King Cobra is a new variation to the Cobra Pillar on the east face of Mount Barrill, Ruth Gorge, Alaska. The New Zealand alpine team climbed an eight-pitch variation, the climbers included Dan Joll, Kim Ladiges, Alastair McDowell and John Price.
“Five and six inch wide crack rocketed straight up the proudest part of the prow,” said the trip report. “Kim was in heaven. He led out mega pitches of glorious heel-toes and butterfly jams, as good as anything in Tasmania. It was some of the highest quality climbing any of us had ever encountered in the mountains.”
King Cobra leaves Cobra Pillar at pitch four and regains it at pitch 10. The route has finger cracks, offwidths, chimneys and run-outs between 5.8 and 5.11. “The thought that this might become a real classic spurred us on in our mission. Having climbed in many of the popular granite climbing zones, we genuinely thought this route contained some of the best alpine rock climbing in the world. Where else do you find 15 sustained pitches of 5.10 to 5.11 crack climbing stacked on top of each other, in the mountains, where each one in its own right would be a crag classic?” Full story and topo here.
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“ @nzalpineteam members @danieljoll Kim Ladiges and @alastairmcdowell along with @johnpricephotography have just returned from a big wall rock climbing trip to Alaska's Ruth Gorge. See the full story and video here: https://alpineteam.co.nz/2019/king-cobra-alaskan-big-wall-free-climbing Over several weeks in the range they climbed a new variation of the Cobra Pillar route on the East Face of Mt Barrill. 'King Cobra' features 550m of brilliant granite crack climbing including some awesome splitter offwidths. The Alaskan Range is an amazing place to climb with its sheer walls and endless summer daylight, but we never expected to find so much quality free climbing. The route is now freshly cleaned and equipped with belays, and still coming into prime season. If you're looking for an alpine rock climbing objective this summer we highly recommend checking this one out! See the blog for all the beta. And another big thanks to Talkeetna Air Taxi for their great hospitality and helping us access these beautiful mountains!” – Alastair Well done boys – weapons. @macpac @nzalpineteam