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The Oquirrh Odyssey Part 2 The west West Mountain 9/3/12

The Oquirrh Odyssey! The Hat Trick, Trifecta, Triple Crown... that's right, 3 peaks in a day! Second stop West Mountain, the west West Mountian. It's kind of confusing having 2 West Moutains right next to each other. Interstingly there are actually 5 West Mountains in the state, so I suppose we were lucky to tackle 2 in one day. The west West Mountain was just a short hike with 100 ft elevation gain across a saddle from the east West Mountian.

The east West Mountain to west West Mountain trail

The view to our 3rd target for the day, Clipper Peak from west West Mountain.

The Oquirrh Odyssey Part 1 The east West Mountain 9/3/12

The Oquirrh Odyssey! The Hat Trick, Trifecta, Triple Crown... that's right, 3 peaks in a day!

First stop West Mountain, lets call this east West mountain since there are 2 peaks named West Mountian that are just a short distance apart. Not much of a hike, as we were able to drive up a windy dirt road nearly to the top. As evidenced by a car we found along the way it was a dangerous drive, so even with out a difficult hike we earned our tasty cheeseburger snack!

Irma Hill. Tomahawk, WI

Before you waste your time viewing this post, please see the disclaimer below:


Upon making the discover of Irma Towers Road, victory was again mine...


Ninemile Hill. Merrill, WI

Being a lazy S.O.B, everytime I check out the summit cheeseburger map, I immediately notice the peaks that are within spitting distance of towns or major highways.

The above could not be more true about my conquest of Ninemile Hill, which, according to my GPS, lied about 2 feet off of the shoulder of Highway 107, next to this thing.


Then this happened:

Double Cheeseburger Anyone? Preston and Clayton Peaks 9/1/12

We decided it to start September with another double cheesburger hike, Preston and Clayton Peaks up at Brighton Ski Resort. We headed up the trail and took a detour to Dog Lake in search of moose. It was a cool wet morning due to the previous nights thunderstorms, perhaps the moose were late in rising as there were none at the lake. We may have missed the moose, but thanks to the fresh rain, the smells on the mountian were positively intoxicating this morning.

The trail then headed back across the mountain and wound across ski runs and through pine forests to the top of Snake Creek lift. It was a fairly quick jaunt up the mountain side to the peak behind the lift. We did however have one false summit. As we stood at the spot we thought was the top. Sierra said "Hmmm I wonder it that spot is actually the peak" and motioned to an outcropping of rock about 25 yards away. Sure enough there we found a brass placard, the nicest I've ever seen marking the top of the mountain, that said "Preston Peak". Too bad it did not say "Preston Peak... The Perfect Place to Enjoy a Yummy Cheeseburger"

From here we headed over the saddle to continue our adventure to Clayton Peak..

Mission Accomplished

Its been a hot summer in Utah but September 1st 2012 was cool and still damp from last nights rain. A perfect day to hike. Sierra had informed us that there were two peaks : Preston and Clayton Peaks that could be bagged in one day AND she also informed us that though she was all in favor of our canine friends getting credit for Cheeseburger Summits, she wasnt keen that something that Chases Rabbits had racked up more summits than she. So, our mission, should we choose to accept it, was to help Sierra move up in the rankings and pass the dog.  :-)  So, what the hell- why not?

Bolimasa, Soontohaveastroke and Groundround accompanied Sierra today.  We hit Preston Peak first, which Bolimasa will tell you all about.   These two peaks are located at Brighton Ski Resort and for some reason I was thinking this was going to be a gimme.  I had forgotten that I usually ride the lifts up to a reasonable height in the winter...when on skis, things seem so much easier.   It was quite a trudge up the service road to the top of the Great Western lift then a nice scramble to the summit where we enjoyed 360 degree views, when we werent engulfed by the cloudy remnants of last night's storm.  I made my usual Garam Masala Sliders and they were consumed with gusto at the top. Mission Accomplished. Sierra is at 23 cheeseburger summits!

Soontohaveastroke heading toward Clayton Peak

Grant Mountain, NY

Today was another beautiful day, and with my good bike in the shop, I decided to get in a somewhat longer and tougher hike than earlier this week, and something with a view.  After much deliberating and gnashing of teeth, I settled on Moreau Lake State Park, south of Glens Falls.  There's an extensive trail system there atop the Palmertown Range (map at link), accessible either from the main park itself or from Spier Falls Road along the Hudson River.  I took the cheap option, and parked below the Spier Falls Dam, ready for the steep uphill climb to the ridge.


It was indeed a steep climb up the orange Cottage Park Trail, and once up on the "plateau", there wasn't a flat stretch of trail to be found.  While doing a clockwise loop around the Cottage Park, Eastern Ridge, and White Birch trails, I made a very short side trip off-trail to tiny Grant Mountain.  It's the highest point on the Palmertown Range, and also the only named summit.  I stopped here on the wooded viewless bump for a quick cheeseburger. 

After this break, I continued the loop, ending up on the Western Ridge trail with all of its views of the Hudson River far below.

The Spier Falls Dam on the Hudson River

A shady lunch spot.  I could see the old IP smokestack in Corinth from here.

The Hudson River, flowing downstream and northward here, heading toward Glens Falls.  This was my favorite view of the day.

Another view of the dam and former falls

The descent back to the car was equally steep and difficult, and I was glad to be done for the day.  My feet and legs were feeling it.  All told, I'd covered 7.6 miles, and climbed over 2,500 feet of total ascent, not bad for only an hour from home.   I hadn't done much hiking since early spring, and it certainly uses different muscles than biking.  A couple of big hikes coming up in early September, so it was good to get this one under my belt.

Burgers on Butterfield Peaks

With our compatriot Sierra away in San Diego, bagging Urban Summits, Bolimasa and I decided we needed an adventure. A Cheeseburger Adventure.  And, everyone knows that ones starts and adventure by heading west.  A little research showed us that west of the Wasatch there's another mountain range.  Imagine that!  And in that other range there are accessible peaks just waiting for intrepid Cheeseburger Summiteers to climb their heights and enjoy delicious cheeseburgers.

Its been a tough summer in Utah.  Hot, dry and smokey and today was no exception. And, instead of the usual 20 minute drive to the trailhead, we had a 40 mile commute west, through strange parts. Google Maps didnt let us down.  As we headed up Butterfield Canyon road we saw several deer with fawns and a herd of turkeys.  At the top of the pass we disembarked and Bolimasa remembered the directions she read on-line.  "Walk 15 steps from the main road, turn around 3 times and click your heels together and take the single track." So we did and off we went.

There is very little in the way of literature to guide one to the Butterfield Peaks.  Yes, there are two peaks here though this site does not show or seem to credit both.  There are a few on-line resources but they consist of general descriptions and vague comments.  Most of the posts make it sound as if the peaks are right off the road. That is not the case.  I estimate they are 2.5 miles from the road on a pretty decent scree trail.  The trail moves through lovely pine and aspen forest as well as dry scrub.  It was more picturesque than we had imagined and we made a mental note to come back out this way in the fall, when its cooler and hopefully less smoky.  About a half hour into the hike we spotted our first objective, identified by the radio (?) towers behind the pines.  Another hour and we spotted the side trail leading to the summits.  The summits are not pretty.  Barren of trees, and covered with gravel, these are summits are home to radio towers or transponders.  We ate cheeseburgers, then walked the to the other peak, ate again then got back on the trail, happy to have put cheeseburgers on two new peaks.

Linda and our first objective

Bolimasa and our first objective.

New game:  Where's the Wasatch?

Looking east:  We played "Where's the Wasatch?"

Atop Peak 1 with Peak 2 behind us.

Atop peak 2 with Kennecott Copper Mine in the background.

More urban hiking

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Mount Soledad

August 18, 2012

Just a short walk down the block from Easter Cross is the actual Mount Soledad, which is a natural area covered with several cell phone towers.  We trudged from the road up through the dirt to the top of the “peak” where apparently lots of people like to come, drink beer, and leave their bottles.  I ate my Jim Fisher cheeseburger, was photographed, and didn’t stay up there too long to admire the view.

lots of cell phone towers

Easter Cross in the background

Urban hiking

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Easter Cross

August 18, 2012

The actual peak at Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial surrounded by Mount Soledad Natural Area is called Easter Cross, named for the controversial gigantic white cross at the top.  The actual Mount Soledad (see next post) is across the street and down the road. 

While at a Patton family reunion (7 Irish sibs living all over the country along with spouses, children and grandchildren) in La Jolla, CA, where the matriarch and patriarch of the family live, I decided that I should do my part and bag a couple of cheeseburger summits.  Since we were within walking distance of Mount Soledad, my sister-in-law, Mari from Montana and I did some urban hiking through the streets of La Jolla to eat a cheeseburger on top.  This peak was once used by the Lindburgh’s for glider flights, and still has an awesome 360 degree view of the Pacific, Scripps Pier, San Diego and its surrounding area.  At the top I ate a famous Jim Fisher (brother-in-law) cheeseburger left over from last night’s family reunion dinner that I had reheated just before the ascent.


the Pacific!

view of Mission Bay and downtown San Diego