This route is considered by many to be a Fisher Tower classic, although it seems that there are quite a few of these in the area. The name aptly describes the seriousness of the route as it looks very unstable and has some scary moves. All the same, the rock is not terrible quality and there is something alluring about the danger and the possibility of standing on top of the cobra's head. Be careful and have a good mind before doing this route, there is no shame in backing off either! Climb smart.
'The Cobra' peaking its head out in the shade. This shot is taken on the way to 'Ancient Art'.
Getting here is pretty easy, and due the to the unique nature of the tower, it is fairly easy to spot. Get to the Fisher Towers, (from Moab head north on the River Road(SH 128) past Castle Valley to the Fisher Towers turnoff sign(about 27 miles). Drive to the parking lot at the end of the well maintained gravel road.)Once at the parking lot, follow the trail for Ancient Art and you will pass right by The Cobra.
Racking up and getting mentally prepared at the base of 'The Cobra'.
The Cobra is the wild short tower along the approach path to Ancient Art. How on earth is this thing still standing? Well named-it looks exactly like a hooded cobra rearing up to strike(which is appropriate considering the seriousness of the route).
Pulling the crux move to the only fixed pro on the route.
There is only one pitch which starts at the north side below some obvious cracks. The cracks are pretty easy (5.7ish) and accept a little pro. Do an awkward mantle with some decent holds at the conglomerate band just below the large ledge. From here you can put in a few peices in the large crack (a #3C4 or a large hex) or sling the neck of the cobra. Most likely nothing will hold, so this is for a peice of mind at this point. Pull some hard moves to clip the only fixed piton but be careful! The piton would most likely not hold very big falls. From here figure out a tricky sequence or make a large move to the lip of the cobra and mantle to the top where there are some lowering anchors.
Not too much. I threw in a #2 camalot in the bottom crack system and a #3 and Hex just below the large ledge below the piton. I have heard of people slinging the neck of the cobra as well. In all reality, the pro would probably not hold a fall and you should be very very comfortable at this grade when considering leading the route. Be safe and have fun!
"Climbing w/o gear is safer than sex without gear. At least if you die, you die fast."