Coyote Calling 5.12

It says 5.11+ in the guide book, but that’s Bull Shit ha ha,  it’s a total sandbag.  Coyote Calling is a ‘physical’ 4 pitch desert climb on the Rectory feature in Castle Valley.  I’ve heard the rumors, and I’ve wanted to try this for a while now, so I dropped the idea to my man Bean Bowers from Ridgeway CO, and he took the reins from there.  We hiked up at 11am, WAY too late for our dream link up, but just good enough to climb the route and back down before sunset.  The problem is that it’s fuggin winter up there and we showed up in the shade.


We climbed on the windy side and the shady side all damn day.  How I got roped into this I’ll never know, I hate the cold, but Bean has enough stoke for at least three people, so away we went.  The climb wasn’t fast in any shape or form, it’s technical, it’s fragile, it’s thin, it’s flaring, it’s hard.  The leader moves slower than expected, especially when your hands feel like clay pots.  The fourth pitch is a thinker.  You have to do a 15 foot unprotected traverse, it was Bean’s lead.  We couldn’t see the exit, and the fall is right onto the anchor.  See pics below.  Bean took a “test” fall from five feet out and slammed me into the wall.   We then sucked it up and he stuck it, slammed in a wire (that eventually popped out) and took us to the summit just in time to watch the fire ball drop behind the range.  The routes crux comes at the first pitch (take the undercling with your right hand) but the anchor needs to be moved about 3 feet up and left.   From the top, 2 – 60 meter raps took us back to our bags and one headlamp took us back to cold beers in the parking lot.  It was nippy, it was steep, it was tiring, and it was perfect.   Hope you enjoy the pics.



The sunny side.  Fine Jade.

the trail

top down


finger crack

pitch 3, splitter fingers, with a sandy surprise.


The traverse.


The desert shadows.


This is the 5.11 sport pitch at the top.

Bean summit

Team Coyote

In preperation for my upcoming trip to Patagonia Argentina, we climbed this thing as training.  Bean wasn’t about to back down for nobody.  We wore our puffy jackets the whole damn way.  I was glad I brought it.  It saved my life I think. ha!

  • Very nice pictures!

  • Hey Sonnie,

    Still in the desert? I’m back to work and still in shock from that. Not so much climbing but I’m compensating it with drinking. Take care!!

    greets Niek (dutchy)

  • Sonnie

    Thanks Narc, more to come…

  • Jay

    I really do envy you sonnie.

  • Peter

    What are you up to in Patagonia? I thought you stayed away from all that messy alpine business.

  • Lars

    I guess the word is out about the great bouldering in El Chalten! hahahaha! ; )

  • willy

    sick, you guys are the patagonia dream team. Would love to drop in this year, but I can’t.
    Great shots Trotter.

    Love the desert, currently in Morocco, just scored some borderline illegal brews.

    Let’s get up to some trouble soon.
    Say hi to Bean for me.


  • Steve Traversari

    Hey Sonnie,
    If you’re prepping for a trip to Patagonia, you gotta see this movie; Cerro Torre – Scream of Stone. Starring a couple of great Canadian actors, Donald Sutherland as a sleazy tv promoter, Al Waxman as a Hollywood exec, and Stefan Glowacz as the champion indoor climber now being pushed to a solo seige assault on Cerro Torre. Stafan’s character lied about the first ascent at the suggestion of Sutherland’s character. It’s a bit cheesy for a 1991 movie but not bad if you stick with it. Check it out. There’s a few cameos of what looks like Messner.

  • Sonnie

    Thanks dude.

  • Dooooder! I tried to go up Coyote Calling like three years ago with a buddy of mine, it did not go very well. I had only been desert climbing a few times and thought I had a handle on 5.11+ crack climbing, I didn’t, or maybe I did and this thing was really 5.12. Anyway, we bailed after the second pitch because it was beating us to a pulp. All I remember is that there was a heinous exit move at the 1st pitch and there was also a little airy traverse at the start of the second pitch too? The line looked good just above my head at the time, I’ve never talked to anyone else who’s gone up there and tried that thing…Nice work! Give us a shout when you head back our way…peace.