Archive for February, 2007

Red Butte – aka a Ridge on Wire Mountain

While it doesn’t look like a proper peak, the USGS has designated Red Butte as a summit. Located just northeast of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City it overlooks the Red Butte Canyon Research Natural Area and Red Butte Garden but is located a few miles from the Red Butte Cafe in Foothill Village. If you check the map this looks like a short hike – about 3 miles with an elevation gain (and loss) of about 1,600 feet. So you’d think this hike wouldn’t take long; but maybe you haven’t factored in Cheeseburger-eating-time.

Eric agreed to this hike the night before so he was rounded up in an early morning home invasion and packed into the car. We parked on Colorow Way and from there hiked up to Georges Gulch, following it up past the “Living Room” to an overlook into Red Butte Canyon. A hard turn to the left and a short hike uphill brought us to the high point of the ridge overlooking the canyon. This is Red Butte. At the rocky summit we brought out ‘the Boys’ (see photo), Double cooked, bleu cheese-impregnated, Black Angus burgers the size and consistency of manhole covers. With their vast experience, John and Paul were able to make short work of their summit duties but Eric (a newbie) had some difficulty with the task at hand. At first he tried the “I’ll eat it on the way down” approach but strict enforcement of the Summit Cheeseburger rules precluded this tactic. After a pint of water, a hearty dose of peer pressure, and 30 more minutes of effort Eric finished off his burger – another Cheeseburger Summiteer! With Eric still looking green, the group proceeded south along the ridge. For those of you that haven’t hiked this – do – it’s a beautiful half mile of ridge walking. A short descent off the ridge landed us in the ‘Living Room’ where we settled into the sandstone seats to digest our morning’s meal.

Inspired by the morning’s Cheeseburger-eating entertainment we discussed responses we’ve heard to the Summit Cheeseburger concept. A common line is “Why Cheeseburgers? Why not ______?” And the blank can filled in with falafel, Brie sandwiches, scotch, beef burritos or just about anything else. Since there’s so much complaining and, to date, no www.SummitBrieCheeseSandwich website I’m guessing we have properly aggravated the fussy specialty-tea-at-meetings, salad-dressing-on-the-side, why-not-something-besides-cheeseburgers crowd.

A warm welcome to Eric, who braved snow and an early morning Cheeseburger to get onto the Summit Cheeseburger scoreboard.

Eric, John, Paul – Red Butte, Salt Lake County, UT

Red Butte Reservoir Looking Down on Research Park Resting in the Living Room Georges Gulch


February 26, 2007 at 4:44 pm 2 comments

Hmmmm, Circle-All Peak, Gobblers, Cherry Hill? .. nope, this post is about Grandeur Peak

… and how Grand it was.

Stories of the other journeys will be added .. in time, someday, maybe, well … I suppose the probablity of a post depends, inversely, on how much I can annoy Paul with this.

It was a typical early Sunday morning start in the winter – it was dark and cold (but not as cold as usual), John was driving, I was was brewing (the Jo, Starbucks does not open ’til 7:30am – too late!). The trip was originally planned as a winter assault of Olympus, but Paul’s paternal duties came first and he was tasked with helping his littlest one get past a bug. Alas .. John and I were on our own, and as such John suggested we do an old favorite – Grandeur Peak – instead. We both still needed the Grandeur notch in our Cheeseburger Summitteer belts. From the start, without Paul there, we were pretty sure this trip would involve less bush-whacking than usual and we were pretty sure we would get back on time … maybe even early. As it turns out, we were right on both accounts. Go figure … somebody e-mail this to Nils.

John and I were fortunate to have a nearly perfect weather — not too warm, nor too cold. We were even fortunate enough to enjoy a light snowfall along the ridge crest (after summitting an actual peak, see previous post describing the first Cheeseburger Ridge) before we descended into back into Millcreek. Grandeur is one the most recognizable peaks along the East bench of the Salt Lake Valley. Few locals are probably aware, but a prominent portrait of Grandeur dawned the cover Sunset Magazine several years ago (probably five years ago now) and it was singled out was one of the best, most easily accessed hikes in the West.

It is a great hike and it had been far too long since I had last made the trek. John and I both recounted previous trips along the path. Unlike previous trips (for me) the trail was mostly covered in ice this time. More than 50% of the trail was a slippery skirt up over several inches of ice. Snowshoes proved indispensable during the decent. Unlike the spring, summer and fall months, the trail was deserted and we had the mountain to ourselves the entire morning long. One young(er) couple was on their way up the trail as we reached the bottom, but those were the only folks we saw all morning.

At the summit, John and I enjoyed burgers prepared by Paul. Thanks Paul! Both John and I noted that they were significantly better than most Cheeseburgers we have consumed for the sake of the mission. I am told it was ground buffalo, infused with bread crumbs, mustard and blend of seven secret herbs and spices .. that was what you said, right Paul? Were they also soaked in brine? .. They were most tastey and really hit the spot.

Our only regret .. no pictures. Sorry, next time.

John and Patrick

February 5, 2007 at 11:03 pm 2 comments

The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.
February 2007
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