Here's the trail where I left off today. Just mostly jagged uneven rock. I'm picking steps into it as best I'm able. It may not look like much improvement from ascending the slope without a trail, but it makes a huge difference. Climbing stairs vs struggling around rocks and bushes, skidding and sliding, no stable footing, on knees that don't work. Either way I have to use a walking stick.
This next shot is taken from the ridge toward the saddle. It's misleading because there's a lot it doesn't show.
There's a big jagged dip between the ridge line and the mountain wall, outlined in red in this next shot. I've been through that pass. No way to put a trail through there. But I need to check it out again, just to be sure. The yellow line is in the general area of where I plan to cross the ridge. I decided to bypass the landing and angle upward over the ridge. I do think it would be best to climb to the saddle before I go farther so I can get a better feel for where it's best to go. I'm going to try, but on the day I do that, I won't be able to work. The floor of the mountain top is about 4400' and the top of the wall is about 4700.' The saddle is in between those two elevations. (The oasis is just under 4000.')
Here is the lower part of the ridge. Even if I could cross the ridge here, the going on the north side would be much more difficult..
Back at CMO, too tired to spend much time. Very hot day too (over 100°). Here's a pair of Orange Skipperlings doing their thing.