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Totem Watch thread 2018


Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,033
Whether Totems are being kept suppressed or not, this baby saved my bacon today on a tr solo mixed with aid and free climbing. Two lobes!
Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Erik Sloan wrote: You're suggesting that the innovators also have to be brilliant business people. Is that the way the world has worked? And that climber safety, and the safety of new climbers taking up trad climbing, is not more important than someone making a buck......even at the 'news,' or magazine, level. You vote for Trump? Kinda sounds like that rhetoric - 'oh the forest is fucked up and there are awful fires, well if you had just managed it better.....' bullshit. This is rich white people staying rich and it stinks, plain and simple.

No, dude, YOU'RE the weirdo suggesting that Totem HAS to be a bigger company than it already is. I'm totally okay if Totem wants to remain an awesome, boutique manufacturer of great cams. Are you suggesting that the world OWES it to Totem to do their marketing and promotion for them? That other companies with their own viable designs and products should STOP their own marketing and promotion of legit product and, what, just roll over? You're really the first and only person I've ever heard make an argument that Totems are "300% safer" than other cams. Show us some stats on that, okay? Because as much as I like my Totems, I just can't see that holding water. 

And how dare you say that because I think Totem isn't the target of some global conspiracy that I'm a Trump supporter. I suddenly see why you're the target of so much dislike in Yosemite.
Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,033
Señor Arroz wrote:

No, dude, YOU'RE the weirdo suggesting that Totem HAS to be a bigger company than it already is. I'm totally okay if Totem wants to remain an awesome, boutique manufacturer of great cams. Are you suggesting that the world OWES it to Totem to do their marketing and promotion for them? That other companies with their own viable designs and products should STOP their own marketing and promotion of legit product and, what, just roll over? You're really the first and only person I've ever heard make an argument that Totems are "300% safer" than other cams. Show us some stats on that, okay? Because as much as I like my Totems, I just can't see that holding water. 

And how dare you say that because I think Totem isn't the target of some global conspiracy that I'm a Trump supporter. I suddenly see why you're the target of so much dislike in Yosemite.

Be at peace, good sir. No one’s persuaded by Erik’s rantings.

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
Erik Sloan wrote: You're suggesting that the innovators also have to be brilliant business people. Is that the way the world has worked? And that climber safety, and the safety of new climbers taking up trad climbing, is not more important than someone making a buck......even at the 'news,' or magazine, level. You vote for Trump? Kinda sounds like that rhetoric - 'oh the forest is fucked up and there are awful fires, well if you had just managed it better.....' bullshit. This is rich white people staying rich and it stinks, plain and simple.

Like I said, people should be so excited that after all these copies of the original cam angle, that something revolutionary has actually been achieved. I was skeptical and had my mind totally blown by Totems on a one-day ascent of Leaning Tower in 2014 - I couldn't believe how much better they were, and actually starting putting the wrong sizes in to see if I could get one to come out, and I couldn't. Totems are totally ninja!

I wonder how much sales have dropped now that Sloan is on here spraying about Totems...I'm guessing around 300%...

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Tapawingo Markey wrote:

I wonder how much sales have dropped now that Sloan is on here spraying about Totems...I'm guessing around 300%...

LOL. He's part of the Deep Climber State Conspiracy to suppress Totem sales!

TJ B · · Denver · Joined May 2012 · Points: 26

But guys, he's "Erik Sloan, owner, Yosemitebigwall.com RockclimbYosemite.com"

Seriously, that's all I've taken away from this thread today. I get it, Erik owns Yosemite Big Wall. I also get that Totems kick ass. It's the year 2018. I'm sure they know exactly who they want to be as a company and are living that out. They're not that hard to get if you want them. I appreciate that they're sticking to their standards. I'd hate to see this go mega commercial and then suddenly every Totem that we're carrying now are the vintage good ones, and the current production is crap. 

Erik Sloan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 139

I mean, I agree that what we need are neutral, climber-centric publications and organizations that can spread the word about revolutionary, new, vastly safer products in our sport. We can't rely on business.....it's like what we need is a pure climber organization, say like the Access Fund, or the American Alpine Club, to pay for studies to show us which gear is the safest........oh wait, THOSE are the people emailing you the endless 25% off if you buy a full set of cams emails?....oh man, yeah, this shit stinks for sure

Erik Sloan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 139

I've mostly aid climbed the face of El Capitan 103 times, meaning I have stood on tons, and tons, and tons of trad placements. I"m telling that Totems are 200 - 300% more effective, and safer, than every other cam. Free climbers think the placement was good; us aid climbers test each one, so we really know the truth.

Russ Walling · · www.FishProducts.com · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 3,417

I’m getting w00t fatigue...

Christian Hesch · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 6
Russ Walling wrote: I’m getting w00t fatigue...

yeah but I've barely started on my popcorn, so suck it up, Russ!  ;) 


(disclaimer: I sold about 275 totems this summer and I think they're 27.8 times better than C4's... but I'm a runner, not a climber, so wtf do I know?
anecdotally, I was told that *not falling* is even better than totems, but that's just a rumor. Can anyone confirm?)
Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0
Christian Hesch wrote: ...anecdotally, I was told that *not falling* is even better than totems, but that's just a rumor. Can anyone confirm?)

No. Falling made me a better man, and a better lover...not to mention a better dancer.


P.s. I was told that totem is currently going from a 10 man team to a whole new upgraded and larger facility they are currently building and won't be open for almost a year from now, so do expect a large explosion of marketing and everything. They'll be able to afford it if they can't already. .. I bought all my pieces less than 1 year ago when they were $82.95....they are now $89.95...not a huge jump but with new expensive facilities comes higher cost... But also I can imagine they will start marketing harder and that boutiqueness will be lost... Someone from totem can correct me if I'm wrong on any of this.
Big B · · Sin City, NV · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 1

Wo0t! w0oT! W00t! w00t! woot! WOOT!

Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,033

Backcountry sells Totems. How much more mainstream can it get?

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Jaren Watson wrote: Backcountry sells Totems EVERY NOW AND THEN. How much more mainstream can it get?

Correct ^.

Ironically, the only time I ever saw totems on Backcountry they were on sale, and I bought two for something like $65 each. 

Erik Sloan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 139

So all the beginner trad climbers I meet in Yosemite have other cams, and have never heard of Totems. So would you agree that we, as a climbing community, do not care about the safety of new climbers? If Totem cams are 200 - 300% better and safer than the other cams, wouldn't we have a responsibility to make this info available to new climbers.

It's such a joke - there's a thread right now called 'new bd cam,'....wonder if they work with only two lobes in the rock? (insanely that is not even the biggest innovation in Totems, which is the cam angle that makes them vastly superior).....and the American Alpine Club is holding gala dinners to give 35 yr olds 'lifetime achievement awards,' but no one even knows the name of the guy that invented Totems, a product that literally reinvented the most iconic rock climbing device.

Weather's clearing in the Valley, bet Parkline will be tshirt weather in a couple hours. Woot Woot!
Erik Sloan, owner, Yosemitebigwall.com RockclimbYosemite.com

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Erik Sloan wrote: So all the beginner trad climbers I meet in Yosemite have other cams, and have never heard of Totems. So would you agree that we, as a climbing community, do not care about the safety of new climbers? If Totem cams are 200 - 300% better and safer than the other cams, wouldn't we have a responsibility to make this info available to new climbers.

So many hypotheticals in this, Erik. So few empirical facts. POOT POOT.

Jared Casper · · St. George, UT · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 10
Erik Sloan wrote: If Totem cams are 200 - 300% better and safer than the other cams, wouldn't we have a responsibility to make this info available to new climbers.
Keep in mind they are also 200 - 300% more expensive than other cams.  It's usually hard enough for people getting into trad to drop $300 or for a set of cams, let alone $600-$700. What's safer, six C4s on your rack or three totems? (Which I think just goes to show that saying they are 200% safer is a meaningless statement).
Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,033
Erik Sloan wrote: So all the beginner trad climbers I meet in Yosemite have other cams, and have never heard of Totems. So would you agree that we, as a climbing community, do not care about the safety of new climbers? If Totem cams are 200 - 300% better and safer than the other cams, wouldn't we have a responsibility to make this info available to new climbers.

It's such a joke - there's a thread right now called 'new bd cam,'....wonder if they work with only two lobes in the rock?.....and the American Alpine Club is holding gala dinners to give 35 yr olds 'lifetime achievement awards,' but no one even knows the name of the guy that invented Totems, a product that literally reinvented the most iconic rock climbing device.

If your goal is to get hooked up with free Totems, be cooler.

If your goal is to persuade people, your argument would be better served if you would stop relying on flawed reasoning.

Your first point is a classic case of myopia induced by your own availability heuristic. In other words, you’re biased because your sample is small and neither random nor diverse. 

Let me demonstrate the problem. Every trad climber I’ve climbed with knows about Totems: therefore, all climbers know about Totems.

As to your second point: Do Totems deserve more media praise? Probably. But Black Diamond’s camalots have had a greater impact on climbing in terms of time and number of users. They are well deserving of being lauded. Recognizing one does not exclude the other.

Also, Totems did not “literally reinvent” spring loaded camming devices. They are “literally” nothing more than yet another version in a long line of cams. Is their design awesome—of course! Best small cams I’ve ever used, which is to say, a small but noticeable improvement on other very good small cams.

Finally, please stop using your 200%-300% safer statistics. You’ve said a number of eyebrow-raising things in this thread, but this made up nonsense is pure bullshit.
Zach Parsons · · Tacoma, WA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 100

All I wanted was to know when Totems were stocked! See ya...

Marc H · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 250

I wish Sloan was 200-300% quieter.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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