Ascent of Madison Parish High Point on 2016-03-03

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, March 3, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Madison Parish High Point
    Elevation:115 ft / 35 m

Ascent Trip Report

This Parish has 2 candidate high point areas and because of access issues at Area 1 it required more than one visit, all as per this one TR.

VISIT #1 DATED 2105-01-18 ... successful at Area 2 only

AREA 2 ..... 2 mile RT. successful.
We traveled the Louisiana I-20 table westbound in the Parish of Madison, lifted by a glorious warm sunny winter morning. We got off at exit #171 (Tallulah) and went north on Hwy 65 for 10 miles to a right turn onto Omega Road, where we slowly moved east, the Levee of the mighty Mississippi River can be seen in the distance. At 1.8 miles arrived at a gate and parked,, this was my TH .... straight ahead at 80 yards is the Levee with its top about 40 feet higher than the surrounding farm land.
The outside slopes of the Levee is pasture land.
From the TH I walked the gravel road to the top on the Levee then north about .75 miles directly to the AREA 2 (32.52514,-91.13042), at a cattle guard with sign "Do Not Use Roads During Hunting Hours". Just before the HP a road drops right to inside the Levee. I walked the Levee north for another .4 miles, the whole top of the Levee is pretty flat, no HP to speak-of.
In my opinion this Area, on an all man-made Levee, should not be a candidate.
I found the walk to be most interesting and amazing, "How many years/floods did it take before the Mississippi's destruction was contained?" The river is about a mile away at this point and can't be seen, the interior is all woods. I would love to be walking this Levee during a flood and see this powerful dirty sea of water.

AREA 1 .... unsuccessful due to access issues.
From I-20, exit #157 (Waverly) we went north on #577 for 2.7 miles to a right onto #579, then at 4.9 miles turned right onto West Bear Lake Road and went east on this heavily rutted road (spongy-like in places) for 3.9 miles to a gated dirt road on the left, signed "Panther Lake Plantation" .... a hunting camp with equipment, large menacing signs "No Trespassing for any reason, Charles Brown phone 318 355 9349". In wet weather West Bear Lake Road will be a problem.
This is the TH, the HP is mostly a road walk of about 1 mile to the north.
We drove east on West Bear Lake Road for half a mile and went to the 3 houses for information and found no one home. We decided to have our lunch here with the chance of someone coming-by, something that we've done before more than once.
Luck was on our side. We chatted with the truck driver with his young son. I asked him if I'd have a problem if I hiked the road to the HP.
"Knowing Charles Brown, Yes Sir you'd have a problem." He apparently lives in Monroe, about 50 miles away.
He informed me that he's not the most friendly type and based on his body language I have a feeling that getting permission from this gentleman may be a problem.

VISIT #2 DATED 2016-01-15 ... failed at Area 1 once again, access road to the TH was not driveable.
We are once again on our way to our son's family in Texas, this being our 19th day and 10th state of this year's "TEXAS WINTER TRIP 1016".
I'm back determined to risk the walk, even though I couldn't find an alternate route and didn't call Brown. I need this hike in order to complete my personal list "I-20 Corridor COHPs, Texas-Atlantic".
Unfortunately the access road was not driveable (needs high clearance) ..... huge disappointment.
I need to look at a possible drive-in from the east side, something I should have done initially .... poor homework.

No time today to look into this today, we have to move-on as we are anxious/looking-forward to tomorrow's family re-union at Woodlands, Texas ..... and Celine's usual huge delicious dinner. Everyone (Michael, Celine, Marcus Patrick and Emilie) will be there except for Brice who is back at Texas Tech in Lubbock. I should note that 2015 was a major/proud celebratory year for our whole family .... Marcus, Celine, Brice and Emilie received their American Citizenship.
After about a week's visit we will start County High Pointing Texas, slowly heading westbound to Brice in Lubbock, with the goal being the 25 Panhandle COHPs. Spending some time in the Palo Alto Canyon with Brice is also in the plan.

VISIT #3 DATED 2016-03-03 .... finally success at AREA 1 (32.51514,-91.31447) ... 2 1/4 mile, 35 minutes RT.
Back again on the way home from our "Texas Winter Trip 2016", this being our 67th day. We approached from the east.
I-20, exit 157, went north on #577 to Waverly, then right (east) on #80 for 9.5 miles to a left onto West Bear Lake Road, which we drove (north/west) for 6.8 miles to the "Panther Lake Plantation", our TH.
NB: County High Pointers ...this is "the" approach (paved except for last 2 1/2 miles), forget the west one.

I rushed the dirt road north 1+ miles to a 4-way junction, then right (east) on a track for 130 yards where I turned left and wacked north 60 yards to the obvious summit in open woods ... a very unusual bump in this very flat land, chose my spot at the biggest tree.
Rose had a quiet visit ..... one does not succeed without some risk.


Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:25 ft / 8 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.8 km
    Route:dirt road nb from west bear lake road
    Trailhead:west bear lake road  90 ft / 27 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country

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