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Cobra Rock Formation Tumbles

August 14
11:47 2014
Cobra  before

This is how the Cobra looked prior to a late July storm.

A nasty thunderstorm at the very end of July apparently led to the tumbling of the iconic Cobra, a forty-foot high rock formation in Moab, Utah. With the look of a cobra’s head, the formation was very popular with climbers and was part of the Fisher Towers formations located about ten miles east of Arches National Park.

Lisa Bryant,  assistant field manager for resources for the Moab Bureau of Land Management field office, said she was quite surprised when she found out.

Basically, an employee came in and reported that he had heard about it and so we did some follow-up,” said Bryant. “None of us expected it.”

Not being a climber, Bryant never climbed the Cobra, but she had hiked there many times.

These things are forming and degrading all the time, but I was curious about what caused it,” she said. “From our perspective, based on the severe thunderstorms and the weather we were having in that particular area, we were assuming it was caused by natural causes. I have no reason to assume that it was anything other than a natural geologic ‘erosional’ event.”

Many climbers were disappointed.

It was just super rad for climbing,” said Moab resident, Taylor Bond, who works at the Pagan Mountaineering Shop in Moab. “It was pretty fragile, though. Just look at the pictures, it was really top-heavy.”

Bond said that he had climbed the formation several times, but wasn’t real surprised when he learned that it had toppled. There are a lot of places to climb in the Moab area, according to Bond, so the demise of the Cobra will not necessarily put a dent in the sport.

One female employee at the Pagan Mountaineering Shop was heard to say it was still very sad, anyway. Taylor agreed.

Oh, it really is sad….it was a beautiful formation,” he said.. “But the desert’s always changing.”

There was definitely a sense of sadness, according to Bryant, because, as she tells it, some of the local folks even held a wake for the Cobra.

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