Archive for July, 2007

Marys Peak-Home of the true Mountain Beaver (Aplodontia rufa) 06/26/2007

Mary’s Peak also known as CHINTIMINI or spirit mountain is 4,097 feet in elevation, and is the highest point in the entire Oregon Coast Range. A lesser known fact is that Mary’s Peak is also home to the Mountain Beaver (Aplodontia Rufa). In the late 1960s, research on the Chromosomes of the Mountain Beaver took place at nearby Oregon State University in the Chromosome Laboratory of Donald Humphrey. Intriguingly, the mascot for Oregon State University happens to be the American Beaver (Castor canadensis). It is perhaps regrettable, but not surprising that some neophytes make the mistake of mixing up the American Beaver with the Mountain Beaver. This is a mistake as the Mountain Beaver is not a true beaver, but a rodent. I should also warn readers, that the Mountain Beaver is well known for a cantankerous disposition and a willingness to bite if approached. Some less informed individualsmight choose to describe this as the temperament of a ‘Killer Mountain Beaver’, but again they would be sorely mistaken. The Mountain Beaver is not a killer, but simply grouchy in nature.

As we were seeking delicous Cheeseburgers, our quest carried us to Joni’s Market in the nearby town of Philomath (a seeker of knowledge and facts). It is important to note that Cheeseburgers are not listed on the menu board at Joni’s Market, but can be made available upon request. Marys Peak is located just west of Oregon State University (home of Benny the Beaver) off of Highway 34. The summit can be reached by following the winding road for 9 miles to reach the final parking lot. From the parking lot, there is a gravel road to the observation tower, but the gate is often closed to car access. We ate our Cheeseburgers in a sundappled field enjoying the panoramic views of the Oregon Coast Range.



Pictures to follow


July 30, 2007 at 11:57 am 2 comments

Nash Hill Near Kent, Ohio

It looks as though the center of the summit Cheeseburger universe is moving closer to Ohio. A few weeks ago glacial23 (Sam) summited Gildersleeve Mountain in Ohio and sent in a post. Last weekend another Ohio peak was summited – by a new hiker, aspasia93. Welcome! She posted a message on her LiveJournal account. With permission it’s published here:

As planned, I attended a friend’s wedding today in Kent, OH, but not before making a stop at the friendly local McDonald’s for a cheeseburger (hold the onions) to bag a summit!

I checked out glacial23’s Google USGS map toy.

I have to say that I was only marginally successful as I had to avoid numerous massive gopher holes just to get up to this point of the branch litter. The next 5’7″ (I’m 5’3″) was >60°. The only possible pathway … was obstructed by some gopher caverns, so I ate my cheeseburger only a head and a half below the actual summit: Nash Hill – Portage County, Ohio. This summit was a walloping nosebleeding 1158ft/elev.

[note: the bare soil all around the large hole in the photo had extreme crazing upon close inspection — didn’t want to risk all of it collapsing with me stuck right in the middle of it. Even from the distance I was standing, it appeared as though side tunneling started within less than 6″ from the surface.]

Google maps and indeed Google aerial photography made the summit APPEAR to be about 15 feet east, and the sudden elevation change was completely unforeseen.

Gaging from all the litter and exposed roots, I wouldn’t be surprised if the summit really was 99% accurate on the date of the USGS survey. (hill slide?) It isn’t exactly like the USGS sends someone to personally inspect every single summit in the entire country every year or three just to make sure they haven’t “moved”…

I was on my way to a wedding less than two miles from this summit, so this first mission of mine was a bit of a wolf-down and run (but viable anyway since I forgot to eat breakfast). Having been to the BP barely 100-feet north of this summit many times, I made the mistake of thinking the summit was on the east side of the stand of trees, when it was indeed on the west side. Had I had more time to make sure we had entered the HIGHER parking lot, then have my driver drive down to the hinter road to take photos, I would have definitely strolled across the parking lot to summit.

BOTH the upper parking lot near the actual summit and the lower access road sit well above the street level and out of direct line-of-sight from the road.

I certainly like to think it was a little more valid “in spirit” as I did a little bit of litter scrambling instead of simply walking across a casually slanted parking lot…

Do I get extra “E for effort” points for attempting to summit wearing a dress and dress clogs? I can happily report that both clogs stayed right were they belonged, firmly on my feet!

I promise, next summit will be a little better planned than “Oh LOOK! There’s a summit less than five minutes from where I’m already going!!!” and will indeed feature a far better cheeseburger than I could scrounge up in fast-food time. I’ll have to look for the nearest Winking Lizard or Rockne’s.

And that makes two Cheeseburger summits for the great state of Ohio. Aspasia93, we hope that you will continue with your Cheeseburger summiting adventures – are you attending another wedding soon? We need all the help we can get as we’re still about 70,000 Cheeseburgers short of finishing off all the peaks in the USA.

Nash Hill, OH – aspasia93

July 27, 2007 at 8:06 pm 1 comment

Andesite Mountain, Montana

After yesterday’s double black diamond ascent of Lone Mountain, I hucked myself out of bed and jibbed my way up the resort’s terrain park to the summit of Andesite Mountain. Along the way I met up with 3 deer browsing on the slope’s vegetation. The locals talked about the bears in the area, who I didn’t want to meet, so I stayed in the middle of the run (paranoid?). But I did spy some bear scat – I think – so perhaps they are more real than Killer Mountain Beavers.

The summit of Andesite Mountain is a pile of rocks of igneous origin, more specifically, andesite (surprise!). While this was a short, pleasant summer hike, during ski season you could take the Ramcharger lift up to the Pinnacle at Big Sky restaurant, order a Cheeseburger and take a 30 second hike to the summit. A warm Cheeseburger on a summit – a novel idea?

I took an easy descent (green) from the summit back to the base area. Later, the family and I took a Man vs. Wild hike up the Moose Tracks trail where we browsed wild raspberries, strawberries, currants, and whortleberries.

sirloinofbeef – Andesite Mountain (8,800 ft.), Madison County, Montana

The Money Shot Let's Take Safari Down The Summit Ramcharger Lift

July 25, 2007 at 7:30 am Leave a comment

12 on Timp

Since 1986, Susan (trail-handle: Sierra), has organized an annual ascent of Mount Timpanogas intended to coincide with the peak of wildflower bloom. Her teams of from 3 to 12 summiteers has included an ecclectic groups of friends, family, co-workers, former classmates–2 and 4-legged alike–and is a grand Utah tradition. Disaster struck in the mid 90s, though, when Susan moved from Utah, and a 10 year drought ensued. In 2005, however, she returned to SLC, and has led three successful assaults in three years.
The last climb was July 22, 2007, and included a SummitCheeseburger feast on the 11,750 ft. summit. Fourteen humans and two dogs began the hike at the Timpooneke trail head and a full dozen of the now famous “Lamburghinis” (micro version, c/o OldBull) were consumed on the summit by 11 new Summiteers (two in the canine division) and the chef, OldBull. The flowers held up their end of the bargain, even in this, a drought, year, and Sierra has entered the Summitcheeseburger Age.
Most Cheeseburgers on one peak??????
Mount Timpanogas, 11750, July 22, 2007:
Eileen (SkyLeaner)
Lise (Utah Yeti)
Susan (Sierra)
David (Delta)
Dave (Anytime but Early)
Becky (Beckster)
Christian (NoBrieforMe)
Troy (Curly)
Teresa (T-Rex)
Kirk (OldBull)
Duke (Trailblazer)
Joli (PrettyLady)

July 22, 2007 at 10:17 pm 2 comments

Montana Warning: Killer Marmots!

The weekend began with a long drive through Napolean Dynamite land, Eastern Idaho, as we were headed for the Big Sky Resort. We planned to visit the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman to brush up on the latest dinosaur knowledge.

No trip nowadays is complete without a Summit Cheeseburger attempt. Fortunately, the Gondola was running at Big Sky, starting at 7,500 ft., taking you up to 9,175 ft. In the summer it is mostly used by mountain bikers who bomb down a network of trails including the dreaded “Killer Marmot.” I was reminded of the dangerous Killer Mountain Beaver, a nearly mythical creature found in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah – a combination of Yeti, Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster all rolled into one.

From anywhere around Big Sky Resort the prominent peak is Lone Mountain. Its final 2,000 ft. of vertical, barren of vegetation, can be reached using the Big Sky Gondola. So I set out. After the enjoyable ride up, I started in on the hike proper – 2,000 ft. in 1.4 miles – sort of steep. To make it more interesting nearly the entire hike was on broken rock. After a short hike through lodgepole pines with grouse whortleberry underfoot I came up to Bone Crusher Ridge. This was followed by the vertigo-inducing Lunchbox Cornice. After a short stroll on grassy terrain the climbing began in earnest. Alot of sliding on scree later I was at the top with what would have been great views of a number of ranges had it not been for the haze caused by numerous forest fires burning in the West. The lukewarm Burger King Cheeseburger made it official but was not enjoyable.

1 Burger King Cheeseburger – $1.19

1 Gondola Ride – $18.00

1 Hike up Lone Mountain – Painful

1 Summit Cheeseburger – Priceless

sirloinof beef – Lone Mountain (11,166 ft.), Madison County, Montana

At the Summit Base Camp Hazy Big Sky Resort Map

July 22, 2007 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

More on Gildersleeve Mountain

The first Cheeseburger summit in the Eastern US was accomplished by glacial23 and was reported in a previous SummitCheese post. You can read his original post on his LiVEJOURNAL account. He’s allowed us to republish it here:

Earlier this week, I was seized with the need for adventure. Not too much adventure (i.e. driving to Labrador, which I still want to do), but enough that it would be something unusual and not cost a lot of money.

I decided that climbing a mountain (inasmuch as Ohio has mountains – the highest point in the state is a mere 1539 feet (Campbell Hill in Bellefontaine)) would be kind of fun. But what mountain? A Google search of “mountains near cleveland” eventually turned up this place, which seemed like a good, easy plan. While looking at other options, I came across this list, which was ended up being less interesting for the peaks, and more interesting for the site’s mission:

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

Now that’s the kind of mission I can get behind.

So, armed with a cheeseburger, my digital camera, and my newish hiking boots, I headed out to the Chapin Forest Reservation and hit the Lucky Stone Loop trail, which is actually part of the statewide Buckeye Trail. I hiked my way up to what was the highest point I could find (the not terribly scenic “scenic overlook”), and had my cheeseburger. Mission accomplished. I then made my way around the rest of the loop – there’s a much better overlook further down, where you can actually see downtown Cleveland. All in all, the whole hike took me roughly an hour (I’m pretty sure I did the full loop, as I passed the intersection with the Ruffed Grouse trail, which is the southernmost end of the Lucky Stone Loop, and I didn’t take any of the links), and pictures will eventually be forthcoming.

As far as the other 1000+ foot Lake County peaks(see the link to the list above), The Knob seems to be on private property, Little Mountain is part of Holden Arboretum and you can’t go to the summit without a guided tour, and Pierson’s Knob is definitely on private property – I swung by since it was close, and there is a sign stating (more or less) “Private Property, we have a 1/2 mile driveway that ends in a gate and has no turnaround. Stay the hell out” (ok, I made up that last part but the rest is pretty accurate).

So, that’s how my day went.

Photos from Gildersleeve are shown below. More recently, glacial23 produced a Google Mashup of the USGS summits in each of the US states. It’s a great way to look for new Cheeseburger summits in your home state – just change the “st=oh” at the end of the URL to view your desired state. Thanks! He talks about it in a LiVEJOURNAL post.

Gildersleeve 4 Gildersleeve 3 Gildersleeve 1 Gildersleeve 2

July 16, 2007 at 10:17 pm 2 comments

Davenport Hill – The Second Time’s Not a Charm

John (aka wimpy) and Paul (aka sirloinofbeef) started early in the morning on a second attempt to find Davenport Hill. Patrick (aka flyingpelvis) couldn’t join us – he was starting a running program because it’s “the only way I can lose weight.” Davenport Hill overlooks Alta Ski Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City, UT. Last year we gave up even finding the trailhead and ascended Sunrise Peak. This year we were determined to do better.

And we did. The trailhead begins right next to the Alta Fire Station. We headed up the trail towards Grizzly Gulch and were looking for the cutoff towards Davenport Hill. Not seeing anything obvious, we bushwacked (surprise!) up a mine-scarred slope to the ridge and found a trail there – good news. The other side looked down into Silver Fork and to the left loomed Flagstaff Peak and the Reed and Benson Ridge. We turned right on the ridge, because it was the only way we could lose weight. We didn’t know it yet but we were now headed away from Davenport Hill and towards Honeycomb Cliffs. Mining debris littered the landscape (see photos). The most interesting items were at the former Prince of Wales mine. From the mine we ascended a series of alternating black and white limestone ridges to the top of a summit. Just below us were the chair lifts of Solitude Ski Resort. A short consultation with a little used map confirmed this diagnosis and indicated that we were, in fact, nowhere near Davenport Hill. We were on top of the Honeycomb Cliffs. We elected to follow the ridge to the neighboring summit which was marked with a USGS marker (see photo below).

Well, a peak’s a peak, so we pulled out the Carl’s Jr. Stars and enjoyed a Summit Cheeseburger with a tremendous view of the central Wasatch Mountains. The descent was easy – a steep hike down to Twin Lakes Pass followed by a winding hike down Grizzly Gulch back to the truck. This was all new terrain for John and I and we enjoyed it immensely. So much so, that we may try to hike Davenport Hill again.

John, Paul – Honeycomb Cliffs

P.S. Sorry Georges, we didn’t eat any Brie sandwiches —- because it was the only way we could lose weight.

USGS Marker Davenport Arch Looking Back on the Ridge Twin Lakes Reservoir

July 16, 2007 at 12:49 pm 3 comments

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The Mission

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