Archive for July, 2009

Kessler Peak

July 19, 2009. The profile of Kessler Peak has been much admired and photographed during several of our other Cheeseburger eating adventures, on Montreal Hill and Tom’s Hill

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So a week ago last Sunday, we finally decided to conquer it’s summit with a tasty Cheeseburger.  It turns out that while the North Route trail to the Summit isn’t highly trafficked, it is very well maintained and has the added benefit of being in the shade for the majority of the hike.  While the trail is well maintained, it should be noted that it rises almost 3K feet in just 2.25 miles.  Like many hikes these days, it pays to get an early start to be able to find a spot in the Doughnut Falls parking lot.  Luckily there didn’t seem to be many people getting to the trailhead by 6 AM.  To get to the North Route Trail, continue on the access road pass the Doughnut Falls parking lot.  You will quickly reach a gate that you walk around.  In another half a mile, you will see a trail on your right.  Once on the trail, you follow a series of switchbacks through forested areas.  Eventually, you will cross the slide that is visible on the North slope of Kessler.  After crossing the slide, you will quickly reach the ridgeline and can follow the path to the final summit.  Note that if you encounter anything above a Class 2 scramble, you are off route.

Once atop the picturesque peak we treated ourselved to some tasty Cheeseburgers.

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and admired the views to the Uintahs and along Carbonate Pass

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All around a great hike and both SLoB and I hope to tackle this picturesque peak again.

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July 28, 2009 at 1:22 pm Leave a comment

This is the Place: Pioneer Peak on Pioneer Day

Friday, July 24th – were you at work? I wasn’t. Here in Utah we get a day off every July 24th to celebrate Pioneer Day. It commemorates the arrival of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley way back in 1847. I was joined by wimpy for a commemoration of the commemoration with a hike up – what else? – Pioneer Peak.

Pioneer Peak

Pioneer Peak lies on the ridge just above Brighton Ski Resort. We chose to approach the peak from Albion Basin in the Alta Ski Resort. A pleasant 1.5 mile, 800 ft. vertical hike brought us to Catherine Pass. With a hard right at the pass we began our ascent of Sunset Peak. We traversed Sunset on our way to Pioneer Peak. On the way we got a great view of the lakes around Brighton.

Lake Mary

A short, but steep, hike up a rocky slope brought us to the summit of Pioneer Peak. Did we bring along Cheeseburgers? Absolutely!

The Mighty Cheeseburger

The summit provided some great views of Mount Timpanogos in the distance.

Mount Timapanogos

For our return we tried to drop down into the Catherine Lake Basin, but the slopes were too steep. We just backtracked our route to the car to complete a beautiful morning hike. Have a great Pioneer Day weekend!

Pioneer Peak, UT – sirloinofbeef

July 25, 2009 at 7:37 am 2 comments

Mount Ellis, Gallatin County, Montana

Mt Ellis Summit Cheeseburger photo

Sam, Mike, and Maya dog atop Mt Ellis, Gallatin County, Montana – July 16th, 2009

Sam finished his work at 15:00, got home, met Mike and Maya dog, they grabbed their packs and the eleven essentials (that’s the ten essentials plus cheeseburgers) and hit the road for the 20 minute drive to the Bear Canyon trailhead.

Mount Ellis summit loop

The route is a nice loop. Good trail in a loop travels out to the base of Mt Ellis where we departed for the summit ridge and summit proper.

Mt Ellis survey marker

Two and a half hours and over 3,000 feet of vert. later the summit provided grandiose views of the surrounding Gallatin, Bridger, Madison, and Absaroka mountain ranges. A haze in the sky thwarted views of the Crazy, Beartooth, and Tobacco Root ranges.

Mt Ellis summit view

The camera was placed, cheeseburgers distributed, and the nomming of White Castle sliders begun.

Maya nomming some White Castle

We enjoyed the summit for ten or twenty minutes then descended back to the loop trail for the return trip to the trailhead. The complete photo set of this Summit Cheeseburger expedition can be found on my Flickr page.

July 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm 2 comments

Weston Mountain – Adirondacks

The Nun-da-ga-o Ridge, formerly known as the “Soda Range”, lies just east of the village of Keene, NY, and just west of the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. The “trail” is unmarked and unmaintained, but is easy to follow, and provides nearly continuous views from open rocks back toward the High Peaks.

route

Holly and I hiked the 6-mile loop in the clockwise direction starting at the “P” shown above. The unmarked ridge path begins a short distance up the shoulder of Big Crow Mountain, which we did not climb. Almost immediately, we savored our first views, a wide-open look back at Cascade and Pitchoff Mountains to the west.

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The views continued as we worked our way up and down rock outcroppings and progressed eastward along the ridge. This shot shows Big Crow in the immediate foreground, and the ridge we’ve followed to the right. And always the High Peaks, in nearly every view.

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A little further along, we caught a nice view toward the towering Jay Range to the east. That’s another untrailed gem we’ve been meaning to explore.

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After several hours, we reached the summit of Weston Mountain, the highest point on this ridge at just over 3100′. The views were about the same, except they now included little Lost Pond, high on the ridge below.  It was cheeseburger time.

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After a well-earned break, we descended the half-mile to Lost Pond, and got a nice view of Hurricane Mountain and its fire tower across the pond.

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Continuing to the south end of the pond, we could now see Weston rising above us in the distance. It didn’t look very high, because the pond is still high on the ridge, and we had a good deal of descent left to do.

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Leaving the pond, we headed down along its outlet to the junction with the trail to Hurricane, which starts from the same parking area. From here, it was an easy walk out on a very good trail. On the way home, we made the traditional stop at the Noonmark Diner for ice cream.

July 15, 2009 at 9:55 pm 5 comments

Mount Cardwell – Uintah Mountains, Utah

A beautiful Friday morning greeted us as we traveled up the Mirror Lake Highway to Bald Mountain Pass. Our intended destination was Bald Mountain, but a cool spring allowed the winter’s snow to block the trail up. We chose instead to hike Mount Cardwell, an infrequently-summited peak just off the pass. No trail leads to the summit but it’s easy to find. We crossed the highway from the Bald Mountain trailhead and traversed the western flanks of Murdoch Peak. We were treated to great views of the western Uintahs.

Western Uintahs

Much of the hike is on broken rock and this slowed us down, but the summit is only about 2 miles from the road. The summit is marked with a log – here we enjoyed a pair of feta-infused lamberghinis – thanks OldBull!

Cardwell Summit Marker

Mount Cardwell – sirloinofbeef, MadeMarion

July 13, 2009 at 6:04 am 2 comments

Mt. Ascutney – All 3 Peaks

All of this rain has had me chomping at the bit to hit the trails again, but, because of the weather, I decided to stick close to home for once. I headed across the river to Vermont, to hike the mountain that I look at from my front lawn every day. I started off on the Windsor trail, the shortest (and presumably steepest) of the four that ascend and do not involve auto roads. The Ascutney map system and trails do leave something to be desired, but, even hitting all three peaks (North with its radio towers, West with its hanglider launch sites, and South, with the VPTV tower) I managed not to get too lost. One has to know that the south peak is there though, as it is unmarked on the maps, except for one found online. I do not think various “authorized personnel” were thrilled at me going up there, though I was not stopped. The way was wet, slippery, and the top was misty, though the launch sites on the west peak did provide a nice cheeseburger site and the mist cleared a little and provided views to the Upper Valley and beyond. My three Ian’s Organic Mini Cheeseburgers (take that, Whitecastle fans) went down well, and I even had a couple of companions for my last two. On the west peak I encountered another hiker who had taken the Weathersfield trail, and who appeared rather entertained by the idea of eating cheeseburgers while hiking. My last burger found my accompanied by two anxious jackrabbits who darted in and out of the woods by the access road to the VPTV tower.

FlameBroiled

July 8, 2009 at 6:59 am Leave a comment

Vaaldersberg – The Roof of the Netherlands

Fresh off a successful Summit Cheeseburger ascent in France we planned our next expedition. Not far from our base camp in Moenchengladbach, Germany we located the high point of the Netherlands – Vaalserberg. Located precisely where three international boundries (Germany, Belgium, Netherlands) intersect, at a massive 322 meters it looms over the surrounding countryside.

In classic Griswold fashion we drove through a pedestrian-only zone to find a parking spot (a few days later we visited a relative we had never met before).  Our hike began in Belgium, and we stopped to pick up Cheeseburgers (how handy!) and delicious Belgian pommes frites. From there the group hiked over the international border to the Netherlands.

An International Hike

The high point of the Netherlands is clearly marked. In the background you can see the base of an observation tower. That’s in Belgium. And those trees to the left – they’re in Germany.

Vaalserberg Summit Marker

A closer look at the marker provides important summit information and PROOF that we’re at the high point (Hoogste Punt) of the Netherlands.

Highest Point in the Netherlands

Now, about these burgers we bought in Belgium. They look like burgers but were slathered with a curried ketchup. That didn’t go over well with members of this summit team and in the end only 5/8 could finish their burgers.  Well, it doesn’t count if you don’t finish the whole burger on the summit, so too bad!

Belgian Burgers

Vaalserberg, Netherlands – sirloinofbeef, MadeMarion, Patti, Hon, BarBarJinks

July 1, 2009 at 8:45 am 1 comment


The Mission

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