The Totem Pole was at the top of Marks tick list and we had to give it a go.
The first job if you are to climb the Tote is to abseil down the mainland sea cliff and swing on the end of the 60m rope like crazy until you can reach across the sea washed boulders, hang onto greasy side pulls and fiddle a carrot bolt plate on the cheapskate hangerless bolts. This was my job, as Mark was to be leading the two climbing pitches - at grade 24/25 its a bit hard for me.
Once Mark had slid down to me and I took a video clip on my camera (not good quality but worth a look - click on it to play).
(Oh yes, we did not have enough carrot bolt plates so that's why I used some dodgy rivet wires on one of the belay bolts)
Mark onsighted the first pitch in good style to the mid way ledge.
The second pitch was hard, but had some proper bolts on it. Just as Mark was starting up I noticed someone absailing down the cliff in a strange position. They then stopped a produced a large camera, 'Hay Mark' I called, 'you've got a photographer, you'll be famous'. Mark promptly fell off at the second bolt - d'oh.
Back at the belay ledge we jested that it would be freaky if it was Simon Carter taking more photos at the Totem Pole. Marks second attempt saw him to but not past the crux (you need to use a side pull that is blind to you around the arete). He made it to the top of this HARD pitch and had a little cheer.Mark Climbing the second pitch
I covered the ground to the top with a couple of rests (the excuse being I was dragging the abb rope to aid our escape). We signed the summit book and I slid back along our abb rope, now as a Tyrolean traverse.Once safely back on the mainland we confirmed that the photographer was indeed Simon Carter and had taken photos and would let us see them back at the campsite.
We explained there was no space at the campsite and we had had to sneaked in the night before. Before long the offer was made that we could pitch our tents on their site - and so ended the Totem Pole climb.
The next day, and probably for the first and last time ever Mark and I signed 'Model Release' forms so Simon could sell the photos. And yes he said he would sort us out some copies :-)