Minor Groove is probably one of the better routes at Angel Rocks - longer than most of the other routes, fun moves, and great rock all make this a fine route. At first glance it looks like a crack climb, but it's actually a thin face climb with a couple of crack moves in between.
Start the climb on the face below the groove. After about 15 to 20 feet, a left angling crack/groove provides some good holds. The first crux is transitioning from the face into the bottom part of the groove. Look for good face holds - they are small, somewhat hidden, but all there. Continue up the groove using the shallow finger/hand crack in the back. There are some good spots for chimney moves and rests where the groove widens. The second crux is the transition from the groove to the lower anchors. Look for an excellent (although somewhat hidden) hold to the left. Pull up and through the top of the groove, climb past the anchors, and continue up easier ground to the top.
Minor Groove follows the prominent groove to the left of the main face buttress. There is an anchor about 3/4 of the way up with a pair of blue slings attached.
There is a set of anchors on the summit that makes for an easy top rope - just extend the biners far enough to clear the edge. The route can also be led on gear, although it would be thin and sparse, and in the R to X catagory.
First crux on Minor Groove.
Just below the chimney and 1st set of anchors.
Exiting the Chimney
From: Fairbanks, AK
Sep 11, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
A top rope can also be set up on the bolts at the top of the groove to eliminate rope drag/abrasion. There is talk of bolting outside the groove to make this leadable.