Wow, very well written! Scary as hell. My best friend and climbing buddy did virtually the same thing on the first pitch of the south face of Washington's Column. He grounded. He broke his wrist and elbow and needed about 100 stitches but lived to climb again, even onsighting up to 5.12. That first pitch is easy after the short 5.8 corner, so run it out, eh? He doesn't remember what happened. His elbow does give him some complaints now and then as he nears 50. I still wish I could climb as well as he.
That's what I've been thinking. I read the first hand account several times to make sure I fully understood. I also went up there this week to check out the accident site.
There are definitely no bolts on Fingergrip. He said that he was within "hands reach" of the bolted anchor and 60-70 feet off the Jungle. The other interesting bit of info he included is that his only piece of gear was an "orange alien". I assume he means an orange Metolius, which is a common size for El Camino Real. At the cruxy section of El Camino, you need small cams, specifically green/yellow Alien size.
In my mind, all the signs seem to be pointing to El Camino Real.
Any chance umump can give a more detailed account of the route he was climbing?
All that said, I'm glad he's okay and it was thrilling to read a first hand account of a fall like that. I've never read anything like it.
All day Saturday at Taquitz I had this fall on my mind. Placed more gear than normal, I'd say, even on the cruiser sections. Took a nice 20-25 footer...next time placing gear right below the crux. Actually, next time figure out where the crux is first.