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North America, United States, Arizona, Totem Pole, Monument Valley

Totem Pole, Monument Valley. Ken Wyrick and I were hired by Universal Studios to “put the rope up” for the filming of the desert part of the movie Eiger Sanction. We spent 14 days on the Totem Pole and its nearby walls. Our duties were primarily to work with Clint Eastwood, stuntmen and the climber-cinephotographers, Pete White, Mike Hoover and Peter Pilafian. Our ascent was the fifth. At the end we cleaned the Totem Pole of its bolts and pitons as requested by the Navajo Council. Thus ended an era of climbing on what is surely the thinnest, tallest sandstone tower in the world. All climbing is prohibited within the tribal park and the law is energetically enforced by the Navajo police.

Eric BjØrnstad