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Canyons & Crags Totems

Totem Totem CRT
Totem Totem CRT

Overview


Totem
(#1184)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired my Canyons & Crags Totem from Canyons & Crags in 2008.

This Canyons & Crags Totem is 191 mm. tall, 63 mm. wide, 10 mm. thick, and weighs 134 g. It is milled from aluminum alloy plate and then soft anodized. The elliptical eyes are 18.4 mm. high and 26.2 mm. wide. The large rope hole is 44 mm. in diameter. The two slots are each 38 mm. long and 12.8 mm. wide.

One side of the Totem is printed with "TOTEM," "30kN," and "08326B0098."

Comments

Here is an excerpt from the introductory email that Rich Carlson sent to me:

The rappelling and rigging device that I designed is now available. I believe it is destined to become the Swiss Army Knife of canyoneering devices. A combination figure eight and plate, it can be rigged for rappelling on single and double strand ropes from 7.5 mm. to 10.5 mm. Easy to add friction on the fly. Easy to lock off. It can also be used to rig releasable eights, the joker, stone eight, and much much more.

Rich was certainly inspired, at least in part, by the SFD 8 that he sent me earlier in the year. While I agree that the Totem is versatile, I stopped carrying my 36-blade Swiss Army Knife when I realized that my four-blade knife can do everything that I need; similarly, I've done very well with normal figure eights. To keep the Totem to a manageable size, Rich reduced the rope hole on the eight portion of the Totem. While this might not be a problem on clean, flexible ropes, it certainly can recreate the "Help, I'm Gary and I can't get down" problem on stiff caving ropes. To be fair, though, this is a canyoneering descender, not a caving or climbing device, and canyoneering is Rich's specialty.

The Rock Exotica Totem is a later version that has Rock Exotica markings.


Totem CRT (#2441)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired my Canyons & Crags Totem CRT from Canyons & Crags in 2017.

My Canyons & Crags Totem CRT is 216 mm. tall, 121 mm. wide, 12 mm. thick, and weighs 278 g. It is milled from aluminum alloy plate and then soft anodized. The elliptical eye is 20.0 mm. high and 28.7 mm. wide. The large rope hole is 48 mm. in diameter. The two slots are each 52 mm. long and 14.0 mm. wide. The small round holes are 21 mm. in diameter

One side of the Totem is printed with "TOTEM CRT," "made in usa," "36kN," a half skull-and-crossbones icon, "EXPERT USE ONLY," "rock exotica," a book-with-an-"i" icon, and "16203M0193."

Comments

Phil Mabbitt from Rock Exotica Outside Sales sent me the following note:

Love the website! I now work for Rock Exotica, in Clearfield, UT. Rock Exotica is on your pages a few times. We are now manufacturing a Totem CRT(Canyon Rescue Tool) for Rich Carlson, that I don’t see on your page. You might ask him to help you attain one for your collection. Here is a link to the device on the Canyons and Crags website. https://canyonsandcrags.com/product/totem-crt/ The picture doesn’t do it justice… it’s HUGE. Lol. It’s not really designed as a simple rappel device, obviously, but as a rescue and rigging tool for high angle rescue teams.

The totem is "huge," but at least not to the extent that the Radeberger Haken are. While the bigger-is-better crowd may like this, those who know me know that I prefer simple, single-purpose devices. I don't even need (or like) ears on my eights. As a device that combines features from eights, sticht plates, horns, rigging plates, and a few other devices, the all-around Totem CRT really doesn't fit my needs or preferences, and as an incremental-friction device, it is too large for my taste. Once again, thought, this is a canyoneering rescue and rigging tool, not a caving or climbing descender, and so my opinion really doesn't matter.