One of the great things about this trail is that it forces you to earn the reward it has waiting at the end. Ina addition to being probably the most heinous descent in the Catalinas, the Pusch Peak route is almost class IV in places; luckily - it's short. It's the kind of hike that people routinely cop-out on. The last time I hiked it I ran into two groups on their way down who had failed to summit and wanted to make excuses and talk me into turning back to join their parade of shame. This time was no different; some guy out on the Linda Vista loop trail tried to tell me I'd never find my way up to the top. The fact I'd stood there three times previously was lost on him; after all, he couldn't do it...surely no one can, right?
That's the great part about this endeavor in which we all partake. Hiking and mountaineering are some of the last sports that haven't been ruined by technology. When you're at altitude on a sheer canyon wall looking down at the world below and looking up at another 1,000' of hard, vertical scramble there is only one truth left: You can go up or down. At that moment it doesn't matter how stuffed full of shiny crap your house is, what shoes you have on, or how much stock you own. All of the gizmos, gadgets, personal trainers, and trips to Summit Hut in the world won't change the fact that you and you alone have to overcome the obstacle before you. Never in your life are you more honest with yourself than you are when you're facing down such a challenge.
As far as the trail goes, it's still there waiting for the next challenger. I even improved the cairn situation on the way down