Commitment, Five Open Books 5.9
Avg time to climb route: 2-2.5 hours
Approach time: 30 minutes
Descent time: 30 minutes
Number of pitches: 3
Height of route: 350'
OverviewCommitment is one of Yosemite's best 5.9 3-pitch climbs. This route warms you up with two straight-forward pitches then blasts you with an intense and memorable crux. Although this is a first 5.9 Valley route for many climbers, there is nothing easy about Commitment. The route's wild crux is well, committing. Tenuous lieback moves under a large roof leads to strenuous and exhilarating 5.9 liebacking that will leave you with a full appreciation for this route.
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Five Open Books HistoryClimbers have always appreciated short approaches, so it’s not surprising that the area around Lower Yosemite Fall attracted attention in the 1960s. Only minutes from Camp 4 lay a wealth of possible routes on the various tiers of cliffs. One trouble: these cliffs were not exactly composed of pristine granite. Trees, bushes, munge, loose dark rock—you name it, these cliffs had it. In a valley renowned for its sparkling white granite, this place was an aberration. But let’s not forget that approach! - Steve Roper
FA: Jim Bridwell, Dave Bircheff and Phil Bircheff, 6/66.
StrategyThis climb warms up with two straightforward pitches before a memorable lieback crux. Although this is the first multi-pitch 5.9 for some climbers, the route’s wild crux is, well, committing. It’s possible to pull through most crux moves on gear. If too crowded, consider The Caverns or Try Again Ledge.
The first pitch ascends an awesome splitter. The third pitch is the clear crux of the route. It involves 5.9 lieback moves past solid protection. Use long slings around the roof or experience horrible rope drag up higher. Be extraordinarily careful not to drop rocks on the loose topout.
ApproachWalk toward Lower Yosemite Fall for 100 yards looking left for a climbers’ trail marked by a carabiner post. Follow the climbers’ trail marked by three more carabiner posts. The fourth post is within 15 feet of the wall and the start of Munginella. For Commitment and all routes to the right, climb the first 20 feet of the Munginella 3rd class and move way right on a ledge. Another option is, from the last carabiner post, to skirt the base of the wall down a few hundred feet then up.
DescentThe descent takes about 15 minutes back to the base (no fun in climbing shoes). Walk west and a little down for a few hundred yards on a climbers’ trail until you reach the open slabs area. Continue west across the slabs to a 3rd/4th class descent trail. Consider rappelling this section when wet with one 60m rope (or 50m rope by staying a bit to the left at the bottom). Below the slabs, follow the trail east and downward along the base, then slightly back uphill to the last carabiner post at the start of Munginella. Reverse the approach.
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