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Elevation: 1,821 ft 555 m
GPS: 38.2445, -80.85393
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Chris Whisenhunt on Nov 27, 2013 · Updates
Admins: Pat Goodman, Chris Whisenhunt, Amanda Smith, Pnelson

Description Suggest change

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Summersville Lake is formed in the gorge of the Gauley River, and houses one of the New River Gorge's best concentrations of sport lines from 5.6 to 5.15a. Overall, the rock is more featured and more closely bolted than the lines of the New River Gorge proper. Be aware that many lines (including literally ALL of Long Point and Whippoorwill) are inaccessible except by boat from about April to November, due to the reservoir waterline. 

Getting There Suggest change

Follow Rte. 19 north from Fayetteville and the NRG for about 20 miles. After crossing the obvious bridge over the lake (with views of the cliffline on both sides), turn into the parking lot for "Summersville State Park". Follow the dirt and gravel road up the hill to the new state park parking lot. Although the following directions may sound complex, if you just follow the main signs of foot traffic, you'll get directly to the crags.

HIKING DIRECTIONS:  From the parking lot, follow a wide gravel trail past the gate for 1-2 minutes, when the trail splits at the base of a hill, trend right and up to the top of the hill on a dirt road.  As of 2023, there is a temporary DANGER Equipment Crossing sign at the top of this hill.  Continue along this rocky dirt road down the hill, keeping an eye out for a narrow left exit that descends down over a small creek.  If you continue straight instead of left, the trail eventually ends up at Pirate's Cove, home to awesome winter bouldering and the classic Mutiny, 5.11d.  At the left exit, the creek crossing should be nearly visible from the dirt road.  Cross the creek and follow the blue flagging tape, trending right at a hairpin turn, and continue along the most beaten footpath.

After following this mostly straight path through the forest for another 5-10 minutes, look for a downhill path on your right at the very end of the obvious sign of foot traffic, dropping through a thicket of rhododendrons.  As of Spring 2023, there is a single piece of blue flagging on a small twinned hickory tree.  This path leads down dilapidated wooden berms to another creek crossing and the new metal staircase at the downstream end next to the waterfall.  The staircase put you near the DC Memorial Boulder. 

In the summer months, watch for copperheads along the lake trails, but please do not harm them.

In 2020, NRAC and the USACE Army Corp updated the wooden ladder to a new and improved metal staircase. The staircase is easy to use and makes the lake climbing more accessible for those with small children, dogs, and those carrying crash pads for the wonderful lakeside bouldering in the winter months.  

149 Total Climbs

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Location: Summersville Lake (main) Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Summersville Lake (main)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 393
She got the Bosch, I got Drilled
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 449
Satisfaction Guaranteed
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 133
Maximum Overdrive
Sport
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
 80
Mutiny
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 292
Under the Milky Way
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 60
Flirting with E
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 352
Narcissus
Sport
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
 196
Reckless Abandon
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 67
Ly'n and Stealin'
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 4
Surfer Rosa
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 128
Apollo Reed
Sport
5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
 34
Mercy Seat
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
 68
Pod
Sport
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
 12
BC
Sport
5.14b 8c 33 X+ 33 E9 7b
 4
Still Life
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
She got the Bosch, I got Dr… Orange Oswald Wall
 393
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Satisfaction Guaranteed Satisfaction Wall
 449
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Maximum Overdrive Long Wall
 133
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Mutiny Pirate's Cove
 80
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Sport
Under the Milky Way Long Wall
 292
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Flirting with E Long Wall
 60
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Narcissus Narcissus Cave
 352
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Reckless Abandon Coliseum
 196
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
Ly'n and Stealin' Circus Wall
 67
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Surfer Rosa Coliseum
 4
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Apollo Reed Coliseum
 128
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Mercy Seat Coliseum
 34
5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c Sport
Pod Coliseum
 68
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
BC Coliseum
 12
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport
Still Life Coliseum
 4
5.14b 8c 33 X+ 33 E9 7b Sport
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