LOCATIONApproach as described on the Gorge of Despair main page. The Cobra Turret is the second major formation as one descends the east side of the canyon and is distinguished by the long clean prow formed by it's west face.
"From Afar" ascends the South Face of The Cobra. The route is found about 2/3 of the way up toward the eastern end of the face, to the right of a large alcove. Three bolts protect the steep face climbing which leads up to a beautiful crack. Although it may seem odd to some to hike 12 miles across a high pass to do a two pitch route, I have to say that this climb is on some of the most incredible rock I have ever seen or touched. The face is composed of bright orange granite with flanges and ear like features, all perfectly clean and as hard as steel.
Pitch One: The technical crux of this pitch is the bolt protected face at the start. The crack above is long and strenuous, and serves up a second crux at it's top. This pitch ends at a bolted anchor on a stance. 5.11c.
Pitch Two: Begin by moving left and up to a second very thin crack. While not as steep or hard as the lower pitch, this section is tricky and the protection is very thin wires. The pitch ends on ledges just below the top of the cliff. 5.10d.
We rapped off from the top of pitch two, from where a scramble leads to the top,. leaving some nuts as an anchor. There is a rappel route down the north face, but beware that 50 meter ropes come up short getting to the middle station - a hanging belay - if you choose to go that way.
EQUIPMENTTwo ropes are needed to descend, even from the top of the first pitch.
1 set of stoppers, #1-10 rocks or equivalent
1 set of tiny wires, BD #1-5 (maybe a couple extra #1-#2)
1 set of cams, tiny TCU's through 3 inches
The usual runners and draws
Webbing to make a 15 foot extension on the north face rappel anchor if you choose to descend that way on 50m ropes.