Login with Facebook
Totem-Proto Area
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Chicken Shit Salad S 
Direct North Face T 
Drop 'em South S 
Fern Gully Arete S 
Fruits of Optomisim, The S 
Inertia T 
Milk of Manatee T 
Original Optomist T 
Overcoming Inertia T 
Pathological Optimist T,S 
Pipe Bomb T 
Pipe Cleaner T 
Protean Catch T 
Proto Pipe S 
Proto Type T 
Shakin' & Eggs T 
Totem Pole Direct S 
Totem Pole, The S 
Up in Smoke T 
Unsorted Routes:

Totem Pole Direct 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,720
Submitted By: ldsclimber on Jan 19, 2013

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]


Totem Pole Direct starts on TNF (same start as the Totem Pole). Climb past the first two bolts then continue straight up the buldge vs heading right Climb over the buldge past three new fixe bolts on steep and juggy terain. It's a little spicey between bolts two and three. Its all there and continue on to the new chains at the top of P1.


Sm-med gear QDs

Comments on Totem Pole Direct Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 9, 2014
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix, AZ
Apr 1, 2013

This route used to be done on gear. I can attest to that as that's how I originally did it and I think that I heard or read somewhere that this was a harder way to get to the first anchors than following the original bolt line that wraps right.
By ldsclimber
From: Queen Creek AZ
Apr 9, 2013

before the direct line was bolted, it was done on tr then cleaned on rappel. some pretty good size blocks came off so it appeard that it had not been climbed before. imho it looked like bolts would be needed or it was basiclly a solo. i am truely sorry that i bolted a line that had been done before in a better style. serious kudos for doing it on gear. if you think the bolts should go ill remove them. no questions asked.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Apr 9, 2013

I did this face to the top on gear. I agree it was definitely very spicy where the bolts are now. I liked the route but since it was done previously on gear the bolts should probably be removed.
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix, AZ
Apr 9, 2013

This is bringing the old and much written about topic of bolting vs. gear to LD. There are so many opinions and perspectives on this, to say nothing of controversies and seriously bad disputes over it all that I am hesitant to weigh in. But I will since this area is so near and dear to my heart. My perspective is that it's just climbing and we're all doing it for enjoyment ... so, let's enjoy! In The Refuge, I've often climbed something entirely on gear, but then have put bolts in where I might not necessarily think they're needed because it's clear that no one else (except Geir and a handful of other climbers) will climb the route without better protection. I think the same is true with this route -- it is unlikely that many, if any, will do the direct route w/o those bolts. I know I did it and Geir did it and I'm sure I remember reading or hearing about someone else doing it that way, but I wouldn't recommend it. So, if the bolts are removed, then the option of doing this fun direct line basically gets shut down. It does get a bit more complicated here from the purist perspective given that others have clearly climbed this w/o bolts, but, hey, perhaps LD can be more about enjoyment than maintaining a hard nosed purist perspective prevalent in other places that get more traffic. Hell, the poor pole is peppered with bolts anyway such that someone can make a wise-ass comment about ... well, I'll leave it there. But, all that said, given all this info, it's probably a good idea to remove the route as a "FA" and simply make note of it as a direct option.
By ldsclimber
From: Queen Creek AZ
Apr 10, 2013

i agree with both of you. ive put up a few very scetchy r/x routes in the past and then gone back to see bolts on them. it is a badge of honor to know i did it on crap for gear and disheartning that someone didnt ask before they just assumed it hadnt been done because there were no bolts on it. i left the bolts for the reasons given by arjunmh. ive also chopped a route with community support (not in this state) that changed the boldness of a classic route it was near. greir, you guys are buds so if you guys say it should go, im happy to donate the hangers to the ldc cause if you guys get back there before i do. carry on!
By Marcy
From: Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Apr 10, 2013
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

I am probably guilty of being a hard nosed purist like Arjun refers to. My feeling is that there are many options for safely bolted or otherwise protectable routes in the area already. This route has previously been lead in better style and should be restored to that state....bolts removed and holes patched appropriately.

I'd like to also say nice work to those that developed the east face route on the pole. It has some fun climbing and is a distinct independent line to the summit. I think I recall seeing one drill hole that needs patching. That said, I am sad to see all the new hardware that the pole is now sporting. I think the two routes on the south/southwest aspects do not add much to this very cool and classic feature. Have drill, will bolt is not necessarily the best option, for this hard nosed purist anyway.
By ldsclimber
From: Queen Creek AZ
Apr 10, 2013

thanks for your imput. if someone else gets there before i do great. if not then ill do it next time im out there. thanks for the kudos for patho. i disagree about the other routes though. awesome climbing on fruits. imho
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Apr 10, 2013

Thanks all for your insights and willingness to sort through this stuff. Also thanks Aaron for cleaning the death blocks off this route as it definitely made it safer to go up this way.
By Aminda
From: Phoenix, AZ
Apr 18, 2013

Did this route today and really enjoyed it. Personally, we appreciate your efforts as one of "those" climbers who never would have done it without the bolts.
Josh and Aminda
By lou
Dec 2, 2013

Idsclimber; awesome variation to the original!! A better line IMHO. Please dont chop the bolts... nothin wrong with a variation to a standard line. Just cause a competent and bold 5.12 climber (Geir) climbed it once .. doesnt mean its a route. Esp. when climber says it was spicy; which means no one else would ever do it. So thanks. Matter of fact most the faces in lower devils can be climbed trad style with a good knowledge of tricam placement..and cams.. and boldness.. and not afraid of them blowin out when you fall ( seen it ).. that welded tuff is soft stuff.. I would guess even some of your bolted routes in LDE can be trad climbed, Geir. OMG there are at least 3 new bolted routes on the totem... one on the east face.. one on the south corner.. and one which looks like a variation that meets the south corner from the west face!!! Enjoy and relax...

cheers.. lou
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 5, 2013

Hey Lou,

I didn't suggest removing these bolts because I was able to climb it on gear. As you said, any route in Devil's Canyon could be done on gear (or free soloed) given a strong enough climber. We actually put up almost all the lines in LDE on gear and then added bolts where the pro was sketchy or absent.

My suggestion to remove the bolts was based on the fact that this was already an established (albeit obscure) route. Arjun did it before me and others did it before him. I don't think bolts should be added to established routes.

Regardless, I know that this wasn't done deliberately and it's not something I lose sleep over.
By NC Rock Climber
From: The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Dec 12, 2013

Today was my first trip to Lower Devils, and this was my fist route in the area. Both the route and the area are amazing. I cannot wait to return.
By Laurel
From: Phoenix
Dec 9, 2014

As of yesterday, bolts there and hangers are gone...bummer
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
and Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!