Commitment Rapid, East Glacial River

IV+

Rapid Rating

4.25

River Kilometer

About Commitment Rapid

Commitment and Green Room are the two major rapids in this section. You won’t have the ability to scout from the river, so scouting from the road is highly recommended. We recommend parking here for the scout and walking down towards the river. This rapid packs a punch, regardless of what line you chose. There is a steep hole that starts on the river left wall and takes up ¾ of the river. This hole should not be taken lightly, even at low water. A mistimed boof stroke has landed many kayakers in here doing cartwheels both in and out of their boat. One kayaker got beat down and flushed out but was so disoriented he accidentally swam back in for another round! Rafts are not advised to take the left line unless the water is very high. The cliff wall below juts out and can bounce you back into the hole. The right line involves a diagonal wave that flips lots of rafts and on rare occasions pushes them into the hole on the left. 

How to Run Commitment Rapid

After some busy water following Alarm Clock, the river will straighten out and narrow significantly. Looking ahead you should see Commitment’s horizon line. One of the aspects that makes Commitment so challenging are the boils in the pool above the rapid. As you enter the pool above, be prepared to lose all of your momentum. You will need to work to quickly regain your momentum for success in the rapid. There is a line of boils in the right-center leading towards the rapid that can feel like climbing a hill. If you get pushed too far left or too far right, the chances of success decrease significantly. 

The raft line is to start left of center in the pool above Commitment, with a slight right angle. Charge left to right and hit the diagonal wave with a 2 o’clock angle (perpendicular to the wave). The boils make it challenging to make a pure left to right move. Focus more on building momentum and correcting the angle of the boat at the last second. If you hit the wave correctly, the boat will typically fill up with water and drift back to the center below the hole. You can then catch an eddy on river left to set safety for the next boat. An angle that is too parallel to the current (12-1 o’clock) will almost certainly flip in the diagonal wave. Taking a flat 3 o’clock is worse and can cause the raft to flip upstream towards the hole. 

The boof line should be taken by kayakers only, unless the water is extremely high. Navigate the same boiling pool above the drop. At 30-55 m³/s there is a flake above the center of the hole that is great to boof off. Above 50 m³/s it is still possible to boof center, but it becomes more challenging as the water gets higher. At these higher flows, a tongue opens up along the left cliff wall. While still not easy, momentum and a nice boof stroke should propel kayaks through. This is also the extremely high water raft line (90-120 m³/s).

Approaching commitment rapid on the East Glacial River

Approaching Commitment Rapid at medium water.

The Crystal Hole in the Grand Canyon

A raft going through the right line of Commitment Rapid at low water. The boat has spun after hitting the right wave with a 2 o’clock angle.

Hitting the center line boof in Commitment Rapid at medium water.

The center line boof is awesome at medium flows.

Hitting the left hole at high water. Remember, the left line is only an option for rafts at high water. Photo by Mirto Menghetti