Such an iconic and storied line... one of those routes where everyone has a story attached to it. I remember being at a Sterling Rope clinic out there and a Japanese athlete of theirs took a huge scraper on it... laughed it off, finished the pitch blooded up and smiling.
Up there with Figures, Left Ski Track etc where you fight the name and history long before grappling the dime edges!
Although I had that close call on the route in 1979, it did not keep me away. In fact quite the contrary....I actually got a bit addicted to the line...so much so that it cost me another very hairraising incident on it.
Around the mid-80's, I wanted to take a friend on the route. We drove out to Josh from San Diego on a cool, blustery winter day and "warmed up" on Heart and Sole. There was a strong wind blowing across the race, from left to right, and though it was clear, we were quite cold.
However, by this time I had done EBGBs around a dozen times, and I really wanted to get Earl on the route, so on up I went. I turned the corner onto the main face, right into the teeth of that wind, which made a whistling noise at it raced through the holes on the bolts.
I climbed the route with my right leg flagged out hard, to check the barn door effect. That ascent brought back the sickening feeling that I had on that first ascent...but I did not take any falls.
In fact, I have never fallen on the route.....I've always been TOO damned scared to fall on that thing!!!