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Ascent to Port Royal Island High Point-Entrance Gate on 2011-03-12

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:Rose
Date:Saturday, March 12, 2011
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Point Reached:Port Royal Island High Point - Entrance Gate
    Location:USA-South Carolina
    Elevation:35 ft / 10 m
    Remaining Elevation:10 ft / 3 m (0% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

You have to get prior permission to enter the grounds, and if you are a foreign national like the author its much more involved and needs to be done before the visit.

The Port Royal Island HP is one of 6 candidate high point areas for Beaufort COHP, which needs to be visited in order to claim the county.

We drove onto the Island from the west side, crossing over the Broad River Bridge on hwy 170 to a left turn on Parris Island Road (follow sign 21N, just past Walmart). Drove 1.2 miles to a left on 21N then 1.4 miles to a left on SC116 (Laurel Bay Road). We continued 3.4 miles to the guarded Entrance Gate at the "Laurel Bay Naval Housing Facilities".
Entrance was denied, the friendly guard on duty told us that access is only for army personnel or affiliated personnel.
We didn't get prior permission, the plan was to "deal with visitor control" on site (as noted in Michael Schwartz TR of 2008). The guard told us that there is no Visitor's Welcome Center on site, he suggested we go to the recruiting center on Parris Island.
We didn't see the connection between recruiting and permission to enter the facilities so we decided to leave it for another day.
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ADDENDUM DATED 2015-01-09 ..... denied access.
We are on our Winter Trip 2015 and today I was denied access for the 2nd time.
I started to inquire about access to the Laurel Bay Community back in Mid-December, 2014 and after getting referred to different departments I was finally directed to, what I thought was the right person, Mr Odell Joiner. He asked me to email him all of the necessary information, which I did on Dec 23, 2014.
I didn't hear back from him during the holidays so on Jan 4, 2015 I send him a reminder which he answered right away. The last 2 pieces of correspondence that I received read:

"----------
RE: Permission to enter the Laurel Bay Community
08/01/2015
To: 'Ben P LOSTRACCO'
Cc: Cochran Capt Jordan R

Good Morning,
Being that you are not representing a company, please forward your request via our Public Affairs Officer (Capt Cochran). He is cc'd in this email.
Very Respectfully,

Mr. Odell Joiner
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Security Manager
Comm: 843 228 7090;7559
Mobile: 843 476 3610
Email: odell.joiner@usmc.mil -------------"


"-----------
To: 'Ben P LOSTRACCO'

Sir,
I am the Public Affairs Officer for the Air Station and the Laurel Bay community. Please give me a call when you have a chance.
843-228-6123

V/R,
Capt. Jordan Cochran
Public Affairs Officer
Commercial: (843) 228-6123
Mobile: (843) 321-6658
jordan.cochran@usmc.mil ------------"

I called Captain Cochran and agreed to 13h30 hour visit. His assigned escort, Sarah Cherry, met me at the gate, and when my identification (drivers license/passport) showed that I was a Foreign National that raised a red flag .... authorization would take days. I omitted to note in my request that I was Canadian ???? everyone was apologetic ???? the security (Merchant and Lowrey) had to enter me in their data base as being denied entry .... besides the usual information, I had to give them my SIN, plus I was photographed.
I felt a bit like a criminal about the SIN, photo thing.
I talked to Captain Cochran and he was very nice, apologizing for the situation, said to call him if/when I come back (later confirmed with an email).

We left the area very disappointed, I so much wanted the visit. Ces't la Vie.
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"IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED TRY AND TRY AGAIN."
Summary Total Data
    Route:drive up to entrance gate
    Trailhead:SC116  



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