The Best ‘Rest Day’, AKA, DWS at Summersville Lake
I just spent the last week at the New with my girlfriend Melissa and a great bunch of old and new friends. For years, talk of renting a pontoon boat on Summersville lake has been bounced around by various freinds, and this weekend all of the factors finally lined up. We had the minimum 6 people needed to make it affordable and we had a truck that could trailer (thanks to Matt de Camara having faith in our ability to use his truck even though we had about two days of trailering experience between 6 people). It was a killer, sunny day that was supposed to be a rest day for me and Melissa, but that didn’t really work out. There’s no way to get out on the lake and have access to the miles of cliff line and not shoe up. The good news is that swimming and adrenaline are very good at warming up tired muscles.
The best part of the day for me was an amazing, juggy, slightly overhanging 5.9 that topped out around 40 ft., with the crux being the last move. Unless you’ve got balls of steel, there are very few things on the lake you’d actually want to top out while deep water soloing at Summersville–most of the cliff line is 60+ feet tall. But this 5.9 climb was the perfect blend of height with just the right spice to make it a perfect DWS climb. Even jumping from 40 feet was a bit hairy–you’ve got to land the jump just right or you can really smack the shit out of your arms, back, ass, or in a man’s case, the “under carriage.” Luckily, we only had one possible burst ear drum, so we figured we did pretty good for the day.
We cruised all over the lake, sampling different parts of the cliff, swimming, and trying not to damage the boat and lose the $1000 security deposit. Here are a bunch of pics from our day. I have no idea why the thumbnails for the vertical images are sideways…I’m working on fixing this issue, but I wanted to get this post up anyway. Below the gallery is some beta for gettin’ your boat on if you ever find yourself at the New in need of an adventurous rest day.
Beta for Renting a Boat and DWS on Summersville
- We rented out pontoon boat from Summersville Lake Retreat. They were cool folks who showed us where good spots were on the lake on a map, and they didn’t seem to care that none of us had a lick of boating experience. Ben was made the official captain. We didn’t have a guide or anything, but it was pretty easy to find our way around.
- The cost for a full day rental after taxes and gas was about $45 per person for 6 people.
- The official beta on DWS on Summersville as described to us by the Retreat folks was this: Climbing is officially condoned by the Parks service. They don’t seem to mind people climbing and falling off the crags into the water. What they do get on people for is jumping from the cliff tops without climbing. Basically, the folks at the Retreat said that rangers were looking out for “Bubbas, buttheads, and Budweisers,” and not climbers. We climbed all day and never got hassled. So as long as you’re climbing and not just jumping from the cliff tops, word is that you’re fine. But this could change at any time, so get the latest beta before you go.