The Summersville Lake Climbing Area overlooks the largest lake in West Virginia, Summersville Lake, which is located just south of Summersville, WV. More than 350 routes ascend the cliffs that tower as high as 100 feet above its clear blue waters. Cliff diving is prohibited, though the opportunity to swim and boat while climbing in summer is notably a draw.
Climbing routes at Summersville are rated 5.7 to 5.14 and ascend from 30 to 100 feet. The rocks are ideal for sports climbing and are highly featured with jugs, pockets, huecos, slopers, edges, and horizontals. Their profiles ranges from vertical to severely overhanging. The cliffs are of the massive Nuttall Sandstone that also outcrops to the south in the Meadow River and New River Gorge climbing areas.
Though climbing at Summersville attracts enthusiasts year round, the presence of the lake allows for singular seasonal climbing. Many climbs at Summersville ascend southward-facing rocks that are only slightly vegetated. As a result, these climbs are ideal on warm winter days. Some are accessible only in winter when water levels on the lake are low. Many Summersville climbing areas with moderate climbs are busy in summer, especially on weekends. Climbers sometimes encounter bolts with missing hangers, usually removed by boaters who steal them for souvenirs when the water is up. Due to the seasonal nature of access to some climbing areas, many ascents are still being pioneered.
Summersville Lake Climbing Area Access
The principal climbing area at Summersville Lake is located along the lake's northern shore upstream of the US-19 bridge. Parking is accomodated in a gravelled lot off Up-Yonder Drive, the first exit on the Summersville end of the bridge. With the exception of that at the Pirate's Cove, climbing routes here are accessible year round regardless of the lake level.
Read article: Lake adds to climbing at Summersville
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Content sponsored by New River Climbing School