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Chopping Block
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Baba Cool 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Ian Preszler, Dave Brumbaugh, Ron Yahne-1989
Page Views: 6,573
Submitted By: Chad Berger on Sep 20, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (88)
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Love the crystals!

Check NPS for Closures


Located on the Chopping Block. Hike up from the small parking area just as your leaving the Rushmore memorial. Follow obvious trail. Wrinkled Rock is on your right and the Chopping block is on your left. as the trail curves around the Chopping Block, scramble up to base of the routes. Baba Cool is the left most route on the face.Paul Piana describes it as " A perfect Route. All time classic. Climb this one! " He is right. I'd say it is a very solid 10A.


6 Bolts then a 2 bolt anchor. You will probably want to rap off to save your rope.

Photos of Baba Cool Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Joe sending Baba Cool
Joe sending Baba Cool
Rock Climbing Photo: Mark Rafferty on the summit of Baba Cool
Mark Rafferty on the summit of Baba Cool
Rock Climbing Photo: Baker on Baba Cool
Baker on Baba Cool
Rock Climbing Photo: Bri getting after it on this classic.
Bri getting after it on this classic.
Rock Climbing Photo: Stu Ritchie, chilling on Baba Cool.
Stu Ritchie, chilling on Baba Cool.
Rock Climbing Photo: Stu Ritchie on Baba Cool
Stu Ritchie on Baba Cool
Rock Climbing Photo: Nice day for a great climb!
Nice day for a great climb!
Rock Climbing Photo: The Choss Monkey on Baba Cool. Belayed by John Wac...
The Choss Monkey on Baba Cool. Belayed by John Wac...
Rock Climbing Photo: Baba cool at sunset
Baba cool at sunset

Comments on Baba Cool Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 26, 2014
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 19, 2002

It's not 10a.
By Bob Archbold
Aug 19, 2002

In my opinion Bab Cool is 10a. Even though Vern Phinney in his guide book has it rated as 9+. But then most of the 9+'s in Vern's book are 10a. The 10+'s are also 11a
By Anonymous Coward
Dec 22, 2002

Baba cool, way cool! I must climb. Cool side pulls with nice crystals.
By Kevin Fons
Mar 10, 2003

I agree with that it is 10a although it was pretty hot when I did it so that may have had a little to do with it.
By Chad Berger
Mar 20, 2003

I've climbed 10A's all over the country and I think that its on par with alot of other 10's that I've climbed. I also think that Wisconsin Beef is also really, really close to 10A. I think its listed as 9+ in the guidebooks.
By Anonymous Coward
Dec 18, 2003

It's 10a, onsight, if you climb it a few times it may not feel like 10a anymore ...
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 4, 2004

Wow, Baba Cool is a great outing. Must do for an intro Mt. Rushmore lead. Word Up!!!
By Allister Crowley
Oct 4, 2004

At one point in time The Black Hills was a place where 5.9 was not a forgotten grade. There are a bunch of 5.9's on pine tree rock that are hard for the grade. Wasp is another hard 5.9. Now the black hills is turning into the land of bolted cracks. If you want to climb bolted cracks move to France, chizelmonkey.
By Anonymous Coward
Nov 29, 2005

Beware as all of the bolts on this route are loose and can't be tightened. Why hasn't the Coalition fixed this one? This does not make sense to me as there are very new Fixe Open Shuts and bolts for the anchors.
By Ron Yahne
Dec 3, 2005

The bolts are not loose on Baba Cool. The hangers are loose on the bolts which allows them to spin; the bolts themselves are quite solid. I do intend to fix this situation and of course would accept the help of any anon. cowards on this project who would like to do something besides complain.
By Anonymous Coward
Dec 8, 2005

Yo Ron, I'll help. Never bolted before, so it's new to me. Always willing to learn a new skill, fact is I just learned the "Texas Sling". Gimme a call 3819800. It warms up, we fix Baba. -E
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Oct 15, 2008
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Superb route. Jay and I (mostly me I think, right Jay?) wanted to climb this on the last day of our trip to the Hills this summer. After being out there maybe 4-5 times in the last several years and each time wanting to climb this but not getting to do it, the climb had obtained a mythical quality for me. Well the sky was threatening and it was starting to thunder and sprinkle but hell with it! Gotta climb it. The rain was coming in from the other side of the Block and the route mostly stayed dry, and was quite a cap to a great trip. "Climb this one!" indeed.
By stover
Jun 7, 2009

best route for it's grade in the hills. if not the best route in the hills.
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Jul 23, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I climbed this route on my first climbing trip over ten years ago. I remember thinking then that it was one of the best routes I had ever done. I got back on it yesterday and I had that feeling reaffirmed. Baba Cool is one of those all time classic routes. Yesterday it made me realize that if this is what climbing can be, then I always want to be a climber.
By Corey Morris
From: Fort Sam Houston, TX
Dec 31, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

The very best sport climb I've been on for it's grade...
By Doug Lintz
From: Kearney, NE
Aug 20, 2013

Don't pass this one up. Superb climbing and position.
By Gregory
From: Fort Collins
Sep 23, 2013

Would be a classic in any area, simply amazing!
By Chad Koch
From: Mission Hill,SD
Sep 24, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

As has been stated by many others here, this climb is fantastic! Everything you could ask from a route...steep, balancy, great moves, just an ultra classic route.

I am on the fence about the 10a consensus, though. I'm not sure if it was the fact that we had just come back from two days on Devils Tower or not, but it felt like 5.9+ to me, even onsight. On the other hand, I don't have much experience on .10's in the area, so my opinion may change as time goes on.
By Wilson On The Drums
From: Woodbury, MN
Sep 25, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

way to go on the onsight chad!
By Chad Koch
From: Mission Hill,SD
Sep 26, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Thanks Willie!

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