Group Hike to Big Cat Mountain
A great day for a hike in southern AZ. Over night rain (yeehaw) passed out of the area but left lingering clouds and cool temps. Nine of us began our hike from the Sarasota trailhead on the west side of the Tucson Mountains.
Beautiful how the sun happened to be shining on Kitt Peak. A short distance into our hike we rounded a corner and got a good view of....
....our destination, Big Cat Mountain. Although there is a scrambling route up this side, a better way is to hike clockwise around the mountain and ascend the back side.
Sooo green. Almost like hiking in the Appalachia Mountains without the pine trees.
We ascended to a couple of saddles, the final one yielding a view to the southeast. Then I found a cairn that indicated the off trail route start to the peak.
The game got strung out a little so we regroup a few times. Rubens, a new member of the group, looks at the views, always improving as we go higher.
After a fairly steep climb to a ridge, we pause briefly and then head to the "wall". I was first up and offered encouragement like, "You're looking good!" but also mixed in a "You're not looking good!" just to mix things up. ha, ha.
After ascending the wall, we continue to climb a ridge with some exposure but everyone navigated it. At last.....
...we reached the peak and enjoyed 360 views. After a short break, we began....
....the descent. Often, we marveled....
....at all that the rain has delivered. I was glad that all 9 made it to the peak and finished with 5 miles and 1500' of climbing.
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