Totem Pole Tasmania climbed free
All individual pitches of the original climb up the Totem Pole in Tasmania, Australia, were freed in January by Doug McConnell and Dean Rollins.
News from downunder sometimes takes time to sicker through: in mid-Janaury the original route up one of Australia's most iconic rock pillars, the Totem Pole on the SE coast of Tasmania, was finally climbed free by Doug McConnell and Dean Rollins. In a massive nine-month effort the two local climbers freed all the pitches of the first route up this remote sea-stack, established with the use of aid by John Ewbank and Allan Keller in 1968. The three pitch outing now goes free at grade 27, circa French 7c, and the two climbers were the first to point out that their style can still be greatly improved upon: they had freed the individual pitchs on seperate days and pitches two and three were split by a hanging belay. Those aspiring to climbing the line in a single push should be aware that the route takes fiddly trad, is run-out and solid for its grade.