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Carl's Bad Caverns 

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

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 180'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Mike Engle, Carl Coy 1985
Page Views: 1,057
Submitted By: AndyKemedy on Aug 14, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (8)
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Leigh Lassle in Hand Jam City!!


Start the route by climbing up and around a large flake above the bolt line for Awk-Wierd Raspberries, past a tree, and down to a right facing dihedral with a hand/fist crack. Climb up this crack until near the end. Climb out left to the face on jugs and up to the anchors for pitch one. For pitch two head up and shoot for the gap in the roof above. Enter the cave and walk to the back. Chimney up through the cave to the top. The anchors are to the left as your facing the wall or to the north. The climb can be done in one pitch with lots of rope drag as both pitches wander a bit. The climbing is very easy at the top so it isn't a huge problem.


The route is a large right facing corner between the bolt lines for Rocking Raspberries and Awk-Weird Raspberries. Start to the right of Awk-Weird Raspberries and climb above and to the left to gain the corner. The first belay is at the anchors for Rocking Raspberries. To descend do a two rope rap from the second pitch anchors.


Standard rack. Fixed bolted anchors for the belays. Number 2 and 3 cams for the hand/fist crack. Lots of slings to sling natural pro and to avoid rope drag.

Photos of Carl's Bad Caverns Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Spicy altertnative finish: go direct bypass the ca...
Spicy altertnative finish: go direct bypass the ca...
Rock Climbing Photo: Nicky and Dillon climbing the chimney
Nicky and Dillon climbing the chimney
Rock Climbing Photo: Andy on top of the flake
Andy on top of the flake
Rock Climbing Photo: Alex entering the cave
Alex entering the cave
Rock Climbing Photo: topo pic
BETA PHOTO: topo pic
Rock Climbing Photo: The rappel
The rappel
Rock Climbing Photo: Andy and Alex at the top of the route
Andy and Alex at the top of the route
Rock Climbing Photo: Alex in the cave
Alex in the cave

Comments on Carl's Bad Caverns Add Comment
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By Brent Kertzman
From: Black Hills, SD
Aug 14, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The original first pitch climbs the splitter that you start out on for Rocking Raspberries (More Direct Line). The route is two equal length pitches when climbing the original direct line. Likewise the original line did not have the Rocking Raspberries anchors and the belay was near the entrance to the caverns located in the corner and setup with clean gear. Why would you not climb and post the very obvious original direct line???
By AndyKemedy
From: Black Hawk, SD
Aug 14, 2011

The only beta I had for the route came from the Dingus McGee Black Hills Needles guide book. The topo shows the route starting in the left facing corner with arrows leading up and around the large flake to get to the routes Raspberry Jam, Solar Flare, and Carl's Bad Caverns. I climbed it and posted it the way I interpreted it from the guide book.
By Brent Kertzman
From: Black Hills, SD
Aug 15, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

It's all good and I hope everyone had the time of their lives. The second pitch is the money maker.

I'm the author and cartographer of Raspberry Rocks for the Poor Persons Guide. The description seems straight forward enough and states "Right-facing dihedral just right of #10 (Rockin' Raspberries). Pitch two involves some vertical spelunking."

The topo might be mis-leading due to the placement of the number for the route. There is some fun jamming direct up the corner you missed on the original line. Start on the ground in the recess behind the large boulder and jam up the fist/ow crack.

Another easier line not too be missed is "Middle of the Road".
By John Gunnels
From: Gillette, WY
Aug 16, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

FA: Carl Coy
By Brent Kertzman
From: Black Hills, SD
Aug 16, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Actually Mike Engle lead the route and Carl Coy followed. The FA was in 1985.
By Byron J. Hastings
From: Mystic, SD
Aug 16, 2011
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

In light of the fact that this is the best easy route here at Raspberry Rocks, I would have to give it classic must do status. Not too mention the unique nature of the second pitch. If you climb it the way the Dakota Kid claims it was originally climbed then, doing so in one pitch will not seem so bad. You might want to take a #4 & #5 camalots for the first 30'.
By AndyKemedy
From: Black Hawk, SD
Aug 16, 2011

Hey Brent thanks for the info. Is the rappel another route or is the 2nd set of anchors just for descending this route? I didn't see them but I was in a hurry, because it was getting late but it would be nice to know where they are. Rapping the route doesn't really seem possible.
By Brent Kertzman
From: Black Hills, SD
Aug 17, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Andy, The anchors near the top on your beta photo are for Uff-Dahedral. There are two sets and it is possible to rap twice with one 60m rope to reach the ground. Carlsbad Caverns doesn't have it's own anchors. Many of the routes did not have anchors originally as we used to walk off the top in our climbing shoes...
By shannon 2me
From: Rapid City, SD
May 4, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I agree Brent -Andy missed some great hand jamming on the first pitch!
If anyone wants to up the ante - don't go spelunking - climb past the opening of the cave -good fingers. A Spicy and fun alternative!!!! 5.9+ need some confirmation!
I believe that the dehidreal jam crack is defiantly harder than 5.7. I would say 8 or 8+ especially if middle of the road is 8+ Either way it is awesome!!!

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