Commitment, Five Open Books 5.9

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.4)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
11 Total Ratings
5 star: 45%  (5)
4 star: 45%  (5)
3 star: 9%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Brendan

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
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   May 30, 2008 - 08:13am
Approach: park at Yosemite lodge/camp 4 and take the falls trail. Bear left and up hill after 200-300 yards, follow climber trails up some 2/3 class for 5-10 minutes. At the base of the buttress, bear right, go about 200 yards and bear left. Scramble up some 3/4 class on your left to get to the base of the route.

Gear: 60m rope, larger TCUs, 2: #.5, 2: #.75, 2: #1, 2: #2, 1: #3, 1 set med to large nuts. Can potentially bring smaller rack.

Don't start in the dihedral on left, Jam up the 5.8 hand crack on the first pitch. Jams are solid, rock is good, and it is the best climbing pitch of the route.

Belay 1: Bolted anchor on slab above hand crack.

Belay 2: belay at tree is possible. If you want to set a trad anchor just above/attached to tree, anchor takes 3", 2", #7-8 nut up high. Apparently also possible (though I haven't done it) to belay about 10 feet past tree on face.

Pitch 3- some cool moves. Pro at roof is bomb. Belay 3 is off small trees at the top.

Descent, head west and down. Bear right after about 40 feet. Follow trail till it opens up and water fall on right. Rap the bolts there using a 60m, 50m MIGHT reach, I have no idea. Follow 4th class drainage for approx 20 feet, bear right into woods. Follow climber trails to falls trail and car.

Happy climbing!
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Bryan Bower

Intermediate climber
Yosemite, CA
Feb 7, 2002 - 02:46pm
 
Oh so gorgeous. I tend to disagree on the crux though: I don't find it difficult as long as you commit to hand jams (not undeclinging etc.!) and reach up for the big jug around the roof. Make sure you extend your pro under the roof of you WILL be sorry. I was; with so much rope drag that my final nut popped out as I made the final mantle, and barely made it to the belay tree!
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Vic

Intermediate climber
Yosemite, CA
May 10, 2001 - 05:13pm
 
Fun route. Easy approach, no line, good protection, and consistent difficulty most of the way - i.e. 3 pitches of 5.8ish climbing versus a bunch of 4th class for 1 good pitch.

Great practice for lie-backing on the 1st pitch.
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Swerbo

Intermediate climber
Yosemite, CA
May 15, 2001 - 06:53pm
 
I'm not sure what "Vic" is talking about below, so I thought I'd clear up a few things...

First, although the approach is "easy" as described by Vic, it can be difficult to find the first time up there. However, there are usually so many people climbing either Mung or Commitment, that someone can point you in the right direction -- scramble up some easy 4th class and traverse the ridge as far to the right as possible, then start near the tree.

Second, I'm not sure why anyone would "layback the first pitch" as also described by Vic below. The first pitch is all about low-angle, straight in hand jamming. The SECOND pitch presents a wonderful opportunity to layback easy 5.7 terrain after pulling around the roof.

Have fun!
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Mike

Intermediate climber
Yosemite, CA
May 28, 2001 - 10:22am
 
Good climb. Three solid pitches. On May 26th there was a ton of ants lurking within the crack on the first pitch. Once we started climbing, the swarmed us. Thankfully, the bits did not hurt... too bad. My advice is to be ready for ants, and climb quickly and efficiently through them. They mostly were in the first 40 feet of the crack. Still a good climb!!!
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bob

Advanced climber
Yosemite, CA
Jun 4, 2001 - 12:24am
 
Hey Swerbo, the original first pitch is the right-facing layback corner, which is probably what Vic is talking about. Most people now do the jam crack above the tree.
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Chris McNamara

Big Wall climber
Mill Valley, CA
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   Sep 12, 2001 - 03:06pm
On August 25th, Climb for Yosemite volunteers, along with climbing ranger Lincoln Else, went to the base of Five Open Books, where they cleaned the trail and placed a subtle trail marker at the base and top of the trail, a three-foot post bearing a single image of a carabiner.
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tom

Advanced climber
Mill Valley, CA
Feb 9, 2002 - 07:34pm
 
The Surprise crack is just to the right of Commitment. It's easier than Commitment, but harder than Munginella. The best part is the *surprise* you get 20 feet from the top of a fine crack system. I'm not telling.
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Tom

Advanced climber
Mill Valley, CA
Feb 9, 2002 - 07:38pm
 
The third right-facing dihedral, after Munginella and Commitment is The Surprise (5.8). This is an excellent route. The best part is the surprise you get after climbing up the excellent crack system. I'm not telling.
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Rob

Intermediate climber
Mill Valley, CA
Feb 24, 2002 - 07:10am
 
A nice climb, took us just over an hour to climb. 3 short pitches. There are bolts at the top of the first pitch, and the second pitch has a real nice belay ledge. The third pitch is not that hard, I was expecting a more challenging roof problem.
Be aware of rock fall from the top if there is a party in front of you. We had a party infront of us, after they toped out many rock started to fall to the right of the roof, some of them being the size of base balls. All too close for comfort. I noticed that we also knocked a few rock off of the top. We had our brain buckets on. The route can probaly be done is two pitches with a 60 meter rope.
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jim

Novice climber
Mill Valley, CA
Feb 27, 2002 - 10:17pm
 
sorry bout those baseball sized rocks rob, hope you heard us yealling at ya! it is a really loose finish and you have to be extremely careful if someone is below you....and we were extremely careful, but those rocks that hide in the dirt and come out as you step on them are unpredictable.
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jim

Novice climber
Mill Valley, CA
Feb 27, 2002 - 10:31pm
 
i forgot to mention another thing, at the top of pitch one, there was a ligt breeze and a slightly skunky smell followed by minor light-headedness. Can anyone explain that? rob?
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Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Mar 3, 2002 - 06:36am
 
Light headed, must have been from following your rocket leader! Skunk? Hmmm... Strange things happen when you are light headed! No explination to give! And no, we could not hear you guys yelling about the rocks, thanks for being careful, you guys were on the ball and we knew it was not intentional, like I said I noticed we dislodged rocks also. Perhaps well cross paths again, we go to the valley on a regular basis, feel free to come along sometime, drop an e-mail.
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Mike

Advanced climber
San Mateo
Apr 16, 2002 - 12:00pm
 
A word of caution. These are great climbs but there is a serious potential for rockfall, especially when exiting or hiking off the climbs. I was hit this past weekend by a softball sized rock right at the start of commitment. Luckily, I will be able to climb again this spring. There were three other climbers injured much more seriously than myself the day before on sangenella. Please use extreme caution when climbing, exiting, and descending these climbs. Please wear a helmet around the base as well at all times!
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SuperTopo
Alert!
Apr 16, 2002 - 07:10pm
 
Rock Fall Danger : many climber have been hit or nearly hit when climbers above them dislodged rocks from the end of the last pitch.

If you are climbing the last pitch, use extreme care not to dislodge rocks near the top. When belaying the follower, be sure that the rope is not running over any loose rocks.

Everyone should always wear a helmet when climbing in Yosemite. At Five Open Books, it is especially important.

If you are just starting the route and there are climbers above, you may want to wait until they have finished climbing. This is a hassle, and may not leave you enough time to finish the route, but it is the only way to be sure someone above does not send a rock only your head.
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Greg Barnes

climber
Apr 16, 2002 - 09:42pm
 
We replaced two 1/4" bolts at the top of pitch 1 with a single good 3/8" stainless bolt. There are also one non-stainless newer 3/8" and one 5/16" buttonhead at this station, so 3 bolts total. We also replaced the tangle of webbing with rap rings.

Greg Barnes & Karin Wuhrmann - ASCA 4/16/02
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Jun 5, 2003 - 02:23pm
The normal parking area for this climb, The Lower Yosemite Falls parking, is closed permanently. This means that to climb an routes and Five Open Books or Sunnyside Bench you need to park either at the Yosemite Lodge or Camp 4.
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YosemiteCamp4

Trad climber
Mill Valley, CA
Jul 8, 2003 - 10:43am
 
Great route. The first pitch is a really nice crack. On the 2nd pitch crux roof move, there is a positive hold inside the crack about 3 feet from where you turn the roof. If you grab that with your left hand and move your feet out right you can reach a big hold around the corner of the roof. Then you just lie-back through the roof and you're done.

On the last pitch I did the 5.9 lieback variation and it was really nice.
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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
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   Dec 11, 2004 - 08:03pm
Just out today 12/11/04 and took John for a ride up this route. There is a little seeping around the crux, where the hands are also wet. Stepped on a wet edge too, but everything held long enough to pull around the corner of the roof.

I would expect the wettness to be transitory, but it has been a winter very different then the past 2 or 3. And while there was snow on the Valley floor we basked in the sunlight on the route, very warm... and absolutely no one around all day.

I haven't done this route since '99 and everything about it was great; better then I remembered.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   May 20, 2005 - 11:04pm
After climbing this Saturday in the Valley, we went scouting to look at
Munginella for the next day. It was my first time to Five Open Books, so
I followed the SuperTopo approach. We did not find the carabiner post
before dark fell, and the directions did not seem to match. The next day,
we quickly figured it out.

There are two entrances to walk up to Lower Yosemite Falls. We approached
from the area located near the shuttle stop (someone told me this was a
new entrance). The walkway takes you around the west of Yosemite Creek
and meets up with the other walkway at the falls.

You might want to add the following to future revisions:
Starting at the entrance near the restrooms, walk toward Lower Yosemite
Falls....

Thanks,

Mark
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Nov 12, 2007 - 10:48am
I thought it was one of the easiest 5.9s I've done in the Valley. Pro at the roof is bomber. The move wasn't hard for 5.9 and is short.

The 5.9 lieback at the top was no problem either. Just remember to lieback it.

The falls at both cruxes would be clean.

The top has really been cleaned up! Thanks to the efforts of everyone who has helped. Straight over the top of the final 5.9 lieback is the best tree/spot to belay. There is a pile of rocks to the side that used to be spread out over the dirt in this area. I picked up perhaps another dozen rocks. So the top is fairly free of big loose rocks in the belay area. Someone could still be dumb and dislodge something, but now there is a lot less loose stuff up there, so it's much less dangerous than before. I hope the same thing has happened to Munginella.
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drc

Trad climber
Durham, NC
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   Nov 13, 2007 - 06:39pm
Agree with below. Did Nutcracker and Bishops Terrace on same weekend and thought they were both stiffer.
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Sketchy John

Trad climber
Bay Shore, NY
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   Apr 28, 2008 - 06:31am
The roof "crux" CLimbs like any number of gunks lines. P3 crux seemed much more secure than the 5.8 polished armbar liebacking off the tree starting pitch one. a 50 lb bag of dirt and sand cut loose on us through the P3 crux chute and covered me on the p-2 belay (nothing big thank GOD. really gLad it didn't happen 5 min later during the lead). The last 20 ft of P3 (5.9 chimney/layback) was fantastic. G-gear the whole way.
The walkoff was easier/less heady than the approach (note: bear right and slightly uphill at fork on walkoff).
Lots of cued up loose smeg at the top of P3. Be careful and climb P3 fast on windy days.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Oct 27, 2008 - 08:41am
Great photo trip report on climbing all the Five Open Books routes in a Day

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=707959
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Simmeron

Trad climber
Reno, NV
Apr 20, 2009 - 02:58pm
 
Did this route last weekend and loved it. Can't decide if I liked the 5.8 hand crack at the start or the 5.9 roof more. As the name implies the roof was more commmiting than hard. After the roof, scam a rest before you shoot up the lieback right after since it is somewhat sustained. Also, the "5.9" move at the top felt more 5.8 than 5.9. I climbed it more as a bear hug than a lieback.

There was a party that seemed to struggle on the climb and when they topped out, they dumped buckets of baseball sized rocks down on us and the party in front of us TWICE! Yikes!! Thank God for the cover of those roofs.

Since there seems to be so much warning about not getting on this route due to rockfall, perhaps there should also be a warning for people unsure of their skills as climbers (i.e. rope management skills, scrambling on loose dirt and rock skills, etc.) before they get on this climb to protect their fellow climbers.
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Fungi

Trad climber
Sonora, CA
Apr 24, 2009 - 09:53am
 
Excellent route.

Simmeron: Same thing happened to me. Climbing party ahead of us dumped golf ball sized rocks on us and it whizzed by my head.

SUPERTOPO: Is it possible to put up signs at the top of five open books routes saying "Do not kick rocks down"? Seeings how this crag is attractive to the beginning trad climbers, I think this would be a good reminder to all that could potentially save lives.
Thank You
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Simmeron

Trad climber
Reno, NV
Apr 29, 2009 - 03:27pm
 
I definitely agree with fungi. While you assume some risk in deciding to climb this route with climbers this area with climbers above, there should be some guarantee that the climbers above you on a 5.9 route are good enough to move with care. You have to move like a stealthy cat at the top to avoid knocking rocks down. When I belayed, I looped the slack of my rope over a horizontal branch to keep it off the ground so it wouldn't knock rocks down on people. Maybe if more people tried this with their ropes it may keep some rocks from becoming missiles.
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NotIt

Trad climber
SF, CA
Apr 30, 2009 - 09:54am
 
If you're gonna use the tree as a redirect, girth hitch a sling over the branch and run the rope through a 'biner rather than going rope on bark; you'll save your rope and the tree in the long run.
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Floyd Hayes

Trad climber
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
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   Jun 22, 2009 - 09:41am
The first few moves of the pitch 1 hand crack are tricky (considered by some to be as hard as the pitch 3 crux) and even a short, awkward fall onto the tree trunk can be painful for either the leader or a follower. Apparently there have been several injuries, including a friend of mine who broke her foot last week while climbing third at the end of the rope (her husband was tied in 20' above her, unfortunately there was some slack between when she fell about 7 or 8 feet). The start is best protected by stepping up the trunk and placing gear as high as you can reach. Keep a tight belay for the follower(s). Some crack climb the start, others (like me) layback it, and one of my friends thought the knobs to the right of it were easier.

A lovely California Mountain Kingsnake was in a crack just below the pitch 3 crux on June 18.
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Ed H

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
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   Jun 18, 2013 - 02:48pm
Did this climb last weekend with a party of 3 - each of us got to lead at our level - 5.8, 5.7, 5.9! P1 5.8 pitch start is a little tricky - I did lie back with no problem. Leader did jams and peeled off a few times. P2 is cruiser. P3 5.9 roof crux protects well, and I'm tall, so I just reached out and grabbed the (sort of) jug. Cool. Top of P3 also has 5.9 move that felt more like 5.8. I consider myself a 5.8 leader, and I'm glad I lead the 5.9 pitch - do it! Also climb the Caverns - then FOBIAD!

Wear a helmet cause the rocks are raining down on you...scary

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scotticus

climber
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   Sep 5, 2013 - 02:46pm
Did this route on Sunday 09/01/2013 and had so much fun it should be illegal!

My partner had an awkward time trying to lieback the first few moves on pitch 1 and fell into the tree, spraining his ankle. He decided to tough it out though, so we did the climb anyway.

After he got to the belay at the top of p1 some soloists came by and cruised past--they just straight-up hand/foot-jammed that awkward part, and I used a similar tactic (hand-jams with stemming) with no problem when I was seconding up that pitch. I didn't have trouble finding stances to clean the gear either... I think the reason that it's such an "awkward lieback" is because that's what everybody is expecting from reading about the route and doesn't think to try something different.

I did the 5.7 face variation at the beginning of p2. Super easy for a tall guy like me, but not well-protected. There was a flexible flake sitting in the undercling above the face moves... don't think it was prone to falling but might flex enough to allow a cam to slip out when loaded. I decided to run it out a bit and plugged a mega-bomber piece once the crack became vertical. After that, it was a cruiser lieback that will eat BD .75's all day if you're not conservative with your rack.

The p3 roof is very well-protected with an amazing #2 placement right before you exit the roof, though you have to work a bit to get the cam in there (the crack flares in a bit past the opening). Have your belayer point out where to put it so you can get it in deep and it won't be bottoming against a flake. Climbing out from under the roof was so much fun!

I felt the liebacking on p3 offered a ton of rest stances, so it wasn't that strenuous. The exit move was fun--my partner liebacked around it and I squeezed through the mini-chimney with some OW moves. Nothing like a good chest jam!
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Five Open Books - Commitment 5.9 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Commitment takes the cleanest cracks of the Five Open Books.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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