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Areas in Summersville and Gauley River

Carnifex Ferry 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Gauley Crag 2 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Long Point 11 / 21 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 32
Lost World 1 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Summersville Lake (main) 14 / 97 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 111
Whippoorwill 15 / 35 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 50
Access Issue: Writing in chalk Details

Description [Suggest Change]

About a half hour north of the New River Gorge is the Gauley River drainage. The main northern shore of Lake Summersville is home to a host of high quality single-pitch sport routes. Ratings range from 5.easy (slabs left of Orange Oswald) to 5.14+ (in the Coliseum). There are plenty of as-of-yet unsent projects, and lots of new development potential, too. Water levels in the lake vary seasonally, which in turn affects the accessibility of certain routes. During warm months, the reservoir can be a great relief from oppressive summer heat. During colder seasons, the drained lakebed opens up as a treeless landscape that soaks up all the sunlight, making it a great cold-weather destination.

Beyond the main north shore Summersville climbing, Whippoorwill has great swimming and DWS in the summer, and amazing roped moderates in the winter. Long Point is another great early spring/late fall destination, with relatively few crowds. Farther downstream, below the dam that forms the lake, you'll find adventure crags along the Gauley River like Carnifex Ferry and some excellent bouldering.

CURRENT WATER LEVEL AT SUMMERSVILLE LAKE

Whippoorwill, Long Point, and parts of Summersville Lake are accessible when the reading for Summersville Lake at the link above is below 1600ft. When they drain the lake is dependent on many different factors and it's hard to say when it will be down/up with any sort of certainty.

Please note that there have been a few break ins in these areas. Make sure to park as close to the road as possible and keep valuables out of sight. It can be a bad idea to park behind the big hill at the parking lot!

Getting There [Suggest Change]

See individual crags for directions; all are roughly a half hour north of the NRG on Highway 19.

204 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Summersville and Gauley River

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 88
Wendy's Jugs
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 332
Hippie Dreams
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 81
Gimme a Clown
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 273
Orange Oswald
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 221
She got the Bosch, I got Drilled
Sport
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 71
Latch Key Kids
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 150
Strong Arming the Little Guy
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 83
Flight Path
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 117
Baby With A Nail Gun
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 104
Masuko
Sport
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 229
Satisfaction Guaranteed
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 135
Under the Milky Way
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 160
Narcissus
Sport
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
 86
Reckless Abandon
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 65
Apollo Reed
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Wendy's Jugs Whippoorwill
 88
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Hippie Dreams Summersville La… > Orange Oswald Wall
 332
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Gimme a Clown Whippoorwill
 81
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Orange Oswald Summersville La… > Orange Oswald Wall
 273
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
She got the Bosch, I got Dr… Summersville La… > Orange Oswald Wall
 221
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Latch Key Kids Whippoorwill
 71
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport
Strong Arming the Little Guy Summersville La… > Orange Oswald Wall
 150
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Flight Path Summersville La… > Long Wall
 83
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Baby With A Nail Gun Summersville La… > Orange Oswald Wall
 117
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Masuko Whippoorwill
 104
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Satisfaction Guaranteed Summersville La… > Satisfaction Wall
 229
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Under the Milky Way Summersville La… > Long Wall
 135
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Narcissus Summersville La… > Narcissus Cave
 160
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Reckless Abandon Summersville La… > Coliseum
 86
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
Apollo Reed Summersville La… > Coliseum
 65
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Summersville and Gauley River »

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
BrianWS  
Please refrain from writing messages at the base of climbs with chalk. It is unsightly, unnecessary, and becoming unfortunately common at Summersville.


If you need to leave a critical condition report (bad bolts or anchors) for popular climbs, please rely on word of mouth, this website, or by reporting bad hardware to NRAC. Everyone wants to be a good steward, but turning the rock into a message board is not the way to do this. Oct 7, 2015
Liet Keynes
Denver, CO
Liet Keynes   Denver, CO
Don't be too scared off by the water level notes. As someone who didn't know the area I was worried major parts of Summersville Lake wouldn't be accessible late August with the CURRENT WATER LEVEL link still saying just over 1,600ft. I didn't check out Whippoorwill etc., but everything from The Coliseum to The Circus was well above water and eminently climbable :) Sep 12, 2016
BrianWS  
Daniel -- The collesium thru circus wall are always above water, barring floods or other anomolous conditions. Whippoorwill and Pirates Cove are accessible during low water only. Not sure where the confusion came from, as this info is pretty clearly indicated. Sep 12, 2016
If you go here you have to stop by Fran's. It is the best southern food you will find here. Prices are dirtbag friendly and they don't mind having dirtbag here! Sep 7, 2017

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