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King Cobra 

YDS: 5.13b French: 8a Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 30 British: E7 6c

Type:  Sport, Chipped, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.13b French: 8a Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 30 British: E7 6c [details]
FA: Mark Sprague, 1998
Page Views: 2,414
Submitted By: Jay Knower on Nov 8, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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Alex? (from Canada) starting up the lower part of ...


King Cobra is perhaps the most vertical, and therefore the most technical of the 5.13s at Rumney. A common start which includes a hard 5.12 crux leads to a beautiful white face. Expect technical crimping and weight on your feet climbing. There have been rumors lately that a key hold has broken here.

The white face gives way to a left facing dihedral where the angle gets steeper and the holds get bigger. One of these holds, a two finger pocket way too perfect to be natural, can easily be skipped by the ethically pure.

A good route, King Cobra doesn't get the attention it deserves. Maybe it's the pocket. Maybe it's the reputation it has for technical climbing. Maybe it gets overshadowed by its famous neighbor, Predator. At any rate, King Cobra is worth a look.


12 bolts

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By M Sprague
From: New England
Nov 9, 2006

For the record, I had nothing to do with any chipping of this route. It was bolted and attempted by others before I freed it. As it turned out, the unfortunately questionable holds (high and rt of the mid corner)are off to the side of at least how I climb it, so they shouldn't effect the aesthetics of the climb too much. Otherwise it is an excellent technically challenging route.

A small flake has recently broken, making the crux a bit stiffer.
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Nov 13, 2010

I took the fixed draws off this route today. They were in bad shape and I think they were the same draws from my 2006 photo of the route.

If anyone would like to claim the draws, let me know. I'm not sure how much use they'd be, but I'll certainly return them to you. Now that the season is winding down, maybe King Cobra would do well to be draw-less during the wet and icy winter months.
By Craig Smith
Jul 21, 2011


Did this have bolts in before you (Mark?) did it? I bolted a line up here with a heinous start off to the right and then up the line I think your route takes.

I'm interested to hear the history...oh and no I didn't do any chipping!


By M Sprague
From: New England
Jul 21, 2011

You had bolts on a line in-between Black Mamba and this route that finished up angling towards the top of where King Cobra ends. We worked on it after you left the area, but decided to leave it as a possible TR when we found there were several spots where it was easier to move left or right into the other lines, and also had a spot that always seemed wet. White Snake ended up being the easiest line, so I bolted that. I think some of the middle part of WS shared with what you had been working on.

No, you didn't have anything to do with the worked holds. I don't want to get into who did it as it was a momentary mistake, done in a crazed state, and regretted soon after. They even asked me if I could fix it up. Frankly, I didn't want to be seen wailing away on it with my hammer to erase it, and have to explain to everybody what was going on, so left it for later and never got back to seeing if I could make it look natural. Some day.
By M Sprague
From: New England
Jul 21, 2011

So, King Cobra was bolted first, by somebody else. I saw White Snake as the easiest natural line, after TRing Craig's line, so bolted and climbed that. Then I did Anaconda. When KC became open, I climbed that. I think I replaced Craig's old anchor and a few of the bolts. There is one up high that could be moved to make an easer clip, as most people seem to climb it differently than I did. I went straight up from the arching corner with a big dyno to a pocket (natural) and clipped, but most go over and get a shake to the left.
By Craig Smith
Jul 22, 2011

Thanks for clearing that up. I remember that the bottom of the line I bolted was always wet and this as one of the reasons I never really rp'd the line. Should have been savvy like you and rerouted/chosen another line up this fine wall.


By Will McFarland
From: Lebanon, NH
Aug 7, 2017
rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

King Cobra should be one of the most popular 13b's at Rumney because it is one of the best, just a notch under the quality of Coral Sea, Predator, and Cote. The rock quality is different than other Rumney climbs and climbs similar to limestone. I'd like to clear up that the two finger pocket is actually a 4-finger half-pad slot. It can be skipped but would be weird and on uncomfortable holds.

The initial section is excellent 12a climbing to a decent rest on an incut crimp at the 5th bolt, followed by a short and fun 12b section to the base of the dihedral. Next is the technical crux, which involves some bad crimps and incredibly high feet and reaching to a likely comfortized 3-finger slot (not the drilled slot referenced in the description). I found the crux to be very difficult to figure out, taking 3 sessions. However, I think it's only a V5 move. The rest of the climb is fairly straight forward and involves some fun moves on good holds, including the drilled slot, and out left to a great knee bar rest. I think the redpoint crux is right before the kneebar. From the knee bar, expect weird Rumney schist 11+ climbing to the anchors.
By Phil Schuld
From: NH
Sep 1, 2017

I've been working this for the past couple weekends and broke the incut "tooth" crimp at the base of the dihedral today, where the technical crux begins. I've used it many times, but on the first go of the day, it exfoliated as if it was only held on by elmer's glue

It broke in half when it hit the ground, but I left the pieces at the base of the route. Now there is a 1/3 pad, flat/sloping crimp in its place. Before, I would be able to grab a quick shake on that hold with the left hand, but now you're forced straight into the crux without a shake with an additional fingery move tacked on, so it is a bit tougher. Sorry, y'all

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