Archive for July, 2008

Squawk Mountain a Two Fer-Central and West Peak June 19, 2008

When your boss gives you the day off to help the Parks Department with a clean-up project you might as well bring along some burgers, bag a few peaks and introduce the boss to Summit Cheese. We had signed up for this project at our last trail run and thought it was a great way to do our part for the park and trails we train on.

Myself (Safety Man) and my boss (Old Navy) met about 10 other runners/volunteers at the Southern access to Squawk Mt. just East of Seattle. Folks were surprised that we had brought such a heavy lunch (two meaty breakfast sandwiches for each of us), but with an explanation of our secondary cause, I hope we encouraged others to join the Summit Cheese Revolution.

To save time, the Parks Dept. shuttled us to the 2071′ summit of Squawk Mt. Central Peak, where we broke out our first burger (questionable decision as the work was about to begin). We then hiked about 3/4 of a mile to West Peak (1985 ft elevation) and started the work we came to do. We spent about 2 hours moving large batteries (50 lbs or so) down the mountain to where they could be more easily accessed for removal. We finished the last of 5, almost mile long round trips, and settled into our second burgers and then hiked back to the van.

Saying goodbye to the others, Old Navy and I didn’t want to miss a training opportunity so we decided to revisit Central Summit on foot. The 5 mile round trip (1700′ elev. gain) took about 50 minutes and was the perfect way to wrap up a quality day of community service.

SafetyMan-2

Old Navy-2

July 28, 2008 at 9:58 am 1 comment

Soapstone Moutain-9468 feet, July 20, 2008

On a beautiful Sunday morning Esterlinkage and I loaded Splasher into the car and headed to the Uintahs to meet Pickles, FlyingElvis, Ron Bergundy’s Dog Baxter and the rest of the Burke clan.  The drive up to the Mirror Lake Campground took the usual hour and a half, but we arrived in good spirits to plan our Summit for the day.  Realizing that Bald Mountain was a little ambitious for a lazy Sunday Morning we decided to follow the recommendation of SirLoinofBeef and tackle Soapstone Mountain.  Our only issue was that we did not have a map or book that had Soapstone Mountain marker.   Luckily Pickles and FlyingPelvis had actually done a bike tour of Soapstone Basin Road.  Of course that was 12 years (and many brain cells) ago. We easily found the turnoff for Soapstone Basin and Road and began working our way along the dirt road.  After a bit, we were elated to find a ranger station.  We figure that the denizens of the Soapstone Basing Ranger Headquarters would likely be the world’s experts on the infamous Soapstone Mt.  Much to our surprise, we discovered that the Headquarters was populated with the word’s experts on the sterile lake trout in Soapstone Basin.  Continuing on the dirt road we steadily climbed towards a tree shrouded ridgeline.  Our plan was to follow the road to it’s highest point and then start looking for the highest point in the vicinity.  After reaching the road’s highpoint, we turned onto a side dirt road leading to some primitive campsites.  After reaching the highest campsite, we abandoned our vehicles and began working our way up a faint trail.  The trail soon petered out and we began bushwacking our way towards a flat summit.  For the majority of the ascent we were led by the intrepid trailfinding team of Splasher and Mikinsley, who regaled us with trail information and warnings about potential ant attacks.  After reaching the summit we found a nice spot of downed timber to sit on for our Summit Cheeseburgers.  For this summit we had chosen a delightful repaste of Hormone Free Bison Burgers with double slices of Oregon Tillamook Swiss Cheese with spicy Grey Poupon Mustard (But of course), all on a 100% whole wheat bun.  If that isn’t the healthiest Cheeseburger, I don’t know what is.  Congratulations to Mikinsley and Linnea for joining the SummitCheese club.  After our snack we worked our way back down the slope and eventually to the cars.  Did we summit Soapstone Mountain?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Soapstone Mountain (maybe)-Pickles (1), Esterlinkage(1), FlyingElvis(1),  Splasher (1), RBDB(1), Mikinsley(1), Linnea (1), Wimpy (1)

July 24, 2008 at 8:33 am Leave a comment

Te Mata Peak New Zealand 399 meters-June 25 2008

On 25 June 2008 Sariah and I drove to the top and I ate a McDonalds cheeseburger. It was pretty funny because we were going to go earlier in the morning but I had no cheeseburger so we had to wait around until McDonalds switched to lunch, so we got to the drive thru at 10:31 am. So once we had the cheeseburger we commenced our arduous ascent. Ok so it took about 45 minutes in the car but the road up at the top was quite narrow and precarious. Te Mata Peak is 399 meters and overlooks the entire Hawke’s Bay region and you can even see Mt. Ruapehu (Mt. Doom in LOTR) in the distance. The Maori legend explaining its formation is quite interesting so here is a copied overview I found on the internet.

The Te Mata hillscape has an amazing story to tell: Many centuries ago the people living in pa (fortified villages) on the Heretaunga Plains were under constant threat of war from the coastal tribes of Waimarama. At a gathering in Pakipaki (near Hastings), a wise old woman (kuia) suggested that the leader of the Waimarama tribes, a giant named Te Mata, could be made to fall in love with Hinerakau – the daughter of a Pakipaki chief – and turn his thoughts from war to peace. This mission was quickly accomplished, and Te Mata fell under the spell of the beautifully Hinerakau.

However the people of Heretaunga had not forgotten the past and wanted revenge. They demanded that Hinerakau make Te Mata prove his devotion by accomplishing seemingly impossible tasks. His last task was to bite through the hills between the coast and the plains, so that people could come and go with greater ease.

Te Mata died while eating his way through the hills. His half-accomplished work can be seen in what is known as The Gap or Pari Karangaranga (echoing cliffs) and his prostrate body forms Te Mata Peak.

July 17, 2008 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

Little Water Peak 9,605 feet-July 17, 2008

A 5 AM start got our trio to the trailhead, at the top of Millcreek, before sunrise.  Amazingly there where multiple cars and hikers already present.  It turns out that at least some of them where sussing out the course for the upcoming Millcreek 50K. We chose to hike to Dog Lake using the Big Water Trail, an then try to find the trail leading to the top of Little Water Peak.  The pre-sunrise hike was spiced up by the very large, very fresh Moose tracks on the trail.  After reaching Dog Lake, SirloinofBeef and I were stymied in trying to find the trail to the summit.  So, we decided to start bushwacking (Surprised?) in an Easterly direction from Dog Lake.  By this point, the sun had risen and we were treated to Magnificent views of the central portion of the Wasatch Range.

 

 

 

 

 

The slope begins to steepen as you come out of the trees and start to enjoy an impressive undergrowth of wild rose bushes.  The final hike to the summit was uneventful except for premature excitement from several false summits.  Once on the peak, we each enjoyed a delightful Cheeseburger.  SirloinOfBeef and I enjoyed a Bison Cheesebuger on a whole wheat bun topped with Grey Poupon Mustard (but of course) and Ketchup.  Farting wonder partaked of a MicroCheeseburger and was eying the Bison Cheeseburgers lustfully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trip down was highlighted by a decision to eschew the faint trail back to Dog Lake.  Instead we began to head North East in an attempt to cut across towards the trail instead of back tracking.  By doing this we were able to stay off trail for the majority of the trip back.  We hooked up with Big Water Trail and then finished our loop by taking the Little Water Trail.

Little Water Peak-SirloinofBeef, Farting Wonder and Wimpy

July 17, 2008 at 10:22 am Leave a comment

A Family Hike – Willow “Heights”

Well, according to the USGS, Willow Heights is a summit. It is located in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah (good sign) about halfway up Big Cottonwood Canyon. But if you look on a topo map it’s right next to a lake (that’s a summit?)

The trailhead to Willow Heights is not easy to find. Travelling up the canyon, it’s just a few hundred yards past Silver Fork, on the north side of the road – but there’s no sign and no parking lot. The trailhead is marked by a large, labelled stone.

The Trailhead

The trail winds through aspen trees for almost a mile. Every wildflower imaginable seemed to be blooming.

In an Aspen Grove

After about a mile the trees gave way to a large meadow. From here we got beautiful views of the mountains on the other side of Big Cottonwood Canyon. We wandered a bit further to the small lake, found a “high” point near the lake and sat down for some Cheeseburgers.

Honeycomb Cliffs

We weren’t able to find a USGS marker anywhere. I would guess that one was placed here at some point – maybe it’s overgrown or we just didn’t find it. The hike is highly recommended for families. It’s short, beautiful, interesting and leads to a Cheeseburgerable event.

Willow “Heights” – dinoboy, BarBarJinks, MadeMarion, sirloinofbeef

July 16, 2008 at 6:30 am 1 comment

Davenport Hill Redux July 13, 2008-the 10K Trifecta

The day started early with a 5 AM pickup at SirloinOfBeef’s house.  We then moved on to pick up FlyingElvis, who was in possession of the necessary Cheeseburgers for our day of bagging summits.   Little did we sense the impending bout of ‘SleepingElvis Deja Vu’.   Upon arriving at Graceland, we noticed that while the porch light was on, the rest of the house was strangely dark.  After repeatedly ringing the doorbell and knocking we resorted to multiple phone calls to Graceland and to the Elvis cell phone.   As I became increasingly agitated by the possibility that we wouldn’t have the all important Cheeseburgers, SirloinOfBeef proudly admitted that he had packed 2 emergency Cheeseburgers.  Is FlyingElvis getting a reputation? Recognizing the futility of further attempts at waking NarcolepticElvis, we hit the road.  Upon realizing that we only had two Cheeseburgers and had the possibility of needing four, we decided to call DeadtotheWorldElvis one last time.  Again no answer, but we decided to leave a message intimating that we had no Cheeseburgers and nothing was open where we could buy a Cheeseburger.  Eventually we recieved a call back from NowIAmAwakeElvis, who promised to meet us at the trail head ASAP.  After a 20 minute wait at the Trail Head, IgnoreAllSpeedLimitsElvis arrived.  We quickly set off on our fourth attempt to find Davenport Hill armed with 8 Cheeseburgers.   From previous attempts we were able to avoid some of our earlier mistakes and head directly towards Davenport Hill.  Oddly as we neared Davenport Hill, SirloinOfBeef eschewed the trail and started bushwacking up a steep rocky slope. ShatteredPelvis and I were both struck by the fact that in each of the failed earlier attempts,  a similar decision had led to arriving on the ridgeline no where near Davenport Hill.  Oh well, what is the worse that could happen?  The necessity of a fifth attempt?  Anyway as we reached the ridgeline a decision was made to hike to the west and thus allow FlyingPelvis to bag Flagstaff Mountain and for all of us to bag North Flagstaff Mountain. 

Cheeseburger on a Stick

After successful summits of both peaks, we turned out attention to the infamous Davenport Hill.  Utilizying our earlier experience of having climbed every peak or bump on the ridgeline (except for Davenport Hill), we were able to hike directly to the peak where we all enjoyed yet another tasty Cheeseburger.  This completed an impressive Trifecta of >10,000 foot peaks for BetterLateThanNeverElvis.  Congratulations to all on the successful completion of the mighty Davenport Hill.

North Flagstaff Mountain 10,561-FlyingElvis, SirloinOfBeef and Wimpy

Flagstaff Mountain 10,427-FlyingElvis

Davenport Hill 10,026-FlyingElvis, SirloinOfBeef and Wimpy

July 14, 2008 at 1:15 pm 5 comments

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Banana Daquirrrrrri

A pirate walks into a bar with a ship’s wheel in his pants.

The bartender asks “What’s that ship’s wheel doing in your pants?”

The pirate replies “Arrrgh, it be driving me nuts!”

During our family trip to the US Virgin Islands we had already summited two peaks on St. John. We were staying on St. Thomas (here) but hadn’t found a peak to summit yet. Before going on a planned visit to Coral World we decided to ascend, by car, the high point of the island, Mountain Top. A windy road leads right to the summit – which is occupied by a couple thousand signs proclaiming Mountain Top as the birthplace of the banana daiquiri. Very subtle.

World Famous?

Before venturing into the bar for a WORLD-FAMOUS banana daiquiri, we enjoyed Summit Cheeseburgers in the parking lot marking the summit of Mountain Top.

The Money Shot

As we made our way to the WORLD-FAMOUS banana daiquiris we were shepherded past countless tourist trinket shops. T-shirts, shot glasses, shells glued to pieces of wood, and plastic bananas were all available. We enjoyed WORLD-FAMOUS banana daiquiris that appeared to be piped from a large vat to a bar with a tremendous view of the US and British Virgin Islands. Nice. We had company in the form of a number of pirates and piratesses.

Cheeseburger-loving Piratess

Good views, good burgers, good fun.

Mountain Top, St. Thomas, USVI – GroovyDad, GroovyMom, GroovyGirl, MadeMarion, BarBarJinks, sirloinofbeef

July 12, 2008 at 8:50 am 1 comment

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The Mission

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