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Ascent to Twombly Mountain-South entrance on 2017-05-14

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Date:Sunday, May 14, 2017
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Twombly Mountain - South entrance
    Location:USA-Michigan
    Elevation:940 ft / 286 m
    Remaining Elevation:210 ft / 64 m (2% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

Well, I didn't really expect to have a successful summit after reading other trip reports, but I was hopeful. When I arrived at the south entrance gate to the Ford Proving Grounds, I saw a sign that read "Private Road," so I made the long drive around the entire 6 square mile complex searching for another entrance, but there are none. The entire area is protected with an 8-foot high chain linked fence topped with several strands of barbed wire. In fact, the northern boundary has a double row of this security fence about 15 yards apart. I returned to the south entrance and drove in. I was relieved when I saw a sign for "Visitor Parking." Nearby was a security gate with two security guards inside an adjacent building. I parked my car and entered the building and was greeted surprisingly warmly. I explained my reason for being there and the guards made a phone call to a supervisor, who asked when I wanted to go up. I really got my hopes up, but then I learned this individual didn't have the authority to allow me to enter the facility. I felt like if I had come during a weekday, instead of the weekend, my chances would have been much better. Anyway, also surprisingly, one of the guards gave me the phone number and the E-mail address for the site manager, but they warned me to only call during a weekday. Since I live in Missouri, it is not as if I can call, get permission and drive right over, but at least, I might have a chance to summit if I am in the area in the near future and I get permission from this site manager. I sure am glad all county highpoints are not like this or I would have to give this sport up.
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