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mini location map2013-06-14
15 by photographer avatarMountain_Rat
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Buster MountainTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 14 2013
Mountain_Rat
Hiking6.33 Miles 2,304 AEG
Hiking6.33 Miles   4 Hrs   48 Mns   1.53 mph
2,304 ft AEG      40 Mns Break8 LBS Pack
 
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Buster Backwards:

The plan was to do Pusch Peak this morning, but upon arrival at the TH, I saw that I was not alone. There were already 3 vehicles parked and a 4th pulled in right behind me. As I gathered my stuff, I began to think that 5 people in this canyon is pretty crowded, then when all 4 doors opened on the latest arrival, I packed it up. Now, seeing a human or 2 doesn't bother me, but with a minimum of 8 hikers on trail before 05:00 a.m. It was gonna be close quarters.

With no plan B, I scoured through the vast emptiness of my mind to find another option :| . It wasn't long before Buster Mountain popped up :) (I happened to look in it's direction). The trailhead being 5 miles north, I hit the highway again. I was on the trail, half-cocked at about 05:20, still trying to decide my approach.

I had this hike on the books for the near future, when I would have some time to bushwack. The plan was to do a loop, taking an established trail up, with a potential 'Google' trail out the other side (or vice-verse). I had it all plotted out for weeks now. I had been hesitating on the approach though; Bushwack up, where I could bail on the lower end if needed, or Bushwack down, which could turn into a long backtrack?

As I selected the map page on the 'GeePuS', I found that I had failed to ever load the plotted route at all. Fortunately, I had at least loaded some way points (1/2 mile checkpoints) based on Google Earth imagery. There was no way that I wasn't doing this today, so I headed up the Birding Trail until I saw what should be the ravine I was looking for. I made a decision and turned hard left, charging head long into the unknown :gun: .

I was about 7/10ths of a mile up the ravine when I realized there was not, nor will there be a trail here :-s . I knew the trail was to the south of me running basically southeast. Having lost my allotment of blood already, I decided to cut a line dead south to intersect the trail. Within the next 1/2 mile, this move payed off as I stepped onto the elusive 'Google' Trail. This trail is Niiice. It seems that someone or something (maybe Google :-k ) has been taking very good care of this trail, complete with carins every 10 - 20 feet, until you top the ridge. After that, it's rolling, but rocky plains of high grass, hiding any sign of carins or trail. The upside is that now the route to Buster Mountain is clear and obvious. I dropped down through a saddle, headed straight for Buster Spring and from there contoured the hill counter-clockwise until hitting the saddle below Buster. The only thing left to do now is hit the peak :y: .

As I took a break at the peak, I decided that I would return the way that I came, so as to record a full track of the 'Google' Trail. I've now been to the peak from both directions, I have solid data on both, and can do the full loop another day.

BTW, the full loop comes in at ~5.1 miles. You'll Love This One!

dry Buster Spring Dry Dry
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