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Angel Salamanca and Jao Garcia, opening a new route in Nepal

Nameless and virgin peak of about 6080 meters

Our mate Angel Luis Salamanca left at the end of April of this year together with his mate Jao Garcia to Nepal aiming at opening a new route in an unclimbed 6000-meter close to Lobuche.

On his return, Angel tell us about his experience:

Nameless and virgin peak of about 6080 meters
Nameless and virgin peak of about 6080 meters

By the end of April we headed to Nepal having in mind the idea of ascending the imposing northern face of Lobuche West, however a landslide from its wall, made us change plans and focused in a nameless virgin peak, of about 6080 meters high and 900 meters drop. Such a peak is located in the Changri Nup Glacier, very near the Everest. It is a nearly unclimbed valley and hardly visited.

We set off from the town of Lobuche, at 4900 meters high. We carried in two days, the material so as to be able to mount the base camp in a non rock area at about 5100 meters. It was very hard, a 10-hour trekking every day, snowing, with weather forecast against us, weight on our backs and a hellish moraine found is this valley. However, we have already settled down and are ready for the adventure.

Angel checking the gear
Angel checking the gear

We started trekking at 3 o’clock in the morning using front lights. Our steps and the song of snow partridges inhabiting the area were the only sound. The first shape glanced at sunrise is the Everest. The way starts with good snow, but when the sun comes up, it starts to soften. We began with 55 to 60 degrees gradient so as to reach – as we go forward – the average 70 degrees and 80 degrees at the end, with a very hard ice and our backpacks on our backs to make a vivac. The weight of the backpack with the equipment for the vivac (which was not used eventually) and the 6000 meters were taking their toll. We gave up roping at a full length and started roping by for 15 meters. We put two or three screws and hung to rest. Protection was mainly by ice screws but also with some rock coming up on the spot, with some crevasse where to be able to place our Totem Cams or some Basic, which fitted perfectly.

The Totem Cam 0.50 in the crack
The Totem Cam 0.50 in the crack

On reaching the top edge, it started snowing heavily – thick flakes which covered rapidly the crevasses on the floor what made me fall into one of them, holding on open arms so as not to get to the bottom. We didn’t work out the route well and came up at about 30 meters left-away of the top. So close and so far, with recently dropped snow and not seeing properly. We decided to come down carrying the same weight which had bothered us so much on the way up. I was about to kick it away to find it down later, on second thoughts I gave up nonsense.

Our partner in action
Our partner in action

At 6 o’clock, shriveled as a prune, since we had nearly had no water, we reached the base camp. We left our backpacks leaning on a stone leaving them to be covered by falling snow. We got into the sleeping bags to relax till the next day, but the pain in my toes because of knocking with the crampons against the ice was such, that it prevented me from sleeping at all.

In the morning, everything was recently-fallen snow-covered, the sun came up embracing us and Morpheus let us sleep for a little while.

In spite of not reaching the summit – nearly reached, this mountain, Nepal and its people left us a very pleasant taste in the mouth. We will return…

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Trailer of “Why not” An overcoming history

Yosemite Satisfaction

“If you fall, bounce back,  handle adversity and find always the courage and the energy to continue. Make your existence great!”

Lola in Yosemite
Lola in Yosemite

Eleonora ” Lola ” is a passionate climber in all season.

In March 2015, while she is climbing an icefall in Val Daone, she is victim of a dreadful accident in which she loses the use of her legs. For Lola, however, the desire to resume physical activity and dive back into the climbing is overwhelming, and after a few months of rehabilitation, she accepts without hesitation the proposal of Diego Pezzoli to climb, with special equipments, a way on the mythical El Capitan wall, in Yosemite National Park.

Cheers! Camp 4 Yosemite
Cheers! Camp 4 Yosemite

The film is a story of this experience, without wanting to be a history of the ascent, but rather a story of how she prepared and lived it, in a mix of carefree smiles, real action, nights in portal edge, hours and days together great friends. 

https://youtu.be/31u4ote2LMo

“Thanks to this project, I could notice that real and recognizable power, in Eleonora” (Diego Pezzoli)

Diego and Lola
Diego and Lola
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“Totem Cams saved my life” the story of Gregor Staggl

JebelMisht, Make love not war

“Totem Cams saved my life” the story of Gregor Staggl :

Jef Verstraeten, Wolfi Reidlinger, Phillip Pichlbauer, Gregor Staggl.

After 10 days of climbing and getting used to the rock in the beautiful Sultanate of Oman, Jef, Wolfi, Phillip and I decided that it was time to go for the 1000m wall of Jebel Misht. This mountain became one of the main reasons for the trip, after watching the video by Hansjörg Auer and Much Mayr climbing ‘Fata Morgana’, a 7c line through the south face with only few bolts.
In the afternoon, we arrived at our campsite and could finally gaze upon the impressive mountain face. Eagerly we pulled out the guidebook to study all the different lines that led through the wall. There it was, “Fata Morgana”. The name itself had an ominous touch to it and Jef and I were keen on trying it ourselves. Still, it was quite intimidating and therefore, we chose another route as test piece.

 

JebelMisht, Make love not war
JebelMisht, Make love not war

‘Make love not war’, 7b, 25 pitches through the southeast wall. With its many hard pitches (one 7b, three 7a’s and several 6b+ to 6c), we thought it was comparable in terms of difficulty, but less serious since all the belays and hard slabs were bolted. Our goal was to make a team-red-point ascent, thus we prepared for a bivvy on the ledge after pitch 15. We had to pack light with 2 liters of water each, a few Oatkings and two Snickers for the top. Regarding the gear, one set of Totem Cams complemented with some bigger and smaller sizes and some nuts had to be enough.

In the early hours, we set out for the silhouette of Jebel Misht and reached the mountain face short before dawn. There our paths separated. Wolfi and Phillip searched for the entry of ‘Shukran’ and Jef and I looked for the features of our line.
At first daylight, we started the climb and made fast progress. Jef took care of two 7a’s and I led the 7b-pitch. Onsighting every pitch except for a 6c-slab that I had to do twice, we already reached the bivvy ledge at 2pm. Climbing in the sun with only little water was exhausting, but at this rate, we began believing in a one-day-ascent. Finally, we reached the last hard pitch, a 7a-50m-crack. Tired and thirsty, I was glad that it was again Jef’s turn to lead. When he managed to ascend to the next anchor onsight, I joyously cleared my belay and scrambled up to give him the high-five he earned. From there it was only eight pitches to go, many 5’s and nothing harder than 6a+. In our heads, we were already on the peak and could start planning for “Fata Morgana”.

 

Jef and Gregor
Jef and Gregor

It was two hours until dusk. To make the most out of the remaining daylight, we postponed the next drinking break to the next belay. Keeping the backpack, I hastily started with the next pitch, a rather short 5+. I scrambled up the chimney, placed a red Totem at 5 meters and a green one at 10. Thirsty and tired, I grabbed a flake with my right hand, doubled it and wanted to pull my weight closer to the top.

Tearing out the flake, I was suddenly in mid-air. Falling and screaming, I braced myself for the impact. The fall should have been over by then, but it was not. I took a deep breath and screamed again. In an instant, I came to an abrupt halt, crashing sideways against the wall. After falling 25 meters, I found myself hanging below the anchor. The green Totem was placed badly and broke out under the impact and so I was hanging in the lower, red cam. I could tell you now that I had seen my life flashing before my eyes or that my thoughts were with my one true love, but to be honest, my first thought was that I had to reclimb that stupid pitch. Then, I took a close look at my left hand, which was bleeding heavily. There was a deep cut in my palm. Anxiously I tried moving all my fingers and was quite relieved, when everything moved as it was supposed to.

Reaching the summit was now out of question. Jef had to lower me to the previous belay, where I could attach myself. After retrieving the red Totem that had held my fall, he repelled to my position and helped me treating the wound. We tried to immobilize my left thumb with the bandages and luckily, I could still use my left fingers and my right hand. Calming down a bit, we proceeded with the repelling. Jef always went first and prepared everything for me to follow. I tried to help as much as I could and in less than two hours, we reached the bottom. The sun had set half an hour before and so we were sitting in the dark, regaining some strength and eating the Snickers that we had saved for the top.

It still took us two hours to reach the camp and get to our car. On the way, we could contact Wolfi and Phillip, who managed to reach the top of ‘Shukran’, and tell them that we were heading for the hospital. While they were beginning the long descent, we drove to the next bigger city called Ibri. At the end of my strength, I fell asleep during the drive and at midnight, I could finally see a doctor. With a big but superficial wound on my hip, a rope burn on my right arm, many scratches and a deep cut in my left palm, I was lucky. No broken bones, only some stitches. At half past 4 a.m., I could finally lie down in our tent. Exhausted, but alive!

Gregor the next day
Gregor the next day

 

Written by Gregor Staggl.

 

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Totem Cams in horizontal placements

TotemCam horizontal direccion

In this post you will find a useful video explaining some tips to place a Totem Cam in horizontal placements.

 

1.- First, choose the biggest size that it fits into the crack. It will be more stable.

TotemCam choose big size
TotemCam choose big size

 

2.- Second, place as deep as possible to minimize the possible side load.

Totem Cam placed near the edge
Totem Cam placed near the edge
Totem Cam placed deep
Totem Cam placed deep

 

3.- Third, place it with the outer lobes at the bottom. It’s more stable this way too.

Totem Cam in horizontal, outer lobes at the bottom = more stability
Totem Cam in horizontal, outer lobes at the bottom = more stability

4.- Fourth, if the crack is shallow, align the cam with the expected load as much as possible.

Totem Cam in shallow horizontal, align with the load.
Totem Cam in shallow horizontal, align with the load.

 

Please contact us in case of any doubt or comment.

Thank you,

Cheers..

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Jury’s decision second Totem Cams photo contest

Winner, Kamil Sustiak

After two months receiving your pictures from all around the world, the time has finally arrived, the photo contest is over.

There were a really high quality pictures. Thank you everybody for sending your photos.

This is not going to be the last Totem Cams photo contest so keep trying next time.

Jury’s decision:

First prize to:

Winner, Kamil Sustiak
Winner, Kamil Sustiak

Second prize to:

Rock climber Aaron Livingston (@livingstonaaron) puts up a new route in the hills above the Buttermilks as photographer Dana Felthauser (@danafelthauser) watches and shoots photos. (Out of Reach 5.11-)
Dana Felthauser

Coming soon we will share the best pictures in facebook, don’t forget commenting them and giving your opinions.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Second Totem Cams Photo Contest

Crack climbing

Hello and welcome to the second Totem Cams photo contest.

Crack climbing
Crack climbing

Who may participate: 

Everyone over 18, any nationality, professional or not.

Topic:

Trad Climbing, all products and brands which appear in the picture are valid.

Admission dates:

The contest will start the 5th of September and will finish the 21th of November 2016 at 23:59. Every photography sent out of time will be rejected.

Technical characteristics for the contest:

  • Each participating photographer will present three pictures maximum.

  • Size of the picture: at least 1000px long and never heavier than 2mb.

  • Only JPG photos will be accepted.

  • Digital retouching is allowed on the condition that the picture must keep its essence.

  • The pictures with a watermark, as well as the ones with identification mark, will be no accepted.

  • No photo frame allowed.

  • No selective discoloration photo allowed.

  • There will not be allowed pictures offending against human dignity, damage the environment, neither the manifestly disgusting or offensive ones.

Where and how to send the pictures:

The pictures will be sent to photocontest@totemcams.com with the additional information listed bellow:

  • Name.

  • Surname.

  • Country.

  • Mail.

  • Phone number with the country code.

  • Attached photos.

Awards:

  • First prize: seven of our products to choose.

  • Second prize: Two of our products to choose.

Totem climbing gear
The winner can choose seven of our products.

Jury´s decision:

The jury is made up of professionals from the world of photography and mountain, it will issue its decision, which will be final, the 28th of November 2016. The winning pictures will be published on the blog and social networks and the winners will be informed by e-mail.

Observations:

The participant declares and guarantees that the submitted work was created by him/her and that he/she holds all rights to the work. All the pictures could be used in the Totem Cams blog, website or social networks in order to promote the contest.

Artists and authors will remain sole copyright owners of their works. Totem Cams binds itself to comply with the offer’s copyright and so to take care about the use of their works.

The fact of sending a picture will means that you agree completely the contest rules.

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Jury’s decision Totem Cams photo contest

David Nieto (Spain)

After a month receiving your pictures from all around the world, the first Totem Cams photo contest is over.

There were a really high quality pictures, and that’s why it was so difficult to make a decision about the winners. Thank you everybody for sending your pictures. This is not going to be the last Totem Cams photo contest so keep trying next time.

Jury’s decision:

First prize to:

David Nieto (Spain)
David Nieto (Spain)

Second prize to:

Anthony Johnson (USA)
Anthony Johnson (USA)

Coming soon we will share the best pictures in facebook, don’t forget commenting them and giving your opinions.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Totem Cams photo contest

Totem climbing gear

Hello and welcome to the first Totem Cams photo contest.

Totem Cams, first photo contest
Totem Cams, first photo contest

Who may participate: 

Everyone over 18, any nationality, professional or not. All participants will receive a 10% discount ticket which can be used in our website www.totemcams.com (only the Countries authorized to use the online shopping mode) from the 5th of October to the 31th October 2015.

Topic:

Trad Climbing, all products and brands which appear in the picture are valid.

Admission dates:

The contest will start the 17th of September and will finish the 18th of October 2015 at 23:59. Every photography sent out of time will be rejected.

Technical characteristics for the contest:

  • Each participating photographer will present three pictures maximum.

  • Size of the picture: at least 1000px long and never heavier than 2mb.

  • Only JPG photos will be accepted.

  • Digital retouching is allowed on the condition that the picture must keep its essence.

  • The pictures with a watermark, as well as the ones with identification mark, will be no accepted.

  • No photo frame allowed.

  • No selective discoloration photo allowed.

  • There will not be allowed pictures offending against human dignity, damage the environment, neither the manifestly disgusting or offensive ones.

Where and how to send the pictures:

The pictures will be sent to photocontest@totemcams.com with the additional information listed bellow:

  • Name.

  • Surname.

  • Country.

  • Mail.

  • Phone number with the country code.

  • Attached photos.

Awards:

  • First prize: five of our products to choose and one T-shirt.

  • Second prize: Two of our products to choose and one T-shirt .

Totem climbing gear
Totem climbing gear

Jury´s decision:

The jury is made up of professionals from the world of photography and mountain, it will issue its decision, which will be final, the 21th of October 2015. The winning pictures will be published on the blog and social networks and the winners will be informed by e-mail.

Observations:

The participant declares and guarantees that the submitted work was created by him/her and that he/she holds all rights to the work. All the pictures could be used in the Totem Cams blog, website or social networks in order to promote the contest.

Artists and authors will remain sole copyright owners of their works. Totem Cams binds itself to comply with the offer’s copyright and so to take care about the use of their works.

The fact of sending a picture will means that you agree completely the contest rules.

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Totem Cam and Basic Cam strength comparison

Totem strength tests

In this first post we will like to present a video with a Totem Cam and Basic Cam strength comparison. At the end of the video we will show some interesting conclusions about the tests. We hope you will find it interesting!

 

Please contact us in case of any doubt or comment.

Thank you,

Cheers