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Summersville Lake Cliff Jumping Ban
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By Josh810
Dec 12, 2007

Hey Guys, thanks for finding my petition. I tried to fix the spelling error, but im not sure if i found them all. If there is anything you would like me to add to it just post it.

Summersville lake is awesome. This summer when we went the "safety patrol" basically said don't jump off anything higher than six feet (pontoon boats?) and we just kept making what if questions and they finally just told us to jump when we don't see them. They would tell us and then leave. It is stupid because we have spent our vacation money there for the past 3 summers, and this summer depends on the whole cliff jumping situation. I really don't believe they would fine someone 5000$, that is the maximum. We and my friend have really no idea on what to do with our petition, since we dont live in West Virginia. What are your guys thoughts?


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By T Seas
Jun 11, 2009

This ban is crazy. I have been going here to DWS for 4 years now. 2 years or so ago is when this ban came into effect and I was so mad that I went that summer anyways.

From my own experience, nobody gave us a hard time, then again, we never fell in front of anyone. (made my project in the cove really tough to work though). We were climbing by whipporwill on the supper juggy wall (making my own names) and a police boat motored into sight so we all climbed into one of the giant caves and the cop boat didn't change coarse, slow down, or anything, it just motored by in the distance.

I am a firm believer that climbers are not the targets here, and as far as I know no climber has ever been scolded, let alone fined/cuffed. I have however seen 1 redneck jump 50 feet onto a log. (was hurt but not bad, walked it off with a limp)

I have 2 years of breaking the law there and I have had noone talk to me other than climbers warning me. But it is true, nobody in this country is reponsible for their actions anymore. I understand fishing crippled and dead rednecks out of the water is probably a little expensive, but thats why we have taxes.

I was always wondering why this was a liability issue, unless the US amry core of engineers is not a gov't agency. I was under the impression that gov't agencies are imune from tort claims. Same reason why you can't sue the IRS, military, president, congress, FBI, States, and even some branches of municipalites. As part of the US Army, I would think them to be free from any liability. Maybee it's just that the army likes rules and control, its their thing.

And as to the person mentioning kids being fat, lazy, and violent because of stuff like this, your spot on. I know for a fact that without nature activities, like climbing, camping, mt biking, I would be a serious druggie, out of shape, depressed, and commiting crimes. (real crimes not tresspassing and illegal falling us climbers commit) Climbing (and other similar activites) saved my life! My country makes me sick at times by being hypacritical.

Either way, I will be deep water soloing from July 24th to Aug 2nd. And if a cop want's to fine me, good luck catching me! i just think they know if they tried from the water, they would have no chance catching us.

Last little thing to ponder. Do you think the cops would fine someone if they witnessed that person hiking along the top of the cliffs, who then slipped and rolled to and over the edge and into the water. I would think not as the fall into the water was an accident. When I DWS, I like to top out and any falls are also accidental. Therefore we should have the same treatment. This would probably lead them to outlaw standing on top of cliffs. Millions of people can kill themselves with a pack of smokes daily, but our gov't steps in prohibits us from climbing b/c it's dangerous?


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By T Seas
Jun 11, 2009

Side question...

Does anyone here have any first hand stories of CLIMBERS,

1. getting watched by the cops while climbing or falling
2. getting talked to by the cops/warning climbing or falling
3. getting fined or arrested for climbing or falling

I have never heard of any of those but have heard storries of cliff jumpers getting talked to, but no fines for them though.


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By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Jun 11, 2009

Christopher Creek in northern AZ has a 40 and 50 foot jump. I've done the 40...what a rush, but rapped the 50. I need to go back and 'send' the 50! And no one is there to tell you not to do it.


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By sam.f
From Santa Cruz, CA
Jun 11, 2009
Aiguille de Joshua Tree.

T Seas:

I never was talked to by the police for DWS, but had the cops called on me once by some redneck at the boat ramp for public urination. He claimed that we "Exposed ourself's to his fambly!" Not a good situation...


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By Eastvillage
From New York, NY
Jun 11, 2009
Me on the summit of Devil's Tower

I'm sure there are no real crimes being committed in this area.
"Let's make summer fun illegal!"
What a waste of time.


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By Gregger Man
Jun 11, 2009
gg

It was a long while ago, but I was fined for jumping off Chimney Rock near the Lake Greeson dam in Arkansas (~60-70 footer). Rangers had a telescope. $25.00


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By SexPanther aka Kiedis
Jul 8, 2009
Thumbtastic

I think the main thing we're missing as a community is the golden opportunity we have here to ban Pabst Blue Ribbon, bikini bathing suits, cocoa butter, and titties. Crank the AC, extend the La-Z-Boy, vote the majority, sit down and shut the fuck up, this is America, people, you don't get to have fun anymore.

Man, I remember when my biggest fear was waking up having pissed myself in Miguel or Roger's yard after a few too many and there being a line for the shower. When rednecks can't even indulge in Darwinism, what do they have left besides the bug zapper, y'all?


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By T Seas
Jul 24, 2009

Well i'm heading down to dws in 5 days and am crossing my fingers about the piggies, and that my car is not broken into. I think it is hard to fight the ban as a lot of us probably are not from the area and only climb there a few days a year and are not involved in the community there. I think the best course of action is to play dumb, "what a ban on climbing? oh you mean there is a ban on falling? but a hold broke and it wasn't intended. What that is illegal? There are no posted signs about a ban, and I have climbed here for half a decade! But those drunks on that cliff over there have been jumping all day intentionally, why don't they get a fine?

If that doesn't work and they try to get my name and info, than I will flee up the wall screaming LEEROY JENKINS!!!!

(I'm really not worried at all about a fine, and will report back when my trip is over about any incidents/run ins and talk to any other climbers I see there)


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By Punter Brewster
Jul 29, 2009
High Steppin' into the crux of Exoduster.

T Seas wrote:
If that doesn't work and they try to get my name and info, than I will flee up the wall screaming LEEROY JENKINS!!!!



Haha, too funny. Unfortunately though I have witnessed first hand how persistant those rangers are if you make them hunt you down. Not DWS related, but I saw them track down some guy who left a bread bag at his campsite like it was a no holds barred escaped con hunt. Awesome.


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By bobby.87
From columbus, oh
Feb 18, 2011

If only the Marines ran the Corps of Engineers they'd be building a rope swing off that biznitch, yut!


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By Kurt Swanson
From Philadelphia, PA
Mar 15, 2012
View from the Jane Spy belay station

So...does anyone know the verdict on DWS if you do not fall? Was thinking about trying it out this summer.


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By Larry S
Mar 15, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

Kurt, I was down there a few years ago, I don't know if things have changed then... but we had an incident with the people who patrol the lake. Some people near us were jumping off. We didn't get fined, but we did get talked to. What i was told is that climbing is fine, falling is fine, but don't do it intentionally. They prefer you downclimb. Dangle/drop is ok, but can be questionable, do not turn around and push/jump off or make it look like your jumping.

This is a really popular area for non climbers and i've witnessed first hand the kind of people who are down there jumping off the cliffs. My wife and I had to rescue a guy from drowning after he faceplanted into the water off a 10m cliff and got knocked out. Their goal is to prevent things like that from happening.


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By Kurt Swanson
From Philadelphia, PA
Mar 15, 2012
View from the Jane Spy belay station

OK thanks for the info Larry. Too bad I missed you last weekend at Safe Harbor!


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By Larry S
Mar 15, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

No problem. I would summarize with this - just don't give them a reason to have a problem with what you're doing, because they can interpret what you're doing as jumping if they want to. Try and make it obvious that you're there climbing and being safe, not someone who's going to hurt themselves jumping off the cliffs.

Also, if you bring/get a kayak or boat, you can get away from the crowds of people likely to attract attention at Pirate's Cove and Whipporwill, and find places like this spot mountainproject.com/v/106891307


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By CJC
Mar 15, 2012

ok now the hero shot self-promotion is just getting absurd

stay on point this is an important issue


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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
Mar 15, 2012
Gear

CLimbing Magazine wrote an article about DWS in Summersville....i believe it was last year. I couldnt imagine the Mag going against what the Corps say or against the access fund...


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Mar 15, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

Really sorry to hear about the law. I'm not sure if deep water soloing and cliff jumping is illegal back in Texas yet, but no doubt it could be at any time.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
May 9, 2012
Stoked...

Sounds a lot like the patrol folks recognize the issue for climbers and are sympathetic to climbers. . . Advanced Elements makes some cool inflatable boats that would be rad to have on the lake.


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