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Routes in Monument Valley

El Cap Original Route/ West Face T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c X
Shangri-La T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a A0 PG13
Throne (King on a Throne), The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A2
Totem Pole T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A2
Totem Pole "Never Never Land" route T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a C2
Type: Trad, Aid, 400 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III
FA: Mark Powell, Jerry Gallwas, Don Wilson, Bill Feuerer, June 11-13, 1957
Page Views: 12,568 total, 98/month
Shared By: toddgordon Gordon on May 21, 2007
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

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The Totem Pole is the tallest , skinniest spire on the planet. Pitch one; goes up a left slanting aid crack. This is followed by the wide section. There was a fixed block of wood part way up, and then you need either VERY large cams or those super large big Bros....or I used large cams and small sections of 2" by 4" blocks of wood side by side to aid off of (2 in a row)....the first one was one cam and one block of wood..the 2nd being one cam and 2 blocks of wood....(It works; was dicey..)...
Pitch 2 is the cool 100' splitter....hand size...we aided it, but I bet it would go free at 5.11.'s awesome. The last pitch is a bit of aid , and then a long bolt ladder;....The bolt ladder has been dicked with...when we did it, it was missing the last 2 bolts, which we banged in pins, and made it to the top. At one time, most of the bolts were missing , and you had to hook in the holes;..very scary. The summit is the best on the planet. There are lots of bolts on top, from various commercial ventures.


The Totem Pole is on the Tribal Loop, on the right, at the back of the loop.


Triple rack of cams. extra large cams..and something for that wide section. You can take extra hand size pieces, or just keep back-cleaning, which is what we did..... I'd take a few pins and a bolt kit, in case some of the bolts on the bolt ladder are missing or gone. FIX TOP PITCH so you can get back to the anchor;'s overhanging and you would not make it back to the belay.
toddgordon Gordon
Joshua Tree, California
toddgordon Gordon   Joshua Tree, California
see here for story of totem pole ascent..… Oct 27, 2017
toddgordon Gordon
Joshua Tree, California
toddgordon Gordon   Joshua Tree, California
We did about the 10th ascent. Our ascent was on a very windy day; on the summit rappel, Dave Evans blew about 40' away from the spire at one point. He looked like a kite on the end of a string. We fixed one pitch late in the day, slept at the base, got up early, finished and down by 11:00 on sort of a cold, windy day. The Original route goes up the front of the rock and was "erased" during the filming of Eiger Sanction. The Banditos put the backside route up (Never Never Land III 5.10, A2), which, I believe, is the only way up presently. Climbing The Pole was one of the highlights of my climbing career. May 21, 2007