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Totem Pole
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Totem Pole T 

Totem Pole 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Fritz Wiessner, Lawrence Coveney, Percy Olton, and Marguerite Schnellbacher (1936)
Page Views: 959
Submitted By: DaveB on Jun 14, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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BETA PHOTO: Totem Pole (5.7), as seen from road. Route ascends...

Description 

Though historic (via first ascent party), the climbing quality is just so-so...nothing to write home about.

Ascend chimney, flake, establish belay at bolt, flake, etc. Move left around corner, up second chimney - big pro if you got it - (Note - some rate this section as 10b!), climb face to top.


Location 

Route begins immediately above guardrail.


Protection 

Standard rack. Large cam for second chimney. Anchors.



Photos of Totem Pole Slideshow Add Photo
Here is a photo of the first ascent in 1936.  Scanned from Appalachian Journal.  This was originally called the Traffic Cop.  Note the bottom where it incorrectly states the North Dakota location.
Here is a photo of the first ascent in 1936. Scan...
Classic summit with an unreal view of the spires.
Classic summit with an unreal view of the spires.
Apparently PBR's grow on poles in the needles.
Apparently PBR's grow on poles in the needles.
Having fun on Totem Pole
Having fun on Totem Pole
Comments on Totem Pole Add Comment
Show which comments
By Monomaniac
Administrator
From: Morrison, CO
Sep 2, 2008

There is now a bomber bolt & chain anchor on the summit. One rap with a single 60m cord will get you to the ground on the SE side. The rock quality, especially in the opening chimney, is not quite up to the standard of the rest of the pins.

EDIT to add (21 Apr 09): According to the photo of the FA, the route doesn;t go up the chimney at the start, but instead climbs up the rib/arete right of the chimney, then traverses left to the stance at the top of the flake.

By DaveB
May 11, 2009

"...According to the photo of the FA, the route doesn;t go up the chimney at the start, but instead climbs up the rib/arete right of the chimney, then traverses..."

Yep, that seems to be the case in Photo #2 of the FA collage, though unsure of the actual path taken to that point.

By Mike McNeil
From: Spearfish, South Dakota
Jul 28, 2009

I would say the climbing is better than just so so. Fritz had a good eye for classic routes and this is one of them. It is quite hard for the grade but probably not 10c as given in a new guide. It is easily protectable with a big piece then just some had offwidth/squeeze chimney moves. Bring some long runners to sling a couple of horns. The anchors are fat bolts with chains in '09.