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Going for Gold!

It’s the most important day of the last 4 years… the gold medal game in ice hockey at the Olympics! The games are on my home ice in Canada…  the contenders are Canada and USA, both countries that I have called home with much affection, but my heart is with Canada on this one. Being in the UK, I had to wait until 8:15pm for the game to start, so I had to distract myself somehow…

… so it’s off to play tourist in my own backyard again. I guarantee that anyone who’s adventurous enough to come visit me in Wales will spend at least a few hours in the nearby town of Conwy (pronounced Conway, but Wales seems to be unable to afford vowels), so I  felt it was time to check out the area for myself and see what exactly Conwy has to offer. I checked my very detailed topo map, made a plan, and off I went.

First stop: McDonalds. “Two double cheeseburgers please.”

Second stop: an access point to the North Wales Path on Conwy Mountain. As with previous hikes in North Wales, I wandered up along paths covered in sheep droppings and was rewarded with views of (yet again) the Great Orme to the north east and Snowdonia to the south west. The hike to the summit was a bit longer than my previous Welsh treks, still relatively easy, but given the wind and cool temperatures, challenging enough to feel I might have burned off most of the calories I was about to consume. Maybe.

This hike was all about clearing my head in anticipation of the big game, so it’s not the hike that I specifically remember, but rather the images that I captured on my camera that show me where I was and what I was doing… Like this shot on the top of Conwy Mountain with Snowdonia in the background:

Smowdonia from Conwy Mountain

From there, I wandered a bit farther along the trail (trail, sheep path, whatever) to the summit of Penmaen-bach, which had a strikingly similar view of Snodonia, not surprising considering the relative proximity of the two summits versus the relative distance of Snodonia:

Snowdonia from Penmaen-bach

Following the hike, I wandered around the town of Conwy for a bit, taking in the 1.2km walk along the castle walls that surround the old town and took this shot of the Conwy Mountain were I had dined mere hours earlier:

Conwy Mountain from the Conwy Castle wall

Finally, I went home, raided the beer fridge (aka brewery) and watched Canada win the only medal in the Olympics that really mattered… GOLD FOR CANADA IN HOCKEY!!!!

btw… who’s keeping track of statistics around here?

Krusty Bunz

February 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm 1 comment

I ***LOVE*** Summit Cheeseburgers!

Valentines Day weekend. Humbug. With a name like Krusty Bunz, it’s no wonder I’m single, so I figured I may as well spend the weekend playing tourist around my new home and check out more of the local scenery.

My last post was about The Great Orme, an impressive (and somewhat famous) feature on the north shore of Wales. Saturday’s hike took me up the Little Orme (141m, 463ft) which sits south of the Great Orme and forms the southern boundary of a waterfront promenade, which is a feature attraction in the resort town of Llandudno in north Wales. Views of the Great Orme and Little Orme from the promenade:

The Great Orme from the promenade

The Great Orme from the promenade

Little Orme from the promenade

Little Orme from the promenade

With a mere three miles between the base of each Orme, it would probably be a morning well spent for a visitor to Wales to do a two cheeseburger summit-to-summit walk, with a pint of ale from the Great Orme Brewery to toast one’s accomplishment.

The hike up the Little Orme follows a well marked public footpath that ascends at an easy grade over pastures shared with sheep (which is true of pretty much any hike in Wales it seems). The views from the summit are quite excellent:

View of Great Orme from Little Orme

Looking west along the north shore of Wales from the Little Orme

For Sunday’s hike, I drove a short distance west along the north shore to Penmaenmawr for an ascent of Foel Lûs (362m), which is within the northern boundary of Snowdonia National Park. It’s a relatively easy hike, with several trail options to get you to the summit, but you eventually have to give up trying avoid stepping in sheep droppings if you want to make any progress at all.

At the summit is a ring of stones, which I suppose could provide a bit of shelter in bad weather for small children or badgers, or in my case, a cheeseburger.

Foel Lûs summit

The views from the summit look out at Snowdonia to the south and southwest, the Isle of Anglesey to the northwest, and the Great Orme and Little Orme to the north east.

Great Orme and Little Orme from the summit of Foel Lûs

On my return to the car, I came across a street sign pointing me towards the next town over. Despite standing there reading and photographing the sign, I still have no idea what the name of the town is. On a related note, the Star Trek writers that came up with the Klingon language leaned heavily on the Welsh language as a basis for Klingon. Any guesses on how to pronounce this…?

I'm sorry... were saying the name of a town or coughing up phlegm?

Krusty Bunz

February 14, 2010 at 10:03 am 2 comments

It’s a summit, it’s a brewery, it’s … The Great Orme!

Happy New Year!!

It’s been just over two months since I moved to North Wales and started my new life as a brewer. The landscape here is beautiful… I look around at the mountains I can see from my new home and think to myself: “cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger….”

But where to begin? The lure of the mountains of Snowdonia National Park, which is practically in my backyard, is strong, but another summit beckons… one whose name has been lovingly adopted by my new favourite (f-you spell checker, I’m in Britain now) brewery… The Great Orme.

The Great Orme Brewery, where I spend my days brewing beer and drinking the profits, isn’t on the Great Orme, but rather has a commanding view of it from the property:

The Great Orme, as see from the Great Orme Brewery

So today, the 3rd day of 2010, I set out with the founder of the Great Orme Brewery to consume my first Welsh Summit Cheeseburger (but not the first), Jonathan’s first ever Summit Cheeseburger, and to share a pint of the brewery’s flagship beer Orme on the summit of the land mass it was named after.

En-route to the Great Orme, we passed a world famous burger joint where we procured two “Big Tasty with Bacon” cheeseburgers. (Which, despite all my previous complaints about this restaurant, was actually quite good… must be the local beef.) The summit beckoned to us from just over yonder…

Cheeseburger procurement

The Great Orme (elevation 207 m, or 679 ft) is quite the destination during the tourist season (this is for all of you who have threatened promised to visit me), with such features as a tram that will take you close to the summit (for the lazy), a cable car that will take you within 20 vertical feet of the summit (for the really lazy), wild goats (for me), and a year-round ski slope (I’m embarrassed for these people):

Skiing on the Great Orme

It was a perfect day for a hike to the summit… sunny skies, no wind, and crisp temperatures hovering just above the freezing point. The views from the trail and the summit were fantastic, and upon arrival at the stone marking the summit, we feasted.

Summit Cheeseburger Marker

Krusty Bunz and Welsh Rarebit enjoying our first 2010 Summit Cheeseburgers on the Great Orme in North Wales

Jonathan says he now has a taste for Summit Cheeseburgers (and a New Year’s Resolution that has something to do with weight loss… hmm… not sure how well that will work for him), so in honour (again… f-you spell checker) of his local heritage (and because he thought names should be assigned rather than picked by oneself), I now bestow upon him the trail name Welsh Rarebit.

One final view of Wales to share with you, taken on our descent… Goats and rivers and mountains, oh my! (Maybe I should start a side-business publishing postcards?!?)

Goats and rivers and mountains, oh my!!

Looking forward to seeing you in Wales sometime soon!

Cheers,

Krusty Bunz and Welsh Rarebit

January 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm 2 comments

A White Mountain 6-pack, Sept 1-2, 2009

Within the next couple of months, I’ll be packing up and moving to Wales, but before I go, there are a few peaks in New England I’d like to bag, and generally speaking I’d like to spend more time in the White Mountains that I have recently. To that end, I set up an overnight back-country camping trip and plotted a route to bag 6 peaks, most of which would be challenging to bag on a day hike. Unfortunately my hiking companion has an aversion to summit cheeseburgers, so he would mainly play the roll of photographer… when he wasn’t too far behind me on trail!

The path to the first summit, Bondcliff (4265′), included 5 miles of relatively flat hiking into the Pemigewasset Wilderness before starting the 4.4 miles ascent up the Bondcliff Trail to the summit. The 6 homemade cheeseburgers were stacked up, and the first one was quickly consumed, satisfying the hunger built up after 9.4 miles of hiking before reaching the first summit.

Bondcliff

Bondcliff

With the next summit, Mt. Bond, in sight at 4698′ and just 1.2 miles away, I went off skipping up the trail in eager anticipation of the next course of my dinner while my friend lay down in pain and exhaustion to nap on the first summit. I enjoyed a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains including the Presidential Range while consuming my second cheeseburger of the trip.

Mt. Bond

Mt. Bond

From Bond, I continued along the trail with a spring in my step to the Guyot Campsite and waited for my friend to crawl into camp, pick a site and collapse into a whimpering heap of flesh. I thought back to my own first experience carrying a full pack into the wilderness and I could feel his pain. But I left him and my pack there and skipped back up the trail to the spur trail that I had passed en-route to the campsite and watched the sun set from the West Bond summit at 4540′ (not on the summits page, but listed in the AMC Guide) as I consumed my third cheeseburger of the day.

West Bond

West Bond

Day two!

Another gorgeous day in the White Mountains… but due to user error, the battery on my phone (read: camera) is now dead, so I now have to actually hike with my friend in order to get my summit shots since I am now dependent on his camera! (After a week+ of waiting, I’m submitting this post now and will insert the remaining photos if I ever get them!)

The first summit of the day is a mere 0.9 miles from out campsite to Mt. Guyot (4580′). A false summit just prior to the real summit provided much better views, but we were not fooled, and proceeded to the real summit where I enjoyed the day’s first cheeseburger.

Guyot

Turning northwest, we proceeded two miles to the summit of South Twin Mtn, the highest point on our hike at 4902′ for my second cheeseburger of the day. It’s been a short day so far, but my buddy is still suffering from the previous day, so we linger around the summit for a while and I put on my marketing hat to sell the summit cheeseburger mission to other sociable hikers.

South Twin

Eventually we start our long descent off the mountains. The trail takes us 1100′ down to the Galehead Hut where we refill our water continue on. At the junction for Galehead Mtn. I grab the camera, drop my pack, and ascent the short spur path to the summit (4024′) while my friend continues downhill. The third cheeseburger of the day and the sixth and final of the trip is devoured on the tree covered summit and I quickly proceed back down to catch up with my friend.

Galehead

— Krusty Bunz

September 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm 4 comments

A laborious hike – Sept 7th, Labor Day 2009

The following text is completely ripped off from another website, but since the site only claims a copyright from 2003-2008, I am reproducing it here without permission:

Osceola (Black Drink), Seminole Indian chief; born on the Chattahoochee River, Ga., in 1804; was a half-breed, a son of Willis Powell, an Englishman and trader, by a Creek Indian woman. In 1808 his mother settled in Florida, and when he grew up he became by eminent ability the governing spirit of the Seminoles. In all their sports he was foremost, and was always independent and self-possessed. From the beginning Osceola opposed the removal of the Seminoles from Florida, and he led them in a war which began in 1835 and continued about seven years. Treacherously seized while under the protection of a flag of truce, Oct. 22, 1837, he was sent to Fort Moultrie, where he was prostrated by grief and wasted by a fever, and finally died, Jan. 30, 1838. A monument was erected to his memory near the main entrance gate of Fort Moultrie. His loss was a severe blow to the Seminoles, who continued the war feebly four or five years longer.

In New Hampshire’s White Mountains, a mountain was named for Osceola, and on this Labor Day, I consumed (I almost said “enjoyed” out of habit, but  they were only McDonald’s) cheeseburgers among the clouds on both Mt. Osceola and the lower, tree covered, East Osceola summit. (Not surprisingly, the clouds had burned off by the time I returned to the trailhead, exposing views that my guide book deems as “magnificent”.)

Osceola East Summit

Osceola East Summit

Mt Osceola

Mt Osceola

— Krusty Bunz

September 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm 2 comments

Informational Video

September 4, 2009 at 8:57 pm Leave a comment

Timm’s Hill, Wisconsin … The state’s highest peak just happened to be along my route

My road trip home continues… from Nebraska’s lowest summit, Denise and I continued on to Iowa and spent an entertaining evening with a couple of old friends from Boston. The next day I dropped Denise off at her current abode in Minneapolis and pointed myself in the direction of Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. While crusing along US Rte 8 in Wisconsin, I noticed that Timm’s Hill, Wisconsin’s highest point, was just a few miles away from my intended route, so I changed course slightly and crossed my fingers that I would come across a cheeseburger en-route to this landmark.

It was getting late in the day, and I was unsure what would be required of me to make it to the peak. Fortunately, I found a tavern in the town Ogema where I ordered a cheeseburger to go and a Coors Light while I waited. (I must say that I normally would order something a bit more flavorful than Coors Light, but in this particular tavern, my survival instincts kicked in and I felt that Coors Light was a good way to remain inconspicuous… although my lack of motorcycle leathers was making that pretty close to impossible.)

Cheeseburger in hand and back on the road, I soon found signs pointing me to a county park, and felt a bit relieved that I wouldn’t need to be trespassing on private property in a part of the state where I assume any season is hunting season. Still, it was late, and the next sign I saw at the park entrance said that the park closed at dusk, which it basically was, but alas the gate was open, so in I went.

IMG_1251IMG_1253

At the parkinglot, I registered my cheeseburger and was happy to learn that I only had a 300 yard hike to the observation tower at the top of the hill.

IMG_1254IMG_1260

At the top of the hill is an observation tower, so I decided to ascend the tower and enjoy my dinner while taking in the view over Wisconsin in the dim light of a post-sunset cloudy evening. For the second time in as many days, my cheeseburger left me pining for the wonderful days of cold Billy Burgers in Wyoming.

IMG_1256IMG_1257IMG_1259

— Krusty Bunz

August 15, 2009 at 10:51 pm 3 comments

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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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