Little Cat Mountain and the start of a series of trails that would take me to a spot on the left of the mountain where I could begin the ascent. The image makes it look rather insignificant but it was a fun hike until it wasn't.
I go counterclockwise and enjoy some nice views prior to entering a narrow canyon.....
….where the walls are peppered with Jumping Chollas. Later I would watch a herd of deer descend toward this point and decide not to follow. Just because they could make it doesn't mean, of course, that I could.
Big Cat Mountain in the distance as I have emerged from the narrow canyon and at just under a mile, see a very faint trail headed up and....
….up. While the trail was faint (and steep), there was a saddle that seemed obvious it was the destination and upon reaching it, no trail existed but fairly easy walking across a slope to the above peak.
Looking across at Big Cat, a destination for another hike soon.
It was a lot of fun hopping along the edge and pausing to look down. On the right, the slope that allowed access to the peak from the saddle.
I spotted a cairn on the southern end of the peak so decided to see if there were more that I could follow as an alternative way down. I heard the sound of hoofs on rock and spotted....
...seven deer, three of which you can see in the center of the image. They disappeared through the opening, just forward of where you see them. Finding no other cairns, I walked down there anyway to check it out. Hmmmm, maybe but went north and.....
….spotted another break in the rock but upon inspecting it, while I could make it down, if I became cliffed out below that, not sure I'd be able to climb out so headed back.....
…..the way I came, regained the peak and returned the way I had arrived. After reaching the saddle, I began the steep, gravel covered descent. Having lost my 3rd hiking pole in 3 years last week (left it on the back of the car as I drove away:(), I really could have used it as a 3rd leg. Really sketchy surface but I made it down from the steepest section, lost focus and bam! Now that hurt. I tell people the distance I fell ranged from 6' to 0" depending on what part of my body hit. Pulled something in my groin, my right knee was dented, right hip bruised, right shoulder hurt and I had cactus spines to remove. Hobbled for a day but everything is almost normal in day 3. Probably should spend a day or two on the bike.