What a fun hike. Short but adventurous as I depart from the a pull out on Catalina Highway just prior to it making a sharp turn to the right after mile marker 0.
The overnight rain had softened the sand and I wondered what animal left this paw print. There were several in the area.
I gained some altitude and then looked back to see what I had covered and the disappearing highway.
This is pretty much what the entire route entailed, hopping from boulder to boulder with....
....an occasional wall to confront, scout and figure out how to get around.
Rugged but beautiful. The canyon bent to the right, bypassed a side canyon coming in from the left and kept climbing.
OK, I paused at this wall but there was a way, starting left and then crossing to the right. I was careful not to .....
There were enough sandy sections that I could use the foot prints as a directional reference when I had to decide to go forward straight, right or left. The previous rain and lingering clouds caused me to start around noon.
I kept going and the beauty and challenges were unrelenting. Then, from having read a couple of reports, I knew I would soon meet....
....this obstacle. It towered over me. I thought from my research that I was to climb this thing but it was steep. Going up would not be too difficult but coming down...yikes. I scouted to the right up a side canyon, then climbed its left bank and got above the obstacle but no way to then enter the canyon above this rock. I poked around the left side and finally found a way around while still gaining the height I needed. Unfortunately, time was running out on today's experience. I was at mile 1.5 in the canyon and at 2.8 miles, would have a 200' wall to climb with some exposure. If I got to that point and decided I ought not to attempt, it would be too late to backtrack so I turned around and headed back.
Towards the end, I passed a guy climbing this rock wall. Impressive.