Nuria pulling a swim-up start
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.
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, crosses a stream at an old bridge, and then heads back up again. Shortly thereafter head right into the woods at a well-marked trail. Follow this trail past a few branches until it descends steeply by a stream and small waterfall. There is a ladder here to faciliate 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.
Browse More Classics in Summersville Lake
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Summersville Lake:
Featured Route For Summersville Lake
Cliff jumping is super fun, yet carries a $5000 fi...
Swimming and climbing during a hot WV summer... li...
The Collesum on the right and Summersville Lake Br...
Whippoorwill from the slab.
Random route shots
A little something for everyone !
Some of the gang
Nice little overhangs
Doing the frog
Camp site after one hell of a storm.
Hang Dawgin !
fall colors / low water
BETA PHOTO: Ladders with dogs, not impossible.
|Comments on Summersville Lake
|By Ladd Raine|
From: Plymouth, NH
Dec 10, 2007
There is a forum thread discussing the pros and cons of the Army Corps of Engineers' ban on cliff jumping it was orginally posted by Dennis.
I moved it to the forum because it seemed to be more appropriate to have the conversation there.
Check it out.
Summersville Lake Cliff Jumping Ban
|By T Seas|
Jun 12, 2009
Does anyone know some good cheap cabins around the lake? I have tent camped across from the parking lot at the lake @ mountain lake campgrounds but that is like 10 bucks a person per night. Dont want to camp the dam etiher and figured I'd live it up a bit this year, also want ac for that july heat!! I have heard good stuff about carnifax ferry cottages with 1 good review online.
Either way I figure I could get a cabin for less than tent camping if we have a group of 6. I also found for 30 a night economy cabins at rays cabins and 18 per person at rift rafters.
Lastly for a few years now on memoiral day weekend there have been big groups of drunks camping the approach to whipporwill, where the fire star is at the trail merger. they said they know the people that owns the land but i doubt that, seems to be an option but dont want to get fined. What are the consequences for camping in the woods randomly?
Any beta greatly appreciated (ps I know that DWS is "Banned" but last I checked the police here don't climb rocks so good luck catching me)
May 11, 2010
Advice: Make sure to lock your car & cover any valuables when you park in the dirt parking lot before you climb at the lake. We had friends who had their car broken into there while we were climbing & a ton of camping/climbing gear stolen.
|By Clay Rardon|
From: Morgantown, WV
Sep 15, 2010
Awesome area, the steep/overhanging climbing + water had me thinking about Ton Sai and Railay the entire time I was at Summersville Lake.
If you have a big dog, you can bring him/her down by:
go to the ladder, then double back to the first right and keep your dog leashed, stay right for ~10 minutes until you find two houses. When on the trail behind the second house another trail breaks right and downhill follow this until you see a larger gray house, look to the right for a gully (note: there is no real trail to the gully) hike down this gully until it leads to a break in the cliff... this is just a minute or three past Orange Oswald.
Again Keep Your Dogs Leashed near those houses!!!
From: Muncie, IN
Dec 26, 2011
Hi, does anyone know how the climbing in in January at the Whippoorwill crag is like?
Jul 10, 2012
Hi I was wondering if anyone found a pair of La Sportiva Muira women's size 36 at summersville lake/narcissus cave/near sniff that drill 5.8 route on July 8th. Thanks for your help!
Nov 8, 2012
Are Whippoorwill and Pirate's Cove currently climbable? I thought they were usually accessible sometime in October, but have seen elsewhere that the water level for Summersville should be below 1600 here: www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/whitewater.html It is currently at 1615. Higher than normal from Sandy and recent rain, or good to go?
|By Fred Gomez|
From: Lewisburg, WV
Nov 8, 2012
A friend of mine went and climbed Indian Summer several weeks ago, so i would imagine you're good to go on both Pirate's Cove and Whippoorwill. The lake was quite low last I checked.