Cleveland Summiteers, along with their determined Brazilian guides, conquer first Southern Hemisphere summit, Serra das Cabras

April 16, 2008 at 8:33 am 3 comments

The Plan crafted by “Hon” and Pedro
…we catch up with the expedition party at their Cleveland training facility. It is the beginning of January and expedition leader Kevin, aka “K-Dawg”, is on board with our quest to be the first group to conquer a Southern Hemisphere summit. He assigned the task of site selection to Ron a.k.a. Hon and Pedro. With his vast knowledge of the region and guidelines of Summit Cheese in hand, Pedro recommended that we target “Pico do Jaraguá”. Our objective was to hit the summit early. We would fly into Guarulhos International Airport on Sunday morning, grab a cheeseburger at the airport and head to the summit.

Disappointment on Day one
The expedition party left for Brazil on January 19th, 2008 and arrived on the morning of January 20th. All was going to plan. We identified a source for cheeseburgers and met up with our driver. After several attempts at communication and the assistance of a local bystander, our driver was informed that we wanted to eat cheeseburgers on top of Pico do Jaraguá. He stared at us as if we were crazy Americans. A bubble popped up above his head “Why would anyone fly to Brazil and want to eat a cheeseburger on a summit?” He snapped back to reality and said “NO”. He feared for the safety of the expedition party and would not drive us to the summit. He kept with his plan and drove us to Campinas.

Expedition Team regroups
After a disappointing morning, expedition leader Kevin rounded up the team and planned for an alternate summit. However, that did not work out since the team was already sampling local specialty drinks. Specifically they were intrigued by the Caipirinha.

After sleeping off the effects of the Caipirinha’s, the expedition team met up with Pedro and Fernanda. We looked at the local maps and agreed that we would eat a cheeseburger on Tuesday evening on top of Serra das Cabras. (Aerial View)

Official Location

The Second Attempt – The Cheeseburgers
It’s January 22nd, 18:00 Hrs local time and we are located at a plant in Valinhos. Pedro and Fernanda comment that there are many restaurants on the way but unsure if any serve cheeseburgers. Luck would have it that this unnamed plant has a picnic area with a little fast food kiosk. The kiosk has many signs depicting the fine eats one may purchase. On the top center is a beautiful picture of a cheeseburger. We immediately order seven cheeseburgers from Eliana. Quickly, Fernanda corrects the order and states that we only need six. We wonder, why does Fernanda not want a cheeseburger? Does she not like cheeseburgers? Is she a vegetarian? Why go through all this planning and preparation and not order a cheeseburger? We are all dumbfounded. The total purchase price was R$ 18.00 ($12.00 US) with an item description of “X Burger”. Pedro explains that the “X” in Portuguese sounds like Cheese. Eliana, nicely packages the six cheeseburgers in Styrofoam boxes and we are on our way.

The Drive
With cheeseburgers in hand, the seven of us break out into two groups and begin the adventure up the mountain. We head north on SP-083 until we approach the SP-083 and SP-065 interchange. We quickly learn that there is no direct route between two points. As we continue our drive, we see the road, Av. Anotonio Couto de Barros, which leads to the summit. However, we must drive past the road, take the next exit, drive in the opposite direction, then turn and drive through a local neighborhood, eventually making a left heading east on Rod Heitor Penteado. Several kilometers later Rod Heitor Penteado becomes Av. Anotonio Couto de Barros road. We then drive through the town of Sousas which is known for its great dining. At the end of town, the paved road transforms into a dirt path. The expedition party continues on the spiraling rock studded trail until we reach the summit.

The Summit
We finally arrive at the Summit to find the Observatoria closed …“if it was easy, everybody would be doing it!” As we ponder our next move, advance scout Jim notices a Security guard inside the Observatoria grounds. In typical American fashion, Jim hollers at the guard to get his attention. Eventually the guard meanders over to investigate the noisy ruckus. At his side is partner Ballina, the blind-in-one-eye watch dog. Expedition team negotiators Fernanda and Pedro quickly engage in discussions with the Security guard. During their discussions, we hear words “Amigos”, “Summit Cheese” and “Cheeseburgers”. A few moments later, the gates to the Observatoria are opened and we have full access to the grounds. We are guided to the main observatory and are allowed to enter. We climb the stairs, past the telescope and onto the outside balcony. We are greeted with a beautiful view of the city Morungaba. As the sun begins to set, we decide it’s time to consume our cheeseburgers. The time is 20:15 Hrs, about two hours since the cheeseburgers were nicely prepared and packaged for the ascent. We open the Styrofoam containers to find our cheeseburgers have taken on the shape of a square box. They seemed to have doubled in weight and become compact. Remarkably, they are still warm.
A quarter ways into the consumption of the cheeseburger, the expedition team through non-verbal communication indicates that this is by far the most difficult part of the journey. The compacted / high density burgers seem to be expanding as they traveled to our stomachs. We now know the rest of the story as to why Fernanda did not want a cheeseburger. Per SC rules, the entire cheeseburger must be consumed to qualify as an official summit. Fifteen minutes and five pounds later, the team completes their goal of ascending a summit in Brazil and consuming one of the worst cheeseburgers we have ever had.

We quickly descended down the dark, rut and boulder filled road back to town. For some odd reason, the road down the mountain led directly to Giovannelli’s in Campinas. We ended the expedition with several rounds of Chopp. As we were leaving the restaurant, Dave requested a Saideira (si-day-da). The establishment honored Dave’s request and gave us another round of Chopp on the house.

Congratulations to the Expedition Team for the first Southern Hemisphere Cheeseburger Summit.
Kevin – Expedition Leader
Dave – Mr. Saideira
Pedro – Transportation czar and negotiator
Jim – Advance scout and security antagonist
Maureen – Planner, Dog tamer
Ron – Logistics

Honorary Summiteer:
Fernanda – Off road driver, negotiator and cheeseburger expert

Please note: Animals and Humans were not harmed or injured during this expedition. However, rough roads may be responsible for future rattles in expedition vehicles.


Entry filed under: International Summits.

Tom’s Hill (9040 feet) April 13, 2008 Peace and Parley’s Peak

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. summitcheese  |  April 16, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Congratulations to the summit team and thanks for the great post. I’m dissappointed in Fernanda’s Cheeseburger-eating resolve.


  • 2. Pickles  |  April 16, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    way to go! this is soooooo awesome.

  • 3. Wimpy  |  April 16, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    This is a truly great accomplishment. Kudos to all of you!


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The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.
April 2008
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