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Deep Water Soloing Details at Summersvile Lake
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Toxins


May 29, 2012, 9:29 PM
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Deep Water Soloing Details at Summersvile Lake  (North_America: United_States: West_Virginia: Roped_Climbing: New_River_Gorge_Region: Gauley_River___Tributaries__Summersville_: Summersville_Lake)
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Hello,

I have a question about deep water soloing here. Would it be best to have a boat when climbing here or can floating tubes work?

My second question is are the routes all established for the deep water soloing or is it more of a find anything you can climb type of deal?

Thanks, im having trouble finding this information on the net


dreday3000


May 30, 2012, 7:11 AM
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Re: [Toxins] Deep Water Soloing Details at Summersvile Lake [In reply to]
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There's a mix of established routes and non. Summersville is actually a damn. During the fall season the damn is drained and over the years climbers have put up a few trad lines and bolted climbs.

You can do some DWS sans boat - but IMHO its a hell of a lot more fun with a boat.

Without a boat, you're best bet to head to the end of the Coliseum area of Summersville. Right in front of the climb Reckless Abandon there's a large rock people jump off to access the water. Jump in the water and swim along the cliff line to your right. Along the way you'll come across a few lines you can DWS - there's a cool 10c crack called Indian summer and eventually you'll come across Pirates Cove which has a couple bolted lines. Mutiny (11c) is great but be sure the water level is adequate as the level of the lake changes.

With a boat there's a lot more to explore. Rent from this Marina http://www.summersvillelakemarina.com/ and head back towards the the Route 19 bridge/ Coliseum area. Along the way you'll pass lots of good spots to DWS. Keep your eyes out for bolts as there are several little gems poking out of the cliff line in random areas.

Whippoorwill is a lot of fun and has a good concentration of climbs. Its in the guidebook as a climbing area but can be reached via boat. Should be just before the bridge if you're coming from the Marina.

I should mention that the legality of DWS in Summersville is sort of in question. A few years ago the Amry Corps of Enginneers instituted a ban on cliff jumping over 6 feet. Its a little unclear if that includes DWS but from what I've heard people haven't had too much trouble. If you search the forum a few threads will pop up. Be interested to hear from other users if they've had any trouble with this.

Good luck and enjoy.

Get a boat if you can. A Jon boat gets you closer into the cliffline but the Pontoon boats are a freaking party


Toxins


May 30, 2012, 7:47 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] Deep Water Soloing Details at Summersvile Lake [In reply to]
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Thank you very much for your reply. I currently live in the houston, tx area and the closest deep water soloing we have is at lake travis, currently the water levels are so low valleys have formed. I assume the water levels in the summer at summersville lake are high in the summer season? Do you know of where I can check to see if the water levels are safe. I was planning to go in the month of August.

I really appreciate your reply, thank you.


granite_grrl


May 30, 2012, 7:56 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] Deep Water Soloing Details at Summersvile Lake [In reply to]
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Have the restrictions for DWS been lifted at Summersville? Last I knew this wasn't allowed.

To the OP, please double check on this before you do something that can contribute to access issues to a climbing area.


dreday3000


May 30, 2012, 7:56 AM
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Re: [Toxins] Deep Water Soloing Details at Summersvile Lake [In reply to]
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Not sure where you can check the water levels but you should be completely fine. I just mentioned the water level around Mutiny because its close to the shoreline and there is a sloping boulder behind the route that can be dangerous if some of the water has already be released from the lake. It will be plenty clear if your landing is safe or not.


Partner camhead


May 30, 2012, 9:37 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] Deep Water Soloing Details at Summersvile Lake [In reply to]
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In general, it is best not to talk too much about the DWS on public internet forums. Land managers read these threads, too.

Also, the 10c splitter Indian Summer is definitely NOT good for a DWS. It arches left, directly over a ledge that is only a foot or two under water.


timesofgrace


Jul 15, 2012, 8:59 AM
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Re: [Toxins] Deep Water Soloing Details at Summersvile Lake [In reply to]
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this may be too late for you, but for anyone else curious about the situation with DWS at summersville, here's what i've learned directly from the army engineers, my own experience, and people working with the land owners.

a boat is great to have at summersville, but inflatable rafts, life jackets, or any floatation device you feel like carrying in on a hike will do. they're certainly helpful but not necessary by any means. i highly suggest something though, you get tired swimming and climbing and trying to pull out of the water with 10 lbs of water in your shorts. you can also go much further from shore and not worry about getting pumped from trying not to drown.

there are some established (bolted) routes in the DWS areas, but there are also lots of jug walls with tons of holds to make up your own problems. if you go to pirates cove there's a great route that goes up under the 'water fall' (it's usually more of a trickle). it starts on a jug usually about 3 feet out of the water and combines juggy traverses and crimpy vertical climbing. it's a great route.

as far as water levels go - during the summer the water most places is deep enough to do and where it isn't, the water is usually so clean you can see any boulders that would be in the way. just use common sense; if you're not sure about something, it's probably not safe.

whipporwill is not a legal access to the lake. i'm not sure where the private property line is exactly but people have been working with the land owner to make the hike in safer and make it legal. the hike in is pretty short and if you go left at the fork it starts to go downhill toward the lake where it can get pretty slippery so people have started to build a stone stair case to make it safer. but again, this isn't a legal access. it is the only other access to deep water soloing at the lake i know of aside from the pirates cove/colosseum area if you don't have a boat. rat's hole used to be open to the public but the land owners don't allow access to the lake there anymore.

to help keep access available where it is and make it available where it isn't, one should always be respectful of the land and the people who own it. i always bring an extra bag or two for my own trash and the mass of beer cans, cigarette packs, and other trash people leave around. don't tear up parking areas and try to fit cars into bushes and other things - just all common sense stuff (or at least i thought it was common sense).

as far as the army corps ban on cliff jumping, yes, it exists. there's up to a $5,000 fine (i think) for cliff jumping off anything over 6 ft high - this is enforced by army boats which patrol the lake. however, climbing is NOT banned and this includes falling. it doesn't matter how you "fall" - if it's on purpose or by accident - as long as you are facing the cliff when it happens. otherwise it's considered cliff jumping.

of course everything i've said is strictly informational and i don't suggest doing anything illegal, blah blah blah. you'll find summersville is a pretty cool place though with lots of people having a great time.


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