The Bear Got Beat

December 8, 2008 at 3:34 pm 1 comment

It all started with the innocent idea of hiking the ridgeline between City Creek and Red Butte Canyons. The plan was to enjoy Cheeseburgers atop Rock Peak and then continue onto Little Black Mountain, so that Wimpy could finally eat a Cheeseburger on Little Black. In an attempt to lure Old Bull into this hike, this simple plan then grew to encompass a third attempt to conquer Table Mound. We had surmised that by adding Table Mound, Old Bull wouldn’t be able to resist joining in on the fun. A 5:30 AM Sunday morning start got us to the trailhead at the top of Terrace Hills Drive (~5200 foot elevantion)by a quarter till 6 AM. The trail leading upto the ridgeline is well traveled and easy to follow even by headlamp. Our route closely followed a portion of the course for the yearly infamous Wasatch Steeplechase. As we hiked, we were treated to beautiful views of the Salt Lake valley plus the surrounding Wasatch, Oquirrh and Stansbury mountain ranges. It should be noted that the elevation gain from the trailhead is continous and steepens as you reach final approach to the ridgeline. After gaining the ridgeline you will be treated to a sparser trail and a series of false summits until you finally reach Rock Peak (7793 foot elevation).

Rock Peak Money Shot
Atop Rock Peak, we each enjoyed a delightful Cheeseburger. The unofficial registry at the summit of Rock Peak, incorrectly identifies it as Little Black Mountain. After enjoying our Cheeseburgers we moved on to working our way along the ridgeline towards Little Black Mountain. The trail along the ridge continues to become sparser, until it is nonexistent. Upon reaching an area about 50 feet below the summit of Little Black Mountain, we made a tactical decision to pick it up on our way back, as only Wimpy hadn’t eaten a Cheeseburger atop it’s summit. Past Little Black Mountain, the only trail is a series of game trails that follow or skirt the ridgeline. We made the tactical decision to traverse away from the ridgeline and try and find a route down towards Table Mound. The amount of underbrush, rocks, snow and trees were impressive.

Descent From Little Black Mountain
As we wallowed our way through the thick brush, we reminsced about an epic bushwacking trip up Thayne Peak leading us to many exclamations of ‘Be the Bear’. In other words, don’t be daunted by lack of trail and heavy vegetation. For one memorable section our pace slowed to less than 1/10 of one mile/hour. We eventually determined that perhaps the easiest route was to drop all the way to the base of Table Mound (~6200 feet) and then work our way back up a draw to the peak (7207 feet). We followed a series of faint game trails and then began bushwacking our way through extensive trees and underbrush. On reaching the summit, we discovered that Table Mound is aptly named, as it is relatively flat on top and lower than the surrounding ridgelines and unnamed mountains. Sadly, due to the surrounding peaks and ridgelines, we were unable to place cell phone calls and requisite money shots to FlyingElvis and BigMike.

Red Butte Canyon
After ingesting our Cheeseburgers, we circled up to discuss our route back. To this point, the trip had been much harder than any of us had expected and there was serious questions in our ability to descend 6oo feet and then ascend 2000 feet, all off trail,. We would thenstart our way back along the ridgeline towards Little Black Mountain and Rock Peak. As I was the only hiker missing a Cheeseburger atop Litle Black Mountain and I was also probably the most tired (The Bear Got Beat), it was an easy decision to say lets figure out another way of heading back. Eventually, we decided to descend from Table Mound towards Red Butte Canyon. It should be noted that there is a Red Butte Canyon Road, but that it is restricted to authorized use and you risk a hefty trespassing ticket. After working our way back to the top of U of U Research Park, we finished our trip by walking to Old Bull’s house and a quick ride back to our car at the trail head.

All told, this hike clocked in at just under 14 miles and close to 4K feet of elevation.

This was a truly great hike and I don’t plan to ever repeat it.




Entry filed under: Utah Summits.

A Visit to the Living Room First Sumitted Cheeseburger in Southeast – Flagpole Mountain, AL

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. u8mycock  |  December 15, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Damn, I was looking for another text message and picture of the latest summit bids.

    I will get out there again.

    Groovey Dad aka Big Mike (and getting bigger)


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The Mission

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