Ascent of Saint Bernard Parish High Point on 2011-01-12

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:Supported by Rose
Date:Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Saint Bernard Parish High Point
    Elevation:22 ft / 6 m

Ascent Trip Report

Easy hike to the Area 2 candidate highpoint at west end of the County on the mainland ...... 1.1 miles, 40 minutes RT.

PB gives 2 candidate highpoint Areas for this County. IMO Area 1 need not be visited.

AREA 1 (PB's main area), located on Chandeleur Island (Breton National Wildlife Refuge- a fishing/bird sanctuary) way-east of the mainland in the Gulf of Mexico (south of Gulfport, MS). Half a century ago this Island arced all the way to the mainland, today the arc is made up of a few small Islands in addition to Chandeleur. The remaining islands, basically grass covered sand bars, have been badly damaged/eroded by tropical storms of old and completely flattened/washed-over by the recent storms of Arlene and Katrina. Today the Island is not the fishing/birdwatching destination of yesteryear. The US Fish and Wildlife has built miles of tall Stone Berm on the outside (west side) of the Island with the hopes of stopping/reducing further damage thereby preserving the fishing/bird habitat. Whatever high ground was there is no longer.
AREA 2 is on the mainland and is described here in this TR.

After visiting AREA 2 (all as per below) I decided to check/witness first hand the reported damages to AREA 1 HP. I contacted a number of Charter Boat Companies for a trip to AREA 1, deciding on Go Fish Charters, Gulfport, MS. Randy (ph# 228 263 6151). We agreed on a date however the unfavorable weather forced us to cancel (cold and high winds). Randy informed me that this time of year conditions are always erratic/chancy and a trip of this type is best done April-September.
Randy (confirmed by another charter co) questioned the Island being a highpoint, "I don't know why you want to go there, Katrina flattened everything, it's not like the old days." He said that the government has built a 6 foot high, 6-8 mile long Stone Berm on the west side of the Island, thinks that this is a classical example of government waste, "All it does is puts millions in the contractors pockets. Nature will always prevail, but the government thinks otherwise."

AREA 2 --- successful visit on the mainland.
From I10 exit 246, east of New Orleans, we drove south on 510/47/39 for 17 miles to a T-junction, turned right on 39 and continued 1.2 miles to Poydras at a stop light (Guillory Food Store on the corner), 39 continues left.
We stayed straight on Bayou Road (East Saint Bernard hwy #46) and traveled north .75 miles to a private driveway on the left with Lighthouse Pentecostal Church on the corner. Parked here this was our TH, the Mississippi River is at 300 yards to the left (west).
We walked west on the paved driveway 200 yards to the top of the levee, then right (north) along the top of the levee .4 miles (just past the Pumping Station inside the levee), my GPS here read 29.88383, 89.89828.
I descended left (west) inside the levee into the woods at 40 yards to my chosen spot as the highpoint, GPS 29.88383, 89.89863. A very rough area, its hard to say if this area is natural with all the construction of the years past.

IMO Area 1 is not a candidate and need not be visited, I'll let others prove me otherwise.

We drove back to Poydras and on to Plaquemines County.

Summary Total Data
    Distance:1.2 mi / 2 km
    Route:alternate candidate from hwy 46,
    Trailhead:st bernard road, #46, n of poydras  
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack

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