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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 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Summersville Lake (main) 14 / 94 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 108
Whippoorwill 15 / 34 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 49
Elevation: 1,689 ft
GPS: 38.236, -80.855 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 231,086 total, 1,818/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Jul 6, 2007
Admins: Pnelson, Ladd, Vicki Schwantes, Jake Jones, Shawn Heath

Description

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!
Writing in chalk Details

Getting There

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

199 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
Hippie Dreams
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Jeff's Bunny Hop
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Menace Alert
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Chunko Goes Bowling
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Fabulous Groupies
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Orange Oswald
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
She got the Bosch, I got Drilled
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Chewy
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Strong Arming the Little Guy
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Baby With A Nail Gun
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Masuko
Sport
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Satisfaction Guaranteed
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Under the Milky Way
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Narcissus
Sport
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Reckless Abandon
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Hippie Dreams Summersville Lake… > Orange Oswald Wall 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Jeff's Bunny Hop Summersville Lake… > Narcissus Cave 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Menace Alert Summersville Lake… > Long Wall 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Chunko Goes Bowling Summersville Lake… > Orange Oswald Wall 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Fabulous Groupies Summersville Lake… > Orange Oswald Wall 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Orange Oswald Summersville Lake… > Orange Oswald Wall 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
She got the Bosch, I got Dr… Summersville Lake… > Orange Oswald Wall 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Chewy Summersville Lake… > Long Wall 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Strong Arming the Little Guy Summersville Lake… > Orange Oswald Wall 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Baby With A Nail Gun Summersville Lake… > Orange Oswald Wall 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Masuko Whippoorwill 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Satisfaction Guaranteed Summersville Lake… > Satisfaction Wall 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Under the Milky Way Summersville Lake… > Long Wall 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Narcissus Summersville Lake… > Narcissus Cave 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Reckless Abandon Summersville Lake… > Coliseum 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Summersville and Gauley River »

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
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
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
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  
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

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