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Groove Tube 

YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 180'
Original:  YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Mark Maffe 1995 First Pitch, Ray Bernard? 2nd Pitch
Season: year round
Page Views: 11,387
Submitted By: Adam on Dec 24, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (128)
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The "famous" Groove Tube on Fire Wall.

Warning Stainless-steel bolts are suspect near the coast. A rebolting effort is underway. MORE INFO >>>


This is a very cool climb!!!

On the first pitch the crux might be near the ground. The 2nd pitch is seldom done but has a few harder spots.

Mark Maffe discovered the first pitch of Groove Tube in 1995. It was buried beneath jungle growth and he cleaned it, added protection and gave the rating 5.10 (even though it was a very soft rating - he was worried that no one would climb it if he rated it lower, especially given the already soft ratings in that area - and he really wanted people to climb it since it's such a fun climb).
FA info in King's original guidebook was a misprint.


Once you've pulled yourself up the fixed ropes: Walk to the right on the very eroded hill. You can't miss this one, the TUBE!!!


Draws. I seem to remember something about 2 ropes, but now I'm not sure about that. 2nd pitch might be a long one.

Photos of Groove Tube Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Fun, slightly awkward start!
Fun, slightly awkward start!
Rock Climbing Photo: Heading up the tube!
Heading up the tube!
Rock Climbing Photo: Greg Martinez on Groove Tube
Greg Martinez on Groove Tube
Rock Climbing Photo: francois dans groove tube
francois dans groove tube
Rock Climbing Photo: Loved this route!
Loved this route!
Rock Climbing Photo: nearing the top (groove tube is on the right with ...
nearing the top (groove tube is on the right with ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down the tube
Looking down the tube
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting in the Groove
Getting in the Groove
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting in the tube
Getting in the tube
Rock Climbing Photo: Groove Tube, Tonsai
Groove Tube, Tonsai

Comments on Groove Tube Add Comment
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By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Mar 3, 2007

This is a really fun and unique climb! A couple of things: it's really probably only 5.8, and it gets a big line! both times we walked by fire wall, there were at least 3 parties waiting to get on this thing! It's good, but I wouldn't say it's worth waiting more than 10 minutes for. Lots of hype on this one...
By reboot
From: .
Jun 25, 2007

The second pitch is fairly short and arches to the left. It goes ~5.10. Be warned that a 60m will NOT get you (rappel) down to the ground. There is a set of bolts 100 ft above ground you can rap off of that's somewhat below the 2nd pitch, but please back up the rap as you might swing trying to reach it.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Oct 19, 2007

I believe the first pitch has as many as 11 slings on it. To me, it's a classic and worth waiting for and I thought it was unique. Then again......we didn't have to wait.

By Livia
From: Moose Jaw, SK
Jan 18, 2008
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I think some of the variability in ratings for this climb has to do with the polished rock combined with the heat and humidity. On a cool(ish), dry(ish) day, this would feel 5.8. On a hot, humid (read--normal) day, this feels like climbing on butter (damp hands combined with chalk) spread on glass and feels more low 5.10. That said, I had a blast. For those that really enjoy climbing unique features on a non-contrived route, this is your climb.
By Lindsey Robinson
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 21, 2014

Because of the tube-like nature of the climb, it stays fairly shaded in the morning, but your belayer will be roasting in the morning sun.

definitely squeeze your way through the hole at the start (if you can fit)
By Genevieve Lampinen
From: philadelphia
Jan 7, 2016

Suspect anchor. Rope was very worn, possibly worn through core. Maybe someone can bring up some slings and replace them :)

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