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Totem-Proto Area
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The Totem Pole 

YDS: 5.10c/d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

   
Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 150'
Original:  YDS: 5.10c/d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: 
Page Views: 15,615
Submitted By: Mike on Sep 18, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (62)
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Halfway up the Totem Pole

Description 

A tall, slender tower in a scenic location with good climbing and a tiny summit make for a great route. Start low on the NE side and climb up and right, slowly circling around to the West side to a belay. Belay here to avoid rope drag or, with a long rope, continue up to the top.

Protection 

Mostly bolted, but up high (at the crux) it helps to place a nut or two to reduce the slight runout.

Location 

Walk down into the main canyon from the parking area. There will be 2 tall towers on the right. The upper one is Proto-pipe (it looks just like one) and the lower one is the Totem Pole.


Photos of The Totem Pole Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Wedding proposal on top of the Totem!  She said ye...
Wedding proposal on top of the Totem! She said ye...
Rock Climbing Photo: Totem Pole
Totem Pole
Rock Climbing Photo: unknown climber ends the day on the pole
unknown climber ends the day on the pole
Rock Climbing Photo: Panorama of the approach, glitterbox wall, and the...
Panorama of the approach, glitterbox wall, and the...
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd Pitch.
2nd Pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset pole.
Sunset pole.
Rock Climbing Photo: Austin pulling the crux moves
Austin pulling the crux moves
Rock Climbing Photo: Aaron at the top of the (almost) full length image...
Aaron at the top of the (almost) full length image...
Rock Climbing Photo: Totem pole, shmotem pole
Totem pole, shmotem pole
Rock Climbing Photo: Colton taking a seat at the mid-pitch rappel stati...
Colton taking a seat at the mid-pitch rappel stati...
Rock Climbing Photo: Aaron on the lead.  This whole location is just be...
Aaron on the lead. This whole location is just be...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tony and Dobie on top of TP on Sat. Feb. 6th -- ta...
Tony and Dobie on top of TP on Sat. Feb. 6th -- ta...
Rock Climbing Photo: Austin cruising around the aerate after clipping t...
Austin cruising around the aerate after clipping t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sometimes you just gotto warm up a bit!
Sometimes you just gotto warm up a bit!
Rock Climbing Photo: Colton and Aaron at the top of the Totem Spire
Colton and Aaron at the top of the Totem Spire
Rock Climbing Photo: Chase E. placing protection for the crux movel
BETA PHOTO: Chase E. placing protection for the crux movel
Rock Climbing Photo: Totem Pole
Totem Pole
Rock Climbing Photo: I could think of other names for this ~(:
BETA PHOTO: I could think of other names for this ~(:
Rock Climbing Photo: You are going to love it on the top! Great desert ...
You are going to love it on the top! Great desert ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Aaron on the lead.
Aaron on the lead.
Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching the second bolt that is on the slant s...
Approaching the second bolt that is on the slant s...
Rock Climbing Photo: Totem Pole
Totem Pole
Rock Climbing Photo: Geir leads pitch 2 of the Totem Pole.
BETA PHOTO: Geir leads pitch 2 of the Totem Pole.
Rock Climbing Photo: Another Pano showing the valley below.
Another Pano showing the valley below.

Show All 31 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on The Totem Pole Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 23, 2016
By Braxtron
From: ...
Oct 15, 2007
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

You better like bushwhackin' to do the approach for this one. Bring small stoppers for the end of P2. I linked both pitches with no problems using 2' runners and a 60m rope.

As of Oct. 2007, both anchors need attention. One bolt at each belay is either spinning or flexing.
By Mike
From: Phoenix
Nov 15, 2007

The access road has been greatly improved and is now accessable with a high-clearance 2WD vehicle all the way to the Hackberry Creek turnout parking.
By JimmyK
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 24, 2009
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Need a #4 nut to protect the top portion of the 2nd pitch. There was a little bushwackin' but the approach was only 15 minutes from vehicle.
Directions to Lower Devil Climbing area: From US 60, exit south on Oak Flat Road Campground road, travel 1.3 miles on paved road, take left on a gravel road. Drive about 2 miles on gravel road, at the bottom of the meadow, take a left at the old windmill (still there as of 01/17/09). Drive appx 1 mile to the road end. (Gravel road is rough, high clearence 4 wheel drive recommended!)
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix, AZ
Jun 15, 2009
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Just one or two small nuts for the top! And, a 00 cam just doesn't work that well...A truly exceptional climb.
By Doug113
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 16, 2010

climbed this summer of 09 and thought it was a great route. a bit of bushwacking to get to it though. nice shade though when you reach it.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Apr 17, 2010

Fun climbing to a terrific summit make this a classic for me!

Most of the climbing is straightforward - maybe 5.9. The moves after the final bolt feel 10 to 10+. A medium stopper works well to protect the crux and I a found a bomber black alien placement after the crux.

Marcy and I took a pair of clippers with us on the approach trail and pruned back the vegetation, so the climb is much easier to get to now. Just go to the rock gully at the edge of the canyon, turn right, and follow the cairns toward the pole.
By roman d
From: Pasadena, CA
Apr 4, 2011
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Route length is ~115 feet. Straightforward to rap the whole thing with a single 70m rope. Bats in summit crack chirped at me when I got to the top!
By Micah Kurtz
Feb 21, 2012

A great route for sure. The summit is amazing.
By Dwight Jugornot
From: Arvada, Co.
Mar 9, 2012
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

What a blast. The summit, the view. Just about perfect. Did it as one pitch on my 70. and one rap to ground no problem. For me the crux below the first belay felt 10d? The top crux felt 10-. Plenty of places for pro above the last bolt.
By Nate Young
From: Phoenix
Dec 31, 2012
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

I was asked to do a quick trip report for this route because one of our friends took a pretty sweet fall and walked away!

When Austin was attempting an on-site ascent of the original Totem Route, he took a fairly substantial fall, and subsequent swing, of about 30 feet. Austin was pretty much at the 4th bolt, and stopped falling well below the second bolt on the route! It was a pretty scary experience for everyone because as he was falling, his rope ended up catching on a sharp flake or rock, which severed the outer sheathing completely, and also destroyed a few of the core strands which give the rope it's strength. His fall was stopped about 8 feet above the deck, so close I was able to reach up and touch his foot while standing on the ground.

This was his rope after the fall. You can still see the rope where it went through the sharp flake at the top of the image.

Rock Climbing Photo: This was his rope after the fall. You can still se...
This was his rope after the fall. You can still see the rope where it went through the sharp flake at the top of the image.


This is a pic of Austin at the bottom after he was lowered to the ground. The green/blue portion of the rope is the protective sheathing, and the white strands are the dynamic core that gives the rope it’s strength.

Rock Climbing Photo: This is a pic of Austin at the bottom after he was...
This is a pic of Austin at the bottom after he was lowered to the ground. The green/blue portion of the rope is the protective sheathing, and the white strands are the dynamic core that gives the rope it’s strength.


To his credit, Austin roped up again (ON A DIFFERENT ROPE) and was able to make a clean ascent on his second try!


Rock Climbing Photo: This is where he started his fall.
This is where he started his fall.



Rock Climbing Photo: This is where his fall finally ended, 8 feet above...
This is where his fall finally ended, 8 feet above the deck.
By ldsclimber
From: Santan Valley, AZ
Dec 31, 2012

Just an FYI the rope was a Monster 10mm.
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix, AZ
Jan 7, 2013
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Wow, that's impressive on all counts. Close call indeed, and good recovery. Will get on you'lls new route soon!
By Brent Butcher
Feb 18, 2014
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Does anyone know if any flakes have popped off near the top? The first few moves past the chains felt a little stout, looks like fresh rock. I would say the first few moves past the chains goes at a 10+
By Marcy
From: Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Oct 22, 2014
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Brent - It's quite possible that some rock has broken off. There is definitely a a move or two between the first and second bolts that had my attention. I recall placing a small alien (blue, maybe) near the arete the first time I lead it.
By Stephenmontgomery
From: Maryland
Jan 24, 2016

What is the approach time like from the first Lower Devils Canyon parking lot? I don't think a Nissan Altima is going to make it to the hackleberry parking lot.
By Marcy
From: Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Jan 25, 2016
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

If you mean leaving your vehicle just before the big hill on the way in, I'd say this will add about 10-15 minutes to get to the small pullout for Hackberry plus whatever time to get to your desired area from there. It's gorgeous out there now with all the recent rain.
By Joshua Munoz
Feb 2, 2016

A .5 cam can also be used for pro. I placed it to the left just above the first crack above the last bolt.
By Joshua Fletcher
Mar 9, 2016



Hey Guys, Just cut this for some of my friends. Let me know your thoughts.

Pretty epic area. Just starting these, so if you have some requests or want to schedule some climbing outings.

We are based in Phoenix, AZ, but we travel quite a bit.

Thanks,
Fletch
By Jordan Kahlbau
From: phoenix
Mar 23, 2016

would it be reasonably safe to lead this with just the bolts and no placed pro? how bad would the runout be? im hoping to climb it Friday morning, if yall let me know i will be forever greatful thanks :)

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