Groover Trip ReportI don’t remember the first time I tied a figure eight and roped up to tackle the vertical world. I don’t remember my first multipitch route. I don’t remember the first time I picked up a trad rack to lead a clean line but I will remember my first Grade III climb because on Groover at Laurel Knob I matriculated from being a mini-epic’er to a full grown epic’ist.
On paper Groover doesn’t sound all that tough and as far as Laurel Knob goes it isn’t. 6 pitches, ~900 feet, of up to 5.8 trad slab. Sounds simple. What the stats don’t tell you is that after the first pitch you are committed to finishing the route because the route wanders so far right that you are above blank slab leaving you without the option to build leaver anchors even if you wanted to part with gear. The stats don’t tell you that 5.8 friction climbing is no longer 5.8 climbing when the rock is wet. The stats don’t tell you that you need to be mentally prepared for the sh*t to hit the fan because at places like Laurel Knob it can hit the fan fast.
The rest of the trip report contains some colorful language that might not be the best for SummitPost. The full TR is on my blog Groover TR