend a fairly steep slope to the peak.
One of our group, Barry, stands with a dramatic scene behind him.
We had a good view of the 1000' tall Leviathan Dome and the slightly shorter, Wilderness Dome just above. There is a route to the base of Leviathan, using Alamo Canyon, for rock climbers. Not many visit as it is quite an effort to arrive at the base.
I found a jar having the summit register and pass it around for the gang to sign. Always satisfying to sign one of those. In the distance, a couple of hikers arrive from the direction we will take for our return.
With almost 2000' of climbing, a snack break was well deserved at mile 3. However, Liane had a party to attend and you know I'm always anxious to cut the lingering time so.....
......we begin the down climb while another member of the group comes too.
We carefully down climbed a chute that was in the rocky area upper, center right. I know, doesn't look like much but it was. The rest of the group found a way down to the left before rejoining the route.
Yes, it was kind of steep in places as we continued to drop toward the desert floor.
We hit some slick rock areas which made the going a little easier but then route finding becomes a challenge but not much of one.
Recent rain has greened things despite it being "winter". The wild flower season this spring will be spectacular. We arrived at the parking lot and finished the 5.6 mile hike. Fun time, as usual.