Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Summersville Lake

Select Area...
Circus Wall 
Coliseum, The 
DC Memorial Boulder 
Gun Wall 
Long Wall, The 
Narcissus Cave 
Orange Oswald Wall 
Pirate's Cove 
Satisfaction Wall, The 

Summersville Lake Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 38.236, -80.8553 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 57,666
Administrators: Ladd, Chris Whisenhunt, Jake Jones, Shawn Heath, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Whisenhunt on Nov 27, 2013  with updates from Antonio Caligiuri
Forecast:
Overnight

56°
Friday

69° | 55°
Saturday

73° | 50°
Sunday

73° | 48°
Monday

72° | 52°
Tuesday

77° | 55°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: MAP of Summersville Lake area

Writing in chalk MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Summersville Lake is not in the NRG Proper, but due to it's proximity it is considered a part of the area. It is home to a host of high quality single-pitch sport routes along its northern shore. Ratings range from 5.easy (such as at the Orange Oswald Wall) to 5.14 (in the Coliseum), and there are even a pair of outrageous projects yet to be done, as well as much untouched cliffline that is either inaccessible or would require a boat. Water levels in the lake vary seasonally, which in turn affects the accessibility of certain routes. During warm months, deep water soloing can be a great relief from oppressive summer heat.

Getting There 

Follow Rte. 19 north out of Fayetteville for about 20 miles, almost reaching the town of Summersville. After crossing the obvious Gauley River bridge, park in a large lot on the east (right) side of the road. Follow a wide trail east for a ways until it descends down TO THE LEFT OF THE MAIN TRAIL, crosses a stream NEAR an old bridge, and then heads back up again. Shortly thereafter head right into the woods at THE SECOND well-marked trail (THE FIRST RIGHT WILL LEAD YOU DOWN TO PIRATE'S COVE AREA). Follow this trail past a few branches until it descends steeply by a stream and small waterfall. There is a ladder here to facilitate the scrambling. This will deposit you very near the DC Memorial Boulder. Head climber's left along the cliff band to access the Perot Wall and the Coliseum, or right along the cliff to the Long Wall, Narcissus Cave, and Orange Oswald Wall. Pirates' Cove, a great area that is only accessible during low water, can be reached via a separate trail or by scrambling around from the Colosseum.

The approach includes a 15ft ladder, if you are bringing lassie, plan on lowering it down.

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE A LARGE DOG AND USING THE LADDER IS NOT A VIABLE OPTION, THERE IS AN ALTERNATE APPROACH. INSTEAD OF TAKING THE TRAIL DOWN TO THE STREAM AND LADDER, CONTINUE ALONG THE TRAIL OF RED BLAZES FOR ~10-12 MINUTES UNTIL YOU SEE A HOUSE UP TO YOUR LEFT. AT THIS POINT YOU CAN CUT DOWN TOWARDS THE LAKE WHERE THERE IS A BREAK IN THE CLIFF. THIS DEPOSITS YOU ~5 MINUTES PAST ORANGE OSWALD WALL. WALK TO THE CLIMBER'S LEFT ALONG THE CLIFF UNTIL YOU REACH YOUR DESIRED DESTINATION.

Climbing Season



Weather station 1.5 miles from here

98 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',12],['3 Stars',40],['2 Stars',39],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',1],['5.8',4],['5.9',13],['5.10',31],['5.11',22],['5.12',16],['5.13',8],['>=5.14',2],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Summersville Lake

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Summersville Lake:
Hippie Dreams   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 75'   Orange Oswald Wall
Chunko Goes Bowling   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 90'   Orange Oswald Wall
Menace Alert   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 50'   The Long Wall
Orange Oswald   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Orange Oswald Wall
She got the Bosch, I got Drilled   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 90'   Orange Oswald Wall
Strong Arming the Little Guy   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Orange Oswald Wall
Baby With A Nail Gun   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Orange Oswald Wall
Indian Summer   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 50'   Pirate's Cove
Satisfaction Guaranteed   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   The Satisfaction Wall
Maximum Overdrive   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 70'   The Long Wall
Mutiny   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Pirate's Cove
Under the Milky Way   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Long Wall
Narcissus   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Narcissus Cave
Reckless Abandon   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Coliseum
Tobacco Road   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 100'   The Coliseum
Ly'n and Stealin'   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Circus Wall
Apollo Reed   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   The Coliseum
The Mercy Seat   5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Coliseum
Pod   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Coliseum
BC   5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Coliseum
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Summersville Lake

Featured Route For Summersville Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Long clip before crux moves.

Tobacco Road 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a  WV : The New River Gorge : ... : The Coliseum
Start up the easy ground just right of the mini-dark and damp cave, then you reach up and start traversing out the roof on very sharp but good holds, coming to the end of the traverse is the crux of the route and it'll make you work for it. The upper portion of the climb is easier than the rest and on rainy days it isn't even done, once you clip the last fixed extendable draw people just lower off so as not to get soaked by the rain....[more]   Browse More Classics in WV

Comments on Summersville Lake Add Comment
Show which comments
By Austin Harris
Jun 30, 2015
Getting There:
To the "Summersville lake parking lot".
If you search for this address it will get you kind of close:
205 Up Yonder Drv. Summersville WV 26651.

More specific directions:
from Fayetteville take Hwy 19 north for 21 miles.
Drive over the only big bridge over a big lake with a sign that says "Hughes Bridge - Summersville Lake".
Then immediately turn right on the first little side street; this is at mile marker 39.0.
Then you will see a big gravel lot on your right where you will park.

Hike on the dirt road behind the gate up the hill. After about 8 min's, you will turn left off the dirt road down the first well traveled, narrow foot-path which heads down into the woods.
After a few minutes, this path will take you across a stream beside a very old, wooden, rotting bridge.
Follow the rest of the directions above.
By CarolineOdell
Sep 5, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Johnny Bravo (5.10a)
Johnny Bravo (5.10a)
By Daniel Paly
From: Seattle, WA
Sep 12, 2016
I found the directions to be pretty good and Austin's more specific directions helpful, except one thing: "Shortly thereafter head right into the woods at THE SECOND well-marked trail" - this was misleading, and I tried a couple not-trails I shouldn't have. After crossing the little stream, continue for 3-5min, not so shortly thereafter. And then yes, take the second very well-marked trail down steeply by a stream and waterfall to the ladder.

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!