On the evening of Friday, Nov 1st, Kevin Jorgeson wrote this on his facebook page: “El Cap bites back.” Hours later Tommy Caldwell wrote this on his facebook page: “Disaster strikes! Haul bag took a 200-foot plunge while clipped to the back of my harness. Hauling hook fail. It was a bit jarring. Looks like a Costochondral Seperation. I am headed home to try and heal as quickly as possable.”
Costochondral Seperation is a separation of a rib from the sternum.
Caldwell was climbing on El Cap at the time of the accident, attempting to free climb the Dawn Wall. He has been working, with various partners, on freeing the Dawn Wall for years. This year Kevin Jorgeson, Chris Sharma and Jonathan Siegrist were working on the project with Caldwell.
The team got a late start after the Federal Government shut-down forced the closure of Yosemite and other National Parks. Whether or not the team will continue working on the climb is unknown. “I’ve had to break through barriers and have created this life that is incredibly engaging and exciting and gets me psyched year-round to continue training,” Caldwell said, “I always have a goal that I’m working toward. I just love it. I’m going to keep going back.”
“This obsession is a curious thing,” he says. “Sometimes I wonder about the merits of devoting so much of myself to a singular climbing objective. Much of the time it beats me down, leaves me hanging my head in despair. But then there are the moments that bring me to life. When excitement wells up inside my chest in a way that doesn’t happen in every day life…It’s a crazy roller coaster and I owe my family and partners a great deal for encouraging me through it all.”
From everyone at Gripped Magazine, heal up quick Tommy, the entire climbing community is rooting for you guys on the Dawn Wall.
UPDATE: According to Chris Sharma’s Instagram post, it seems that the 2013 Dawn Wall season has ended.
Sharma posted: “A huge big up and thanks to the Dons of the Dawn Wall @tommycaldwell and @kjorgeson for having me up there with them.” It was such a new and mind blowing experience. It’s hard to comprehend how big and hard that thing is. Tommy I hope you recover and get back up there soon. Was so good getting to hang after so many years!”