I saw the whole thing unfold, as we were right next to him on Birdie Party, and we helped secure and evac him. With all due respect to the party involved, I would like to re-inforce several learning points here. I will try not to be too judgmental here, and instead I would like to focus on recognizing errors, avoidance, and in general, safer climbing.
The climber, from what I understood was relatively new to trad climbing, and got on MF. He got off route onto the 5.10R variation, got pumped, fell a couple of times hurting his ankle, then started working the second crux of MF, with his last piece over to the left on the variation. He got more pumped and frazzled. He aided through the second crux with a nut but did not clip the nut. He was concerned about leaving gear, and I think felt rushed because he had to go to work. He cleared the second crux and kept climbing up through jugs, but then fell about 25 feet. I beleive since his last piece was down to the left, the rope caught his leg. He was violently flipped upside down hitting the back of his head on the rock, knocked unconscious, and then hanging upside down. It was a horrible fall that I will never forget.
The main take home points I found were:
1) Its always better to bail, leave gear, or hurt your ego than to end up in the hospital.
2) When you get pumped and frazzled, better to stop, place gear, and/or lower, when you are above your climbing limit.
3) Nevel let the rope run behind your leg if you are in a situation in which you might fall. The key part of this accident was that the climber was flipped upside down, hitting his head.
4) Wear a helmet that protects your whole cranium, that will shatter on impact - not the hard-hat type.
Oh yeah, and as an aside, the preserve should invest in some new high quality C-collars to keep in the rescue box. The one we got was old, broken and dysfunctional. I will see if I can donate some from where I work.....
Also, everyone did a great job with a challenging rescue effort.
I agree 100% with this.
I talked today to some folk who saw him fall at a more direct angle than me, they said it was semi obvious to them he was going to fall violently.
His helmet was a lighter weight plastic climbing helmet with no padding what soever in the back of the head. In the back there was a chin strap tightener circle that at best provided no protection.
I too would like info on his current condition, during his evac I noted he thought he was still climbing... hard images to bury, closure would be nice.