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Do you know the way to Escalante?

Sierra and her crew planned a long weekend camping trip to Escalante and, of course, we poured over maps looking for Cheeseburger summits.  Lo and behold- we found one!!!  Mamie Benchmark is located 50 yards off Scenic Byway 12 and since we were camped just off said highway we decided that after our epic hike to the Cosmic Ashtray we should go bag a Cheeseburger summit.  We hopped in the truck and headed towards town.  10 minutes later we arrived and had a strenuous 300 foot climb to the peak where we enjoyed well deserved Garam Masala Sliders and after a 5 minute descent, we were headed back to camp! As Bolimasa would say- "Easy cheesy!"

Sedona triple decker #3 Holy Cheating Cheeseburger Batman! Table Top Mesa 9/28/12

Holy cheating cheeseburger for sure.... this one was easy-cheesy! A drive up! I had seen Table Top Mesa on the map, and on my numerous drives through town stared up a rocky prominence, thinking it was Table Top, wondering if it was scalable... The I looked a little closer at the map and realized... Table Top Mesa is the airport mesa... you can drive right up and fly away if you wish!

I do feel like it is a bit of cheat, but well within the "rules" and, a I did have to climb up to Brins Mesa twice in order to cheeseburger summit it, so I don't feel too bad about enjoying a cheating cheeseburger snack!

 

My Sedona Tripledecker:

http://summitcheeseburger.com/post/828/sedona-triple-decker-1-doe-mounta...

http://summitcheeseburger.com/post/829/sedona-triple-decker-2-lunch-brin...

http://summitcheeseburger.com/post/830/sedona-triple-decker-3-holy-cheat...

Sedona triple decker #2 Lunch on Brins Mesa 9/28/12

Imagine my surprise when half way through my vacation I discovered that Brins Mesa was actually on the list. Discovered the day after I had already hiked the 5 plus mile loop up Soldier Pass, across the mesa, back down Mormon Canyon then across the bottom of the mountain back to my car. It was a positively spectacular hike, so I decided it was worth a shorter up and back, cheeseburger in hand, as part of a my triple decker day.

Didn't see a soul on the hike up, but as I stood on top the mesa and pulled out my burger, a nice couple walked across the mesa... as though they were sent just to take my cheeseburger picture!

For perspective, here is a shot of Brins Mesa from highway 89a in West Sedona

My Sedona Tripledecker:

http://summitcheeseburger.com/post/828/sedona-triple-decker-1-doe-mounta...

http://summitcheeseburger.com/post/829/sedona-triple-decker-2-lunch-brin...

http://summitcheeseburger.com/post/830/sedona-triple-decker-3-holy-cheat...

Sedona triple decker #1 Doe Mountain Breakfast! 9/28/12

I thought that spending a week in Sedona would provide a for a few cheeseburger opportunities, but it turned out a little harder than I thought, as many of the summits are rocky buttes and peaks that would require a techical climb... places like Cathedral Rock... where you can get almost, but not the top. But during my week of hiking I discovered a few that could be bagged by solo hiker, and I decided to celebrate the last day of vacation with a triple cheeseburger day....

First stop. Doe Mountain for a breakfast sausage and cheese biscuit burger and incredible views!!!

Sadly, traveling meant boring fast food fare. Interestingly, as I googled to find the address, I discovered some trivia... the Mc Donalds in Sedona is the only one without yellow arches..

My Sedona Tripledecker:

http://summitcheeseburger.com/post/828/sedona-triple-decker-1-doe-mounta...

http://summitcheeseburger.com/post/829/sedona-triple-decker-2-lunch-brin...

http://summitcheeseburger.com/post/830/sedona-triple-decker-3-holy-cheat...

Last Hike of the Summer

Fall is just around the corner and the days are getting shorter so Sierra, Boo and I thought we should get in another after-work hike while we still could.  We picked Mt Van Cott as it is one of the most accessible local peaks and it would give me a chance to bag it as a cheeseburger summit.  I was unable to join my hiking buddies when they burgered it earlier this year.  

The weather was perfect: warm with a breeze when we set off on our jaunt but the air was so smoky that we could barely see across the valley.  We reached the summit, unpacked the burgers and had dinner among the scrub oak.  Boo Chitlins is getting the hang of the cheesburger summit thing and happily scarfed her burger.

Shasta was too Miserable for me

Went for Shasta on September 1st and only got to Misery Hill.  In a few years my son promises to try for Shasta again.  He can pack in both Cheeseburgers.

Coney Mountain, a spectacular little summit (post #3 of 3)

Last week, Holly and I spent a week at a rental cottage in Newcomb, NY, just south of the Adirondack High Peaks, and on a connecting stream between Rich Lake and Harris Lake.
 


This cottage was wonderful, with great privacy, a screened porch, front deck, hummingbirds, and the constant sound of the babbling rapids just outside our door.
 


One of our main purposes in choosing the Newcomb area was to be near the Upper Works trailhead to the High Peaks.  Holly was anxious to check off a couple more summits on her journey toward finishing the Adirondack 46, and there were a few we wanted to climb from this area without the 2-hour drive each way from home.

Monday, September 3

Monday morning found us sore and tired after the previous day's climb of Santanoni Peak, Holly's 38th  (forgot to pack a burger...), but one of us more so than the other.  I took a cup of coffee outside and enjoyed the morning mist rising off the river while Holly slept in a little longer.
 

After breakfast, I was feeling pretty good, so I headed off to climb nearby Goodnow Mountain, a 1.9-mile climb to a restored fire tower with great views of the High Peaks.  After the slow grind up Santanoni the day before, I turned the legs loose on this one, and reached the top in about 40 minutes.  The views from the tower did not disappoint. 

Rich Lake at lower left and High Peaks in the background

The still half-frozen White Castle cheeseburger, on the other hand, wasn't one of my better summit experiences.

Thursday, September 6

This was the big day.  There are no short day hikes left for Holly's remaining peaks, but we decided to give the shortest of those a try, Cliff Mountain at 18 miles r/t.  It would be a long day, but we figured there was time between dawn and dusk to get it done if we had the legs.  We were up before dawn, and started in the Calamity Brook Trail at sunrise.  The trail was wet from the earlier heavy rain, in addition to being full of rocks and roots.  We really didn't want to be coming out this way in the dark.  Continuing over some annoying ups and downs, we arrived at Colden Dam and Lake Colden, mirror-like in the early morning nearly 6 miles from the car.
 

Lake Colden Dam

Mount Colden towered over the lake and Avalanche Pass below in the morning light.


Crossing the dam, we now followed the Opalescent River up to Uphill Leanto, where we would leave the marked trail and head for Cliff.  The Opalescent was raging and roaring alongside as we climbed steeply away from the dam.
 

 

Finding the cairn that marked our jumping-off point, we followed a muddy eroded former trail upward to where a path led to the slopes of Cliff.  "Slopes" seemed like a misnomer in spots as we clambered over steep open rock as the path wound upward.  Finally reaching the ridge, we had to drop down and then reclimb a more distant bump that was actually the summit.  Checking the time, we knew we had to keep this visit short, so we ate a quick lunch and a cheeseburger, and briefly admired the somewhat unexpected views.


 

There was thunder in the distance as we turned around and started down, but the steep rock meant we weren't going anywhere fast.  Fortunately, any storms bypassed us to the north or south, and we returned to Colden Dam without any rain at all.  Now came the hard part:  the long 6 miles back to the car on a very wet and rugged trail.  There was one brief shower as we plodded on, but nothing serious, and we reached the car around sunset after a very long and tiring day.  Holly was now at #39 out of 46, and I was at #41 of my second time around, having finished my first round in 1990.

On the drive back to camp, we stopped at the Newcomb House Bar and Grill and ordered a well-loaded pizza for pickup later after we'd cleaned up.  It may have been the best pizza I'd ever eaten.

Friday, September 7

I really didn't expect to be doing any more walking on Friday after that Cliff trip, and Holly certainly wasn't interested either.  But once again, I was feeling pretty good, and couldn't just sit around camp all morning.  We planned to paddle on Rich Lake in the afternoon, but that left me some time to get out and do something while Holly took it easy for the morning.

Somewhere recently in one of the "Adirondack" publications (Explorer, Life, etc), I'd read about a newly constructed trail up Coney Mountain, between Long Lake and Tupper Lake.  It sounded like a short hike with good views, so I decided to give it a try.  I found the trailhead at the Hamilton/Franklin County line on NY-30, a blue-marked trail sign pointing the way from the east side of the road.  It was only 1.1 miles and under 650 feet to the summit on a gently sloping trail, and the views were tremendous, wide-open in all directions.  Normally, I like to shoot panoramas from summits, but this one was pretty much impossible.  And there was also very little that I recognized in this part of the Park.  I could see the western High Peaks off to the east, and the looming hulk of Blue Mountain to the southeast, but that was about it.  I did find some nice early fall color, so settled for that and just enjoyed the rest of the view for a while, while downing my third summit cheeseburger of the week.

Fall colors with Big Tupper Lake in the background

Cliff Mountain, 2nd of 3 last week

Last week, Holly and I spent a week at a rental cottage in Newcomb, NY, just south of the Adirondack High Peaks, and on a connecting stream between Rich Lake and Harris Lake.
 


This cottage was wonderful, with great privacy, a screened porch, front deck, hummingbirds, and the constant sound of the babbling rapids just outside our door.
 


One of our main purposes in choosing the Newcomb area was to be near the Upper Works trailhead to the High Peaks.  Holly was anxious to check off a couple more summits on her journey toward finishing the Adirondack 46, and there were a few we wanted to climb from this area without the 2-hour drive each way from home.

Monday, September 3

Monday morning found us sore and tired after the previous day's climb of Santanoni Peak, Holly's 38th  (forgot to pack a burger...), but one of us more so than the other.  I took a cup of coffee outside and enjoyed the morning mist rising off the river while Holly slept in a little longer.
 

After breakfast, I was feeling pretty good, so I headed off to climb nearby Goodnow Mountain, a 1.9-mile climb to a restored fire tower with great views of the High Peaks.  After the slow grind up Santanoni the day before, I turned the legs loose on this one, and reached the top in about 40 minutes.  The views from the tower did not disappoint. 

Rich Lake at lower left and High Peaks in the background

The still half-frozen White Castle cheeseburger, on the other hand, wasn't one of my better summit experiences.

Thursday, September 6

This was the big day.  There are no short day hikes left for Holly's remaining peaks, but we decided to give the shortest of those a try, Cliff Mountain at 18 miles r/t.  It would be a long day, but we figured there was time between dawn and dusk to get it done if we had the legs.  We were up before dawn, and started in the Calamity Brook Trail at sunrise.  The trail was wet from the earlier heavy rain, in addition to being full of rocks and roots.  We really didn't want to be coming out this way in the dark.  Continuing over some annoying ups and downs, we arrived at Colden Dam and Lake Colden, mirror-like in the early morning nearly 6 miles from the car.
 

Lake Colden Dam

Mount Colden towered over the lake and Avalanche Pass below in the morning light.


Crossing the dam, we now followed the Opalescent River up to Uphill Leanto, where we would leave the marked trail and head for Cliff.  The Opalescent was raging and roaring alongside as we climbed steeply away from the dam.
 

 

Finding the cairn that marked our jumping-off point, we followed a muddy eroded former trail upward to where a path led to the slopes of Cliff.  "Slopes" seemed like a misnomer in spots as we clambered over steep open rock as the path wound upward.  Finally reaching the ridge, we had to drop down and then reclimb a more distant bump that was actually the summit.  Checking the time, we knew we had to keep this visit short, so we ate a quick lunch and a cheeseburger, and briefly admired the somewhat unexpected views.


 

There was thunder in the distance as we turned around and started down, but the steep rock meant we weren't going anywhere fast.  Fortunately, any storms bypassed us to the north or south, and we returned to Colden Dam without any rain at all.  Now came the hard part:  the long 6 miles back to the car on a very wet and rugged trail.  There was one brief shower as we plodded on, but nothing serious, and we reached the car around sunset after a very long and tiring day.  Holly was now at #39 out of 46, and I was at #41 of my second time around, having finished my first round in 1990.

On the drive back to camp, we stopped at the Newcomb House Bar and Grill and ordered a well-loaded pizza for pickup later after we'd cleaned up.  It may have been the best pizza I'd ever eaten.

Friday, September 7

I really didn't expect to be doing any more walking on Friday after that Cliff trip, and Holly certainly wasn't interested either.  But once again, I was feeling pretty good, and couldn't just sit around camp all morning.  We planned to paddle on Rich Lake in the afternoon, but that left me some time to get out and do something while Holly took it easy for the morning.

Somewhere recently in one of the "Adirondack" publications (Explorer, Life, etc), I'd read about a newly constructed trail up Coney Mountain, between Long Lake and Tupper Lake.  It sounded like a short hike with good views, so I decided to give it a try.  I found the trailhead at the Hamilton/Franklin County line on NY-30, a blue-marked trail sign pointing the way from the east side of the road.  It was only 1.1 miles and under 650 feet to the summit on a gently sloping trail, and the views were tremendous, wide-open in all directions.  Normally, I like to shoot panoramas from summits, but this one was pretty much impossible.  And there was also very little that I recognized in this part of the Park.  I could see the western High Peaks off to the east, and the looming hulk of Blue Mountain to the southeast, but that was about it.  I did find some nice early fall color, so settled for that and just enjoyed the rest of the view for a while, while downing my third summit cheeseburger of the week.

Fall colors with Big Tupper Lake in the background

A 3-peak week in the Adirondacks

Last week, Holly and I spent a week at a rental cottage in Newcomb, NY, just south of the Adirondack High Peaks, and on a connecting stream between Rich Lake and Harris Lake.
 


This cottage was wonderful, with great privacy, a screened porch, front deck, hummingbirds, and the constant sound of the babbling rapids just outside our door.
 


One of our main purposes in choosing the Newcomb area was to be near the Upper Works trailhead to the High Peaks.  Holly was anxious to check off a couple more summits on her journey toward finishing the Adirondack 46, and there were a few we wanted to climb from this area without the 2-hour drive each way from home.

Monday, September 3

Monday morning found us sore and tired after the previous day's climb of Santanoni Peak, Holly's 38th  (forgot to pack a burger...), but one of us more so than the other.  I took a cup of coffee outside and enjoyed the morning mist rising off the river while Holly slept in a little longer.
 

After breakfast, I was feeling pretty good, so I headed off to climb nearby Goodnow Mountain, a 1.9-mile climb to a restored fire tower with great views of the High Peaks.  After the slow grind up Santanoni the day before, I turned the legs loose on this one, and reached the top in about 40 minutes.  The views from the tower did not disappoint. 

Rich Lake at lower left and High Peaks in the background

The still half-frozen White Castle cheeseburger, on the other hand, wasn't one of my better summit experiences.

Thursday, September 6

This was the big day.  There are no short day hikes left for Holly's remaining peaks, but we decided to give the shortest of those a try, Cliff Mountain at 18 miles r/t.  It would be a long day, but we figured there was time between dawn and dusk to get it done if we had the legs.  We were up before dawn, and started in the Calamity Brook Trail at sunrise.  The trail was wet from the earlier heavy rain, in addition to being full of rocks and roots.  We really didn't want to be coming out this way in the dark.  Continuing over some annoying ups and downs, we arrived at Colden Dam and Lake Colden, mirror-like in the early morning nearly 6 miles from the car.
 

Lake Colden Dam

Mount Colden towered over the lake and Avalanche Pass below in the morning light.


Crossing the dam, we now followed the Opalescent River up to Uphill Leanto, where we would leave the marked trail and head for Cliff.  The Opalescent was raging and roaring alongside as we climbed steeply away from the dam.
 

 

Finding the cairn that marked our jumping-off point, we followed a muddy eroded former trail upward to where a path led to the slopes of Cliff.  "Slopes" seemed like a misnomer in spots as we clambered over steep open rock as the path wound upward.  Finally reaching the ridge, we had to drop down and then reclimb a more distant bump that was actually the summit.  Checking the time, we knew we had to keep this visit short, so we ate a quick lunch and a cheeseburger, and briefly admired the somewhat unexpected views.


 

There was thunder in the distance as we turned around and started down, but the steep rock meant we weren't going anywhere fast.  Fortunately, any storms bypassed us to the north or south, and we returned to Colden Dam without any rain at all.  Now came the hard part:  the long 6 miles back to the car on a very wet and rugged trail.  There was one brief shower as we plodded on, but nothing serious, and we reached the car around sunset after a very long and tiring day.  Holly was now at #39 out of 46, and I was at #41 of my second time around, having finished my first round in 1990.

On the drive back to camp, we stopped at the Newcomb House Bar and Grill and ordered a well-loaded pizza for pickup later after we'd cleaned up.  It may have been the best pizza I'd ever eaten.

Friday, September 7

I really didn't expect to be doing any more walking on Friday after that Cliff trip, and Holly certainly wasn't interested either.  But once again, I was feeling pretty good, and couldn't just sit around camp all morning.  We planned to paddle on Rich Lake in the afternoon, but that left me some time to get out and do something while Holly took it easy for the morning.

Somewhere recently in one of the "Adirondack" publications (Explorer, Life, etc), I'd read about a newly constructed trail up Coney Mountain, between Long Lake and Tupper Lake.  It sounded like a short hike with good views, so I decided to give it a try.  I found the trailhead at the Hamilton/Franklin County line on NY-30, a blue-marked trail sign pointing the way from the east side of the road.  It was only 1.1 miles and under 650 feet to the summit on a gently sloping trail, and the views were tremendous, wide-open in all directions.  Normally, I like to shoot panoramas from summits, but this one was pretty much impossible.  And there was also very little that I recognized in this part of the Park.  I could see the western High Peaks off to the east, and the looming hulk of Blue Mountain to the southeast, but that was about it.  I did find some nice early fall color, so settled for that and just enjoyed the rest of the view for a while, while downing my third summit cheeseburger of the week.

Fall colors with Big Tupper Lake in the background

The Oquirrh Odyssey Part 3 Clipper Peak 9/3/12

 

The Oquirrh Odyssey! The Hat Trick, Trifecta, Triple Crown... that's right, 3 peaks in a day! And even better, Clipper peak was the 5th peak we summited Labor Day weekend!!!

The final peak in our Odyssey... Clipper Peak. While the two West Mountain Peaks were pretty easy to bag, we had to work it to get to Clipper Peak. From the parking area we had to head down a saddle and back up to Clipper... in this case the saddle must have been for a sway back horse because it was quite steep trip down to bottom of the saddle and then up to the peak.

Heading off to Clipper Peak

It was not terribly far to the peak, we guessed about a mile and half but steep and gravely. There may have been a wee bit of cursing from Groundround and I as we trudged up the hill. As usual Sierra boot scooted quickly to the summit. We all did our best to ignore the "No Trespassing" signs that we assumed were meant to keep us off the Kennecott Copper mine property, though I think we all were silently expecting helicopters full of federal agents to swoop down to arrest us intrepid cheeseburger summiteers.

The view into the Bingham Canyon mine, the worlds largest open pit mine, one of the handfull of man made things that can be seen from the space shuttle.

 

The summit pyramid.... did it give us special powers? We needed some for the trudge up the other side of the saddle.

 

This hike had a "bonus". Usually we get to hike hard up to the peak, then easily mosey our way back down, but due to the great sway back of this saddle the trip back to the car was just about as strenous as the trip to summit. A bonus workout for sure!!!

Up the saddle to the car... every time you though it was the last stretch, there was more. Isnt it supposed to be down hill on the way down from a summit? It's a good thing we enjoy a good work out!

Oquirrh Odyssey Part 1

Oquirrh Odyssey Part 2