Archive for September, 2008

A Message from Electric Peak, MT

Summit Cheesers –

I found out about your glorious Web site a week or two ago and since I like to summit mountains saw no reason not to help out your truly valiant cause. I accepted the challenge this weekend and summited Electric Peak in the Gallatin Range of Montana/Wyoming with cheeseburger in hand. I’ve attached a couple photos for your viewing pleasure.

For info on Electric Peak, see Summit Post:

Your page about Electric Peak is here:

Cheers,
Sam H

electricpeak_samh_2

September 30, 2008 at 6:55 am 5 comments

Give me Liberty or give me Death … by Cheeseburger

9/21/08 … the last day of summer. It brings a tear to my eye… no wait, that was the hot wings I had after the hike. Anyway, there’s so much useless stuff to mention from this hike that I don’t know where to begin. Here’s a quick rundown of the facts:

The Hikers: Krusty Bunz, Just Mike from Arlington MA (a different just Mike from previous hikes), and Just Denise from Medford MA.

The Summits: Mt. Flume (4328′) and Mt. Liberty (4459′)

The Trail: up the Flume Slide Trail, along the Franconia Ridge Trail, and down the Liberty Spring Trail (part of the Appalachian Trail) … about 8.5 miles

The Cheeseburgers: expecting a much larger group of hikers, a dozen chili, garlic & black pepper microburgers, topped with 75% reduced fat cheddar were prepared. Six were officially consumed and I scarfed down the rest after offering them to everyone else I met on the 2nd summit.

The Flume Slide Trail was certainly one highlight of this hike. According to the guide book: “It is not recommended for descent, and its use is discouraged in wet weather”… spot on in my mind! It was a good day in terms of weather, still I was surprised to see people coming down the trail with full packs, particularly after we had just finished scrambling up the ledges that make it dangerous to descend… I might have scared at least one young girl hiking with her dad when I said something to another hiker along the lines of “you can use your external frame pack as a stretcher” … yeah, I regretted that almost right away… not nice, but accurate none the less.

With some clouds lingering about, the views weren’t great, but definitely better than the northern part of the ridge where Galehead Mtn is. Below is the view of Mt. Liberty from Mt. Flume.

Denise is all over the summit cheeseburger mission… just need to come up with a trail name for her on her next hike. Mike is questionable. He wasn’t into it before the hike, but seemed into it at the summit. He pleaded for a shorter hike next time, so we’ll have to see if there really is a next time.

KB

September 23, 2008 at 10:39 am 2 comments

Cathedral Peak Appetizer – Quealy Peak

My apologies for the late post – this “ascent” occured before our idiotic ascent of Cathedral Peak. Flyingpelvis and I were driving from Salt Lake City up to Pinedale, WY and decided we needed to explore a summit within striking distance of the highway. In Kemmerer, home of the J.C. Penney motherstore, we stopped at an Arctic Circle for a pair of Cheeseburgers. Please note that we used the drive-thru and did not step out of the car.

A few days earlier I had explored Google Maps for peaks near Kemmerer. Quealy Peak was a few miles out of town and a road appeared to run all the way to the top. As we approached the road to the summit, we came up to an opened gate which displayed the sign below.

Is That for Me?

I did mention that the gate was open, didn’t I? And what does “authorized” mean? We certainly weren’t un-authorized. The last half mile of road led to a radio and phone tower-studded peak – we probably could have reheated the burgers using radio waves. We drove to the summit, and without getting out of the car, enjoyed a summit Cheeseburger. Imagine our pride at achieving a Cheeseburger summit without abandoning the comfort of four-wheeled transportation!

Quealy Peak Money Shot

The descent was as difficult as the ascent, but soon we were back on the highway to Pinedale for our date with Cathedral Peak. Unfortunately, we could only drive within 19 miles of Cathedral Peak and would have to hike the rest – ouch!

Quealy Peak – flyingelvis, sirloinofbeef

September 23, 2008 at 7:51 am 1 comment

A Foggy New Hampshire Day

Two of my teammates and I decided to go for a little retreat to the White Mountains on Sunday, and decided to attempt Galehead Mountain. The drive up was lovely, as was the beginning of the hike, a gentle stroll. As we left the Gale River Trail and hit Garfield Ridge, we realized that perhaps the fog was creeping in rather fast. A steady ascent to the top confirmed this, though at the true summit there would not be many views anyways because of trees, so we moved down to a lookout after cheeseburger consumption. Of course, I was the only one to consume a cheeseburger that day, as my teammates, Elsie, a vegetarian, and Lange, not big on cold burgers, declined to partake. At said lookout, we could see absolutely nothing, just the side of the mountain dropping off below us. It was a rather uneventful day, but the poor views provoked the mandate for another hiking trip in perhaps November, when our racing season is over. It was though, a lovely ten mile walk, and a generally pleasant day, if not a bit cold. Hot chocolate later in the evening was well embraced.

Summit!

Flame Broiled

September 22, 2008 at 5:44 pm 2 comments

Cathedral Peak Dessert (Signal Mt.)

Grabbing the last 3, lamb-infused, garlic burgers, Chases Rabbits, Cold Fusion and Old Bull, set out from the ranch  for some photo-ops in Grand Teton National Park.  Dodging thunderstorms (sons-of-Ike), bison herds, migrating jackalopes, the intrepid trio inched north on the morning of September 11, 2008, to the trailhead beneath the famous viewpoint, Signal Mountain (7826).  Disappointed, but not surprised, by the scouting report from SirLoin/Pelvis, they were quick to discover that one cannot in fact drive to  the summit, but must instead endure a 50yd, 30ft elevation climbing marathon.  Nevertheless, the now, world-famous, lamburghinis were sacrificed to the Summit Cheeseburger gods, and one more peak is added to the list:

Signal Mountain, Wyoming,

7826

September 13, 2008

Old Bull, Cold Fusion, Chases Rabbits

September 13, 2008 at 8:31 am 2 comments

Garlic-infused Cathedral Peak

We left the route up to fate. The hike would start at the Big Sandy Opening trailhead, heading north past Dad’s and Marm’s lakes to Washakie Pass, then down past Macon and Washakie lakes to the junction with the Bear’s Ears trail. Here we’d pull out a coin and let chance decide whether we headed south to the Lizard Head trail (heads) or north, past Mount Hooker and Hailey Pass (tails). Either way it was going to be a long (35+ miles) hike.

The night before OldBull prepared feta- and olive-infused lamburghenis on garlic-infused buns. Plans were laid for a summit assault on either route – Mount Chauvenet on the southern route or Grave Lake Dome on the northern route. After all, we couldn’t hike all day in Wyoming’s Wind Rivers Range without a Cheeseburger summit, could we? After a short night, we awoke at 3:10 am for an egg-seasoned garlic breakfast and enough coffee to get the motor running. By 5:30 we were on the trail, using our headlamps to find the way to Fish Creek Park. As the sun rose we were treated to views of Mount Bonneville and its neighbors.

Bonneville et al.

By 9 am we were over the Continental Divide at Washakie Pass and headed down the rocky pass to Macon and Washakie lakes. We were passing through some stunning scenery including our first views of Buffalo Head and Payson Peaks (below). After about 14 miles of hiking we arrived at the real trailhead – the junction with the Bear’s Ears trail.

Buffalo Head Peak

flyingpelvis brought along a coin he had found in the joists of a house he was remodeling. It was an 1880 silver dollar – a coin almost as old as OldBull! A coin toss would decide our fate today. fryingelvis did the honors and it turned up heads. After a moment of stunned silence and a quick glance at one another we realized that the forecast was for pain. The Lizard Head trail was 2000 feet above us and 5 miles away, and that’s before the peak and a long slog back to the car. Good thing we had Cheeseburgers to eat!

1880 Liberty Head Dollar

So we crossed the Popo Agie Creek and proceeded up towards Mount Chauvenet, passing Valentine Lake along the way. This stretch of trail is obviously a labor of love. The gentle grade over incredibly rocky terrain made hiking fairly easy. Finally we reached the junction of the Lizard Head trail and the halfway point of the hike. We looked around for Mount Chauvenet – where was it? After consulting the map we figured out that it was hidden behind a band of rocks just above us to the north. At this point, after almost 20 miles of hiking, no one seemed too excited about a 2 or 3 mile diversion. On the other hand, to the south stood Cathedral Peak and it didn’t look too difficult. So we changed the plan. The hike up Cathedral was straightforward; we picked our way up the rock and snow to the summit. The guide book says it’s class III – well, maybe. Old Bull pulled out the burgers and we enjoyed the views, the cold air, and the garlic.

Descending Cathedral Peak

The whole hike was gorgeous but the hiking up on the Lizard Head Trail was the highlight of the trip. The elevation stays above 11,500 ft. and affords views of everything in the southern Winds.

Looking Back at Cathedral Peak

The descent from the plateau to Lizard Head Meadows covered about 2000 ft. The views of Wind River Peak (center of the photo below) inspired us to dream up plans for an ascent, maybe next year. On the way down we took a short break in a field of grouse whortleberries – a little treat for the weary hikers.

Descent from Lizard Head Trail

As we approached Lonesome Lake we finally got a great view of the Cirque of the Towers. We haden’t seen many people on this hike, but at the Cirque there were a few more folks.

Cirque of the Towers

We ascended Jackass Pass and left the Cirque behind. The sun set well before we were finished, so we hiked many miles in the dark, with headlamps. Finally, after 16 hours and ~38 miles we made it back to the car – tired, hungry and beat up. We agreed that this was the hardest “day” hike we’d ever done but also the most scenic.

Cathedral Peak, WY – Old Bull, flyingelvis, sirloinofbeef

September 10, 2008 at 8:46 am 5 comments

Garfield would have stayed home and slept

I’m still not sure whether Just Mike has a taste for summit cheeseburgers yet, but I think he’s got the taste for hiking back. He suggested a relatively easy, but still significant hike up Mt. Garfield, a peak in the northern section of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, just along a ridge from Mt. Lafayette, but also with it’s own trail up the mountain from the road. The trail ascends 3000′ to the summit at 4500′, but takes a nice steady ascent over 5 miles through forest that lacks any vantage points until you reach the summit, which promises stunning views over the Pemigewasset Wilderness, with the Franconia Ridge to the west and the Presidential Range to the east.

With the remnants of tropical storm Hanna promising to be cleared out by mid-day on Sunday, I rounded up a couple more hikers to join Mike and his father-in-law, the theory being that we could split into groups with similar paces and meet at the summit for our cheeseburgers. But then on Saturday night, Mike informed me that his father-in-law was a fair weather hiker and wasn’t sure the storm would be gone, so they were both out. And then there were just three of us: Krusty Bunz, Paris Stilton, and Alice.

On the drive north from Boston, the sky messed with us a bid… blue sky, then dark cloud, then bits of both, and then it would change again. As we got into the White Mountains National Forest, the weather appeared to be matching the last forecast I had seen, which called for overcast and a 30% chance of rain in the morning, then partly cloudy and no rain by noon.

While en-route, I procured our cheeseburgers from Peg’s, a breakfast and lunch diner in North Woodstock NH … a very good choice for future summit cheeseburgers in this part of the White Mountains.

We found the trailhead and started towards the summit at 10:20am under a gray but dry sky. As we ascended into the cloud, we felt the occasional rain drop and a big increase in humidity… in other words, we were getting a bit wet, but just a bit, and probably mostly sweat. The trail itself stays in the woods until you’re practically at the summit, and that turned out to be a good thing this time because once we were exposed to the elements near the summit, we had a cold and wet wind to deal with, all the while still in the cloud and completely missing the great views from this summit … kinda par for the course for this summer it seems.

Paris Stilton and I got our cheeseburgers and raincoats out of our packs at the tree line, then made a dash for the summit to make the hike official. Alice went for a pee break. On the summit, a concrete foundation remains from an old fire tower that once stood there and it made excellent shelter from the wind to enjoy our cheeseburgers. Paris Stilton and I ate quickly and waited for Alice… but she didn’t show up. We peeked over the edge of the foundation and hollered … she waved at us from the treeline … we told her to come eat her cheeseburger, and she shouted back that she had already eaten it… not 50′ from the summit! What was she thinking?!?! Oh well, I guess Alice was just along for the hike… at least we don’t have to think up a name for her yet.

We hoofed it back down the same trail and completed the 10 mile hike in 4.5 hours.

As we drove home, the weather was beautiful… it appears that northern ridge we hiked up to was holding back the bad weather from the rest of the state, since everything south of there had exposed summits and blue sky… turns out it was a great day for a hike, we just chose the wrong trail!

1 summit, 2 cheeseburgers: Krusty Bunz and Paris Stilton

(note: never annoy the driver on the way home when he has bad photos of you and is writing the trip report!)

September 7, 2008 at 9:07 pm Leave a 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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