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Angel Food Wall
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Beheaded Burro T 
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Group Therapy T 
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Purblind Pillar T 
Rebel Within T 
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Tunnel Vision T 
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Group Therapy 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 550', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: 1974, Joe and Betsy Herbst, Randal Grandstaff, Matt McMackin
Page Views: 8,653
Submitted By: John Peterson on Mar 12, 2004

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View from the top of Group Therapy

Description 

Approach as for Tunnel Vision. From the base of TV, work right about 100' to an alcove with a pine tree.

P1: (140', 5.5) Climb up a ways toward the massive cleft above (Healy's Haunted House) but then swing left onto a well featured face. Climb up through an easy bulge and belay on ledges at the base of a prominant off-width that splits the yellow face above. This crack is easily seen from the ground as you approach.

P2: (140', 5.6) The crack soon turns into an offwidth in relatively low angled rock. The moves are pretty easy if you use wide crack technique (heel-toe time!) but this section is fairly sustained. Thin flakes in the side of the crack offer somewhat insecure pro. A #5 Camalot could probably walk up this whole section. Belay at a ledge where the crack thins down again.

P3: (110', 5.5) Climb up the crack and work left before it ends, moving to an obvious crack system coming down from the large roof above. Belay in ledges.

P4: (110', 5.5) Continue up to an area of bushes in the crack. About 20' of easy simulclimbing combines this with the previous pitch.

P5: (180', 5.7) Work up the widening crack to the roof using the slab on the left side. The roof looks improbable but by working in (for pro) and out (for good holds) you can surmount the roof without too much effort. Continue up the crack / chimney into a big alcove and belay.

P6: (150', 5.4) Climb up another 30' or so then avoid the wide crack above (a 5.8 finish) by traversing left on a ledge system to easier ground and the top.

P5 is classic Vegas climbing: an improbable line through a big overhang that looks far harder than it is. You'll need a few big cams (or hexes) to feel comfy on this pitch. We didn't have much big stuff (#2, #3, #3.5 camalot) but the pro seemed adaquate. Just use little stuff whenever possible. The easy part of the chimney below the belay was runout but not scary.

This route was a lot more fun than Tunnel Vision. Plus less waiting in line.

Protection 

Standard Vegas rack with some extra big nuts. A #5 Camalot would probably make pitch 2 much more secure.


Photos of Group Therapy Slideshow Add Photo
     mark and Amy getting to the top of Group Therapy.
mark and Amy getting to the top of Group Ther...
Jonny on the chimney/roof pitch.  <br />We climbed this route in 5 pitches with some simul-climbing. <br /> <br />(Taken 10/3/07)
Jonny on the chimney/roof pitch.
We climbed this ...
Group Therapy start
BETA PHOTO: Group Therapy start
Jonny on the 5.8 finish variation pitch. <br /> <br />(taken 10/3/07)
Jonny on the 5.8 finish variation pitch.

(taken 1...
the easy class 5 slabs leading to the top of the route
BETA PHOTO: the easy class 5 slabs leading to the top of the r...
Lead out from roof
Lead out from roof
Angel Food Wall routes
BETA PHOTO: Angel Food Wall routes
climbing into the alcove at the top of P5
climbing into the alcove at the top of P5
J starting up the last of the two 5.5 pitches
J starting up the last of the two 5.5 pitches
5.7 chimney pitch
5.7 chimney pitch
looking up the big roof
BETA PHOTO: looking up the big roof
Jascha offroute on the first pitch (route traverses left to the base of the offwidth,which you can only see if you step back from the wall)
BETA PHOTO: Jascha offroute on the first pitch (route traverse...
Group Therapy crux chimney pitch 5
BETA PHOTO: Group Therapy crux chimney pitch 5
Looking down from the lip of the overhang!
Looking down from the lip of the overhang!
Looking down from the P4 belay
Looking down from the P4 belay
Under the roof
Under the roof
Stemming at the top of the big overhang.
Stemming at the top of the big overhang.
milkweed on the descent
milkweed on the descent
topping out on our second pitch (we combined P2 and most of P3, but stopped a bit early due to rope drag)
topping out on our second pitch (we combined P2 an...
Looking down at Kurt near the crux of the overhang.
Looking down at Kurt near the crux of the overhang...
the final real pitch for the original route
the final real pitch for the original route

Comments on Group Therapy Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 27, 2014
By Kevin Sturmer
Mar 25, 2004

this climb is a great alternative if there are people on tunnel vision. the day i went to climb tunnel vision there was a party of three just starting the 1st pitch so we went and did group therapy. route finding was alittle tough at times(we had very little beta) but its a great day out. go check it out; real fun
By Anthony Anagnostou
From: nyc
Apr 21, 2004

i walked right to the base of TV figuring id just move right to the pine tree and find the start of GT, but it wasnt so obvious to me. after a little bouncing around between possible alcoves with pine trees, i guess it is the first alcove past TV with a Big pine tree. I guess i should have scoped the route from the ground as reccomended.

A little easy simulclimbing links the first two pitches, as you can with p3/p4. The roof is fun, unless you have a pack on. The bushy ledges to belay below the roof (top of p4)- we belayed at the upper, lefter, bushy ledge, and had to traverse right to the crack off the belay. Should we have been at the lower ledge by the wide crack that becomes the roof weakness?

The 5.8 straight up variation is kind of sketchy. It looked like flour-y rock, with loose bits and pieces to stem off of. I pulled over anyway, but it's just a bit sketchy IMHO, compared to the relative solidity of the rest of the climb.
By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
May 29, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Quite possibly the best 5.7 at RR.

josh
By Jason D. Martin
Nov 22, 2005

It should be noted that instead of escaping on the last pitch by climbing up and left, there is an awesome 5.8 crack that continues straight up. Some of the holds feel a little shaky, but it goes and puts a little more icing on the cake than simply escaping.

Jason
By Danny Inman
From: Arvada
Nov 27, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Great route. Climbed this in four pitches with a 70-m with no problems at all. The 5.8 roof on the last pitch is a great finish. Descended the first gully (i.e., the northernmost gully) following cairns takes 30-40 min approx to get back to the base of the route, no raps, no down-climbing.
By John Hegyes
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 5, 2007

I especially like this climb because there are zero bolts on it. The 5.8 variation finish is fun.
By Ron Graham
Nov 11, 2008

You might find it worthwhile to take a couple of #5 Camalots along to help protect yourself in the roof crack and in the slabby chimney leading up to it. Generally, this route eats up gear if you bring the right stuff. I highly recommend using a 70M rope to do the 3rd and 4th pitches as a single long pitch (it's such an easy and fun lead you don't want it to end!), but you'll need to bring along some extra long slings to help reduce rope drag. I did the route with two other guys and we found the belay stances to be quite comfortable for all of us at the transitions. This is a good multi-pitch route for a group of 3 or 4 climbers.
By aghetie
Nov 11, 2008

Did this route on Nov 4th, entirely in the shade. We used a 4.5 Camalot at the crux. Oddly enough there were no chalk marks anywhere. Route finding is obvious after the first pitch, tho. Well worth it, IMO.
By John Hegyes
From: Las Vegas, NV
Nov 12, 2008

"Oddly enough there were no chalk marks anywhere."
That's the way we like it...
By Chris Wenker
From: Santa Fe
Apr 27, 2009

""Oddly enough there were no chalk marks anywhere.""
"That's the way we like it..."

Yeah, but too bad about the stupid (recent?) graffiti (a scrawled "NO!") at the start of the 5.8 finish. Bastages.

(FWIW, I guess I did the next crack to the right of the 5.8 finish, more like 5.8- over there, but fun too.)
By David Arthur Sampson
Apr 29, 2009

I liked the crack to the right for the last pitch. It was fun.
By Doug Foust
From: Henderson, Nevada
Jun 7, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

bring a #5 if you want to avoid serious runout.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 14, 2009

i just did this route again for the first time in years and its been far too long since i've done it- what a great little route!

i actually lugged up the #5 C4 and used it once- at the roof crux, which was nice to have, although if you're strong and solid on the wide, gear to the #4 C4 is probably plenty, just be prepared to run it through the crux.

on another note- i did the 5.8 finish as described in the handren guide (the right hand of the two cracks above the final belay), and i would say its more like 5.7 and is the natural finish to the route. the crack on the left looked much harder (nice job, john!)- i passed on it because it looked kinda rotten and a little harder than 5.8, but i guess i was mistaken.

finally for those considering this route- its a solid step up from Tunnelvision in terms of gear placement and anchoring techniques, and its definitely more run out than tunnelvision, although if you have a #5, its not dangerously so.
By Julius Beres
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 13, 2009

This was a fun line... I did the 5.8 finish and was disappointed to see the graffiti there! Why would anyone think it is OK to write "no" with an arrow on the rock?!

I was worried at first that the only reason someone would deface the rock like that was that there was some sort of death block ready to come loose and kill climbers. I found the climbing to be normal 5.8 climbing with nothing particularly loose and decent protection. There is no excuse for the graffiti on the 5.8 finish!
By Jake Gounaris
Oct 18, 2009

It's a great route. If you don't like run out climbs than bring a few large cams. Be sure to give your self plenty of time to climb it, as there are no bolted rappels so you have to topout and hike down.
By Brandt Allen
From: Joshua Tree, Cal
Nov 5, 2009

A few thoughts on the above comments:

The climb is probably a little more than 100 ft. right of Tunnel Vision. Photo #6 above helped us find the start with no problem.
We took a #5 Camalot and used it enough (2 or 3 times) that we thought it was worth towing along.
The 2nd pitch is easily stemmed; no heel-tow OW technique needed.
As mentioned above, with a 70 meter rope pitches 3 and 4 can be linked.
We did the route Nov. 2 and had sun on the first few pitches of the climb till about 10:00 a.m.
The right crack finish is highly recommended and definately has a 5.8 move at the start of the crack.
I thought this was a great route. Different climbing (wide cracks) than Purblind Pillar but equal quality to make it a tie for the best route on Angel Food Wall.
By Unboundquark
Mar 31, 2010

I climbed this route yesterday with Larry DeAngelo. I led P 1,2,4,5,7 (5.8 variation). Weather was in the high 70s with a 30mph gusting to 50 winds from the Southwest. Angel Food Wall faces NE. The howling winds we encountered in the parking lot were non-existent once we were on the rock. It was mostly calm for us, with a raren strong breeze.

On this wall I've also climbed Tunnel Vision and Purblind Pillar. They're all great routes but Group Therapy is my favorite out of the bunch so far.

The gear I took was 1 set of wires, 1 set of cams up to 1", 2 cams 2"-4", and one 5" or 6" cam. The selection I brought felt just about right. I ran it out a little on some of the easier climbing, but generally the pro was very good. We placed the 5" cam a total of 4 times.

We had a single 60m rope with us and were linked P1 & P2 with a little bit of simulclimbing. P4 & P5 linked without any issues too.

I took the 5.8 variation for the final pitch. I would put the single harder move maybe at 5.7+, but I didn't really see it being that much more difficult than others on the route.

Overall this was a really fun route with a fun mix of cracks, face, a squeeze through a little chimney section, and some fun off-widths.

-Glenn
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jan 12, 2011

Recently (Dec 2010), someone added three bolts to this route- two at the top of the first pitch, and one on the second for protection. On 1/11/11, I went up Group Therapy to have a look at the bolts and found that they had been removed, with the holes patched.

For those who may have added these bolts: Please, do not add bolts to routes in Red Rock- the locals here frown upon adding hardware to routes that have been done safely for decades without bolts. Also, it is currently illegal to place new bolts in the wilderness and doing so jeopardizes negotiations with the BLM to allow new bolting.

For more information on this, please see:
mountainproject.com/v/nevada/g...
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 20, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Great route! I also think this is the best route on the wall.

The start can be tricky to locate. Following SuperTopo, we scrambled up into Healy's Haunted House, a wide dark chimney. Once you locate this, look for a car-sized block on the left side of the base of this chimney. This block is visible in the beta photo for the first pitch (I think). We started the pitch by stepping left off this block and onto the face above. You can get to the block easily unroped from the usual start (beta photo location) by heading NW up a short gully and traversing back at its level. [If you don't traverse back, going straight another 50 feet NW will take you to the start of Purblind Pillar.]

We were nervous about pitch 2 and had a #5 Camalot, but there is actually reasonable gear to be found on this crack, although perhaps in somewhat questionable flakes. The real runout is to be found on the roof pitch 5. True, the 20 foot runout is after the crux but it is definitely not for the timid, a #5 Camalot doesn't help for this runout (although we found it useful below, as well as on pitch 2).

We did the route in 4 pitches with a 60m rope. As mentioned, this involves some simulclimbing (combining 1 & 2, and 3 & 4).
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
May 25, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This is a really fun route, but probably not a good choice for the aspiring 5.7/8 leader. There are significant runouts on wide cracks (the small gear on the P.2 offwidth is behind some pretty suspicious flakes with the first solid piece about 40' up). The upper chimney pitch is fabulous (you can easily walk up a #4). We did the 5.8 direct finish, which, although a bit sandy and scrappy, was really fun. To get to the start of the route, scramble up and right in the alcove toward the start of Purblind Pillar (30'), then traverse left on easy ledges to an obvious platform with a small (3" diameter) tree. The descent isn't long by RR standards, but there is a fair bit of scrambling verging on 4th class. At one point there is a nasty 20-foot descent down through a tunnel topped with loose blocks (skier's right), which can be avoided by a short rappel off some fixed slings on the left (this is the only spot where we felt a rappel might be prudent).
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
May 25, 2011

Peter- on the descent where you encountered a choice to rappel, if you go over the saddle to the skiers right, you'll find a casual 3rd class downclimb. Alot of people miss this, which is why that rap station appears now and then.
By Nathan Petrosian
From: Las Vegas, Nevada
Nov 1, 2011

Fun route. didn't use the #5 on the roof crux but it was used on the pitch before that. Nice to link pitches with the 70m.
By Aerili
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 17, 2011

I brought a #5 and thought it was worthwhile for a couple placements, including the roof. I also brought a #4 but I never used it except on the 5.8 variation finish.

If you want to be able to walk a cam up part of the wide crack on p2, you should bring a #6. The #5 is much too small and the flakes people talk about using are psychological pro options only. They're not just questionable, they're laughable. But if you're confident well above 5.7, it is not a big deal to run this section out.

Maybe it was just me, but I found I had to work hard to make bomber belay stations on this route. Lots of less-than-great rock, weird, flaring, and irregular cracks that rejected awesome cam and nut placements, etc. Excellent mental re-training for the climber accustomed to slammer granite!

The scary looking 5.8 finish yielded some of the most fun moves on the route. The roof protects well. I thought the move was closer to 5.8+ than 5.7+, but perhaps this was a mental reaction to the footholds -- which consist of flexy, sandy flakes and smears (the hand jams are solid, however). You get a couple more bomber pieces above and then the climbing is steep but easy on delicate terrain with less/no pro. However, it does take the 5 again if you so wish.

A very nice route.


By NickinCO
From: colorado
Mar 5, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

did this today with nothing bigger than a 4" C4. I'm no offwidth climber and i didnt think it was bad. linked p 3/4 with a 70m and did the 5.8 finish. fun route! pitch 2 was pretty runout but it was super easy. definitely do the 5.8 finish too. similar to the "crux" pitch but better
By Sean
From: Oak Park, CA
May 12, 2013

done in 4 pitches with a 70, on Sun 5/5/2013, with morning sun much of the way. did P1 as is, linked P2 and P3, linked P4 and P5 to base of big roof, then up and over big roof stretching rope to the top. both the huge roof and P2 wide crack are super juggy fun
By Ryan-G
From: San Diego
Feb 18, 2014

Interesting route...two wide and run out pitches that are heads-up and scrambling in between...doesn't make for a complete or congruent experience. Kind of like an alpine route, with less pro. The 5.8 finish is one of the better pitches and protects with wide gear fine...Its also significantly easier, psychologically and technically, than the 5.7 crux pitches.

The chimney is wild, and will likely scare the shit out of any 5.7 leader - a fall would be huge and ugly..I almost took my head off when my helmet jammed on a short slip while on second. It is awesome though..but I imagine you'll want to be a solid 9 leader to enjoy.
By Climb To Safety
From: california
Apr 27, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Climbed this with a 3-man team on 4-25-2014. Black clouds were rolling in and the wind was blowing, but it never got too cold, perfect weather!

The Jerry Handren guidebook calls this a 7-pitch climb. We combined pitches 3 and 4, to make it a 6 pitch climb. Very fun climb from beginning to end. I thought the roof pitch was a bit run out, as we only brought along 1 #4 camalot, and I used it very early. Apparently there are several good places for pro, but I failed to see them on lead.

The walk down the gully, back to the base of climb is kind of long, I recommend you bring your approach shoes for the descent.