Archive for September, 2006

A Fond Farewell to the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram

A slice of history will end this weekend (October 1, 2006) with the last run of the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram. Located at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming it has carried skiers, hikers, and Cheeseburgers from the base in Teton Village to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain since 1966. It rises 4,139 vertical feet, topping out at 10,450 ft. A new 100 passenger tramway will replace the existing tram in 2008. But since the tram was still running this weekend we used it to ascend Rendezvous Mountain.

The drive from Salt Lake City to Jackson on Friday was quite wet – mixed rain and snow – but this did not dampen our enthusiasm for the upcoming summit. The ascent team rested for the next morning’s challenge at Luton’s Teton Cabins located just east of Moran Junction. Their fine Brinkmann Trailmaster smokers allowed for the the preparation of herbed (garlic, thyme, sage, and oregeno) buffalo burgers. For an added touch, the buns were toasted over the hot coals.

Saturday morning greeted us with a stunning view of a snow-covered Mount Moran. Named after Thomas Moran, an American western frontier landscape artist, this massive peak rises to 12,605 ft. from the banks of Jackson Lake. After a breakfast of scrambled eggs and a rasher (or two) of bacon we set off for Teton Village. We had just a short wait in line before we boarded the tram for the ride up Rendezvous Mountain.

A foot or so of snow from the previous week’s weather greeted us at the summit. In short order burgers, cheese, buns, and onion and tomato slices were produced and John, Lisa, Marion, and Paul enjoyed the Cheeseburgers and the view. We were all quite impressed with the ruggedness of the Tetons. Our extra burgers were offered to several fellow summiteers, but no one bit on the offer. Another fine Cheeseburger summit!

Rendezvous Summit Jackson Hole Mount Moran Teewinot and Owen from Inspiration Point


September 26, 2006 at 9:41 pm Leave a comment

Mary’s Peak – The First Oregon Peak

On a beautiful, sunny afternoon, we headed out from Eugene, Oregon and drove west toward Newport, Oregon, on the Coast. Because we would be crossing the Coastal Range, we knew it would be the perfect opportunity for (cue dramatic music) our next Summit Cheeseburger! Oregon had yet to be conquered and we knew we were up to the challenge. Mark and I are both alumni of Oregon State University, and our travels this day would take us down nostalgia lane, driving down some familiar roads with our three children. We were able to take a very short detour off from Route 20, in Corvallis, and pause long enough to look at the apartment building we had lived in, over 22 years ago. We also pointed out the dormitory we lived in, where we had first met, as college students. The kids were oddly fascinated by this bit of family lore. Then it was on to Philomath, Oregon where we had decided to stop for the all-important Cheeseburgers! We found the perfect little hole-in-the-wall restaurant, Paul’s Place. We could not find a more fitting tribute to one of the founding members of the Cheeseburger Summit Movement, Paul. I selected my favorite burger, a mushroom Swiss and Mark had his usual “everything” burger. Our kids, like all typical American children, insisted on an additional stop at McDonald’s. Sigh.

Off to Mary’s Peak!

Mary’s Peak is the highest peak in the Oregon Coastal Range, with an altitude of 4097 feet. Luckily, you can drive almost all the way to the top. After winding eight miles up, we parked in the spacious lot, so thoughtfully provided. After depositing the required $5.00 in the drop box, we hiked the half-mile or so, up to the summit. It was hot and sunny with grasshoppers everywhere. After our hot and dusty walk, those cheeseburgers and lemonade were divine. Mark, Mitchell and I consumed our cheeseburgers in their entirety, while Paige and John opted for their usual chicken nuggets and fries. Burgers always taste better with a spectacular view!

Respectfully submitted,

Leslie, Mark and Mitchell

September 20, 2006 at 10:27 am 2 comments

Be the Bear (Thayne Peak)

A leisurely start got John, Paul and Sadie to the Desolation Trailhead at 6:45 AM. We were all excited about the prospect of snow due to a unseasonal dump of snow on the previous day. However, while chilly, the trailhead was free of snow. From the parking lot you follow the very well marked trail until reaching the junction of Desolation Trail and the Thayne Canyon Trail. Take the Thayne Canyon Trail up Thayne Canyon until reaching the second crossing of Thayne Canyon Trail and the Desolation Trail, take the left branch of the trail. At this point, there was a decent amount of snow on the ground. After following the trail for several hundred yards, you begin to see the outline of Thayne peak above you. Now if you want to take a shortcut, you can start thrashing your way through the snow covered brush. New readers of this site may wonder if the ascent party decided on the shortcut. Any one who has hiked with us or read any of the posts knows ‘of course we took the shortcut’. As we pushed our way through the brush, the terrain steepened and the brush got thicker. Full body wallowing commenced and we utilized the ‘Be The Bear’ technique of using body mass to push through the foliage. We were eventually rewarded with a rock and tree covered summit. From the summit there were nice views of Mount Raymond to the south and Grandeur Peak to the North. Paul provided delightful onion and garlic Cheeseburgers, garnished with more onion, ketchup and mustard. For the trip down, we chose to bushwack back down to the Desolation Trail and then followed the Desolation Trail down to the parking lot for a nice loop.

John and Paul

Thayne Peak from the West Grandeur Peak from Thayne Canyon Mount Raymond Looking Down Porter Fork

September 19, 2006 at 4:41 pm 1 comment

Flagstaff Mountain (10,530 ft)

It was an alpine start that resulted in both Paul and John forgetting to bring a camera. We packed 4 Cheeseburgers with the expectation of climbing Flagstaff Mountain and then descending into the Cardiff Fork Canyon to find and climb Montreal Hill. The poorly marked trailhead is ~50 feet east of the Fire Station across the road from Alta. It is easy to miss, but after 15 feet the trail is marked with a warning about unexploded ordinance from avalanche control. Once you are on the trail it is well marked. After ascending through thick vegetation, you will eventually reach a gravel road and turn right. After a turn of the gravel road, there will be abundant signs of mining dotting the hillside. Work your way up the hillside (bushwacking of course), until you reach the ridgeline. Flagstaff Mountain represents the terminus of the Reed and Benson Ridgeline with the Cardiff Pass Ridgeline. From Flagstaff Mountain, you are provided with tremendous views in all directions. There is an especially nice view of Pfeiferhorn.

We were lucky enough to see a passing family of Mountain Goats, with the sturdy patriarch passing within 10 yards of us. We then enjoyed a hearty meal consisting of a Cheeseburger with lettuce, onion, mustard and ketchup. After our meal, we continued our trip into the Cardiff Fork Canyon above Donut Falls. The descent was a mostly controlled slide, down runouts of scree and shrubs. Paul, not being content with merely seeing the beautiful vegetation, decided to lay down in a prickly patch of currants. After reaching the bottom, we spent about 30 minutes determining that we would not be able to climb Montreal Hill due to not being able to identify which lump of dirt that it was. We then ascended the bowl to Cardiff Pass and descended via the well marked trail following the telephone poles.

September 11, 2006 at 12:58 pm 1 comment

Photographer’s Point – Director’s Cut

For those of you who wonder how a Cheeseburger should be assembled under extreme conditions, we’ve prepared an instructional video. The video below was prepared during the hike to Photographer’s Point in the Wind River Range in Wyoming.

Well, we tried!

September 6, 2006 at 7:09 am 2 comments

Anyone got a GPS? .. We’re looking for Big Cottonwood Canyon ..

I struggled with the appropriate title for the post; equally appropriate might have been .. “Note to self .. pencil chairlifts into hiking map” .. or something like that. In the end, I decided to go with the morning’s first and most remarkable occurrence – the fact that we got “lost” before setting foot on the trail.

Admittedly, it was also remarkable that we were even hiking on Monday. It was only a week ago that we had ventured into Titcomb Basin in the Wind Rivers, experienced the seasons first snow and ate the first 33 mile Cheeseburger. Now don’t get me wrong, neither of us were operating at 100% (like that is ever going to happen again!), but we got out there, found a trail, climbed a peak and claimed another Cheeseburger.

The goal Monday morning was to hike up Bear Trap Fork to Desolation Peak. Now some may have well known, or have recognized sooner than us that Bear Trap Fork takes off to the north out of Big Cottonwood Canyon (11.0 miles up). Neither of us were quite so sharp Monday morning; so after a quick drive nearly to the top of Little Cottonwood, we turned around, re-fueled the vehicle and finished the drive to the trail head.

The Bear Trap Fork trailhead is not well marked. Depending upon your odometer, how many corners you cut going up the canyon and which trail-head you are talking about, you can find you way on the right trail by looking for an unmarked dirt road 10.8-11.1 miles up the canyon on your right (to the North). Once you have found a (the?) dirt road, do what you do in the Wasatch, GO UP. I don’t think you can go wrong after that.

It was a nice really nice trail. It was, of course, steep in spots, but it also had short stretches of a mild grade with great vegetation and shade. Upon reaching the saddle the trail eventually joined the Great Western Trail. It was a short bushwhack to Desolation Peak from there (Northeast from the saddle). On the peak, we enjoyed a “doctored” McDonald’s Cheeseburger. In order to make the standard fare more palatable, there was a slice of fresh tomato from the garden, a little lettuce and an extra dollop of katsup. The missing ingredient … mayo, mayo, mayo … I have got to add packets of mayo to the Cheeseburger Summiteers Survival Kit.

Our brunch was quite pleasant and the views were terrific. We did not, of course, recognize until it was too late that the new lift out of The Canyons ski resort came within 100 feet of Desolation Peak. We will have to save the First “Chair-lifted Cheeseburger” for another peak.

Monday’s hike marked the end of the first Summer of the Summit Cheeseburger. The entire team can take pride in having packed, carried, eaten, and digested Cheeseburgers of all types across more than 32 peaks from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2006. Only 66,000+ peaks left to go in the United States alone! God’s Speed!

-Paul and Patrick

September 4, 2006 at 9:31 am Leave a comment

Summit Cheeseburger Firsts

The most incredible feats of Cheeseburger summiting are recorded here; from the first ever recorded Cheeseburger summit to the first time a Cheeseburger is eaten on a continental high point (this hasn’t happened yet). If you have an idea for a new category, add a comment to this post.

First Cheeseburger Summit – May 10, 2006; Wire Mountain, Utah 20cb.jpeg

First Summit Outside of Utah – July 22, 2006; Mount Tamalpais, California 20cb.jpeg

First Summit in Eastern US – not yet

First Summit in Europe – August 12, 2006; Capitoline Hill, Roma, Lazio, Italy 20cb.jpeg

First State High Point – not yet

First Country High Point – not yet

First Continental High Point – not yet

First Two Summit Hike – July 24, 2006; Mount Millicent, Mount Wolverine 20cb.jpeg

First Three Summit Hike – July 30, 2006. Mount Tuscarora, Sunset Peak, Pioneer Peak, Utah 20cb.jpeg

First Four Summit Hike – October 14, 2006. Big Mountain, Swallow Rock, Grandview Peak, Burro Peak, Utah 20cb.jpeg

First Five Summit Hike – not yet

First Two Generation Hike – July 22, 2006; Mount Tamalpais, California 20cb.jpeg

First Three Generation Hike – not yet

peaks.jpg people.jpg firsts.jpg
Summits People Firsts

Last updated: August 29, 2006

September 2, 2006 at 7:33 am 2 comments

The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.
September 2006
« Aug   Oct »

Blog Stats

  • 81,665 hits