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A little hail

On the way back from a larger trip to Upwop and surrounding area, this little "peak" allowed me to be ready to take in a burger while being prepared to get off the main ridge when the hail storm started up.  It sure looks like a peak from Red Pine, but looks like just a bump on the ridge when you're up there.  I assume I got the right "peak" since it overlooked the Maybird/Redpine ridge.

Little Pfeifferhorn looking west to Pfeifferhorn

Exploration west of Pfeifferhorn

I think I figured out how to get to Upwop from Pfeifferhorn reasonably.  One way: head diagonally down south-southeast in the grassy area, then diagnal down southwest in the grasses about 1/2 way down to the saddle's height, then traverse west through the grasses targeting to be above the talus field.

My burger was still frozen when I arrived at Upwop 4 hours up the trail, but hey.  

My intent was largely to learn about the path to Chipman peak.  I didn't find the route to Chipman to be within my risk tolerance that day.

Frozen burger on Upwop

Still in the fog...

Just a quick jaunt down from Mount Wolverine to the pass and up to Mount Tuscarora.  Yikes.  The trail gets narrow and traverses across steep cliffs into the abyss.  We made it safely and sat atop the peak to enjoy our cheeseburgers.

The flowers of Albion Basin were beautiful.

It was a dark and foggy evening...

We had planned to do these peaks as an after-work hike, so even though the weather suddenly changed from the hot, sunny summer days we have had all summer, we went for it.  We hiked from Albion Basin to the swamp and then bushwacked up to the ridge between Mount Wolverine and Mount Tuscarora.  The further up we climbed, the more foggy it got.  But the peak was visible, and we even got a glimpse of the sun while up there.  Yummy cheeseburgers on top.

What is this?  At the top of Mount Wolverine???

In the clounds, but Aditee still has cell service.

"View" from the top.   And the skies open up...

Pie and Beer Day on South Mountain

July 24 is a HUGE holiday here in Utah.  Pioneer Day....but the pagans call it Pie and Beer Day.  Its bigger than the Fourth of July. Seriously.  So I thought it would be a great idea to take a hike up a mountain whose grassy flanks are covered by homes whose occupants would be shooting off fireworks all evening.  Expensive homes and tons of fireworks.   Not only was I going to hike up a mountain with extreme fire danger, I took a cheeseburger with me.  Hows that for living on the edge?

South mountian does have a trailhead but the path I took kind o petered out and I just walked up an easy ridge covered with basalt boulders.  At the top there is an overturned radio tower, two benchmarks and gorgeous views.  And there was a delishious cheeseburger and a beer.  No pie. The pie I made wasnt edible.  

Mount Ascension, Lewis and Clark County, Montana

Hot and dusty but wonderful mountain bike ride to the top of Mount Ascension complete with fresh burgers from RB's in Helena in a backpack.  Blue skies, good views, and old friends, sharing good times overlooking Helena, Montana.  

So close, but yet so far.....

The plan this morning was to do Ecker Hill.  According to the aerial photographs in Google maps, this was right off of a road in the Pinebrook Estates development near Kimball Junction, but just as I feared, when I got to the top of the road, there was no way to get to the obvious summit without going through someone's backyard.  So, I had to rely on Plan B.  Instead of walking 20 yards from the road at the top of the hill, I took the trail up from Ecker Hill Middle School  At the bottom of the hill.  On the bright side, though, I passsed this moose right by the side of the road on the way out of the subdivision.

The trail to the top started out pretty reasonable, albeit overgrown, and then things got confusing, because there are trails heading off in all directions, presumably because people have taken different routes to the top, or whereever else they might be going.  Never-the-less, it wasn't too difficult or time-consuming to figure out how to get to the summit.  Although, I think the actual summit may be in the living room of the house in the background.  I never found a benchmark.

There really wasn't much reason to linger at the top, and it looked like a possibility of rain, so I headed back to my car.

Step Mountain

I was looking for something different...and easy as its pretty hot these days  and I found it on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley. Step Mountain.  Due to the low elevation I made it a breakfast hike and arrived around 9:00am.  Step Mountain is composed of horizontal basalt columns that form the "steps"  It is very striking.  I headed up the dirt road and as it became parallel with the saddle an obvious trail emerged and a 5 minute walk brought me to the top.  No marker up there but lovely views of the Oquirrs and Kennecott Copper Mine to the west.  Had my burger breakfast of champions and headed back,  already considering the day a sucess.

The obvious trail at the saddle.

Kennecott Copper Mine in the background.

The burger....

Basalt columns...

Redrock Peak

For this hike, I followed the instructions at:  I am used to trail guides generally overestimating the time it takes for a hike, but this was pretty much exactly right, at 4 to 5 hours.  It took me just under 5, but I admit to getting a little lost at one point where I overshot the point to turn right and bushwack up the mountain.

The gate from the parking lot right off of Rt 66 was locked, so I had to do the extra 1/4 mile up to the next gate.  There is a huge parking lot here, but it was completely empty this morning.  Obviously, a lot of hunters use this area.

The first 3 miles or so of this hike are along a jeep road, which ascends pretty gradually.  I kept my eye out for the "shorter" route mentioned by Greg in the Summitpost, but missed it on the way up.  I don't see how anyone could find it, actually, as it is pretty subtle and looks indistunguishable from many other side trails that don't go anywhere.  I can say that it is about 15 minutes past another gate that is maybe 1.5 miles into the hike, and 5 minutes after you pass the pond completely covered by fluorescent green algae.  The side trail heads off to the right and starts off going in the downhill direction.  I stayed on the jeep road all the way for 3 miles and then missed the place the where you are supposed to turn right and ascend to the peak, maybe going 1/2 a mile further on the trail before figuring out my mistake.

The area is heavily used by horses, as is clear from the hoof prints on the road, and the ahh...... let's just say other signs, which were abundant.  There were also ample signs of cows, and eventually, actual cows, which watched me warily from the side of the road.  The terrain looks more like southern Utah than what I am accustomed to around here.

The climb up the grass and scrub covered summit is pretty steep.  There are a couple peaks, but the one shown below is the highest and has 2 benchmarks about 5 feet apart.  That seems a bit redundant.  I chose the one that was a couple inches higher.

My excitement at reaching the summit and enjoying the view was short-lived, as I was besieged by a dense cloud of little flies.  They seemed to only be hanging out at the benchmark, as I only had to go a few yards to escape.  But there were so many it was hard to breathe without inhaling them, much less eat my cheeseburger.  So the actual consumption took place slightly off the summit.

Here you can see the view looking towards East Canyon State Park and the alternative route down.

For the trip down, I decided to try and hook up with the alternative trail described by Greg in the Summitpost, and this involved a lot of clambering through the scrub and wondering if I was lost.  I still haven't figured out how to get all of the thistles and other stuff out of my socks.  Eventually, I did hook up with a very clearly marked trail that I was able to follow down to the jeep road.  In retrospect, I'm kind of glad I didn't come up that way, since it was steep, slippery and completely unshaded the whole way. 

Treasure Hill and Park Silly Market

Thinking that it would be nice to get out of the heat in the valley, I made plans to visit the Park Silly Market the Sunday after the 4rth of July.  Why not do a cheeseburger summit while there?  Treasure Hill is right off of Main St, or so it seemed.  Actually, this summit is right at the top of the Payday lift at Park City Mountain Resort, so I could in theory have done it while skiing this winter.  But I didn't.

I figured that this would take about an hour, but it actually took 2 hours.  It looks like a short distance on the map, but there's that whole vertical distance thing, and it was quite a bit more vertical distance than I anticipated.  I also was too lazy to take the mountain biking trail that switchbacks up, and instead took the trail that goes pretty much straight up under the Town lift.  In retrospect, that may have not been the best choice.  At least I got my exercise.

By the time I had consumed my burger, the Town and Payday lifts were running, for people who wanted to get the view the easy way.  I toyed with the idea of asking the liftie if I could ride down, but decided on a purist approach and slid back down the trail.

On the way down, I could see Rossi Hill on the other side of Park City, which is an as yet uncheeseburgered summit, but I suspect that this is going to be one of those Park City gated community areas.  Something to investigate, though.

The Park Silly Market was indeed festive, although I probably would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't all hot and sweaty, so that's another lesson learned.