On 6/11/2013 shortman wrote:
>Ouch....rib separated from the sternum.
On November 1, Caldwell wrote 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 separation. I am headed home to try and heal as quickly as possible."
A costochondral separation, which occurs when a rib separates from the sternum, can take upwards of three months to heal with complete rest from strenuous activities. At this time, however, it is unknown whether Caldwell's injury is mild or severe, but with the already shortened window of climbing on what is likely the world's hardest big-wall free climb, the Dawn Wall project could be delayed until 2014.
And according to Jorgeson, Caldwell may not be out of the game for that long.
"It sounds like Tommy is healing up nicely," he wrote. "So I wouldn't be surprised to have him back sooner rather than later."
As stated above, Caldwell suffered a separated rib on El Cap last weekend and has currently returned home to heal. Jorgeson explained the incident in more detail, writing: "We were jumaring up fixed lines. Tommy was hauling the day bag with a rope, shoes, clothes, etc. for the evening session on the crux traverse pitch. We were using a hauling hook as we had all season. When Tommy left the pitch 7 anchor, the haul bag got jostled loose and took the full 200-foot whip onto the hauling loop on the back of his harness."
I fully understand that situation and the associated pain that goes with popping a rib off one's sternum.
My guess is the bag twang-impact at ropes end, caused the front of his harness to compress his lower rib-cage, ... and 'pop' goes a rib that was overlapped by the harness.
I can vouch (after about 6 years past a similar injury), that they don't just heal up, & "upwards of three months" can be an understated misnomer...
~> Yes it is still an ouch, and likely one that I will take to my grave, which I hope is not the case for T. Caldwell.
As an aside, dislodged haul (fifi) hooks, are nearly always bad news on a wall, & more especially if/while soloing.
This amazing project of theirs has certainly been worth following, and the twists and turns it is taking would have seem far-fetched if scripted on paper instead of real-life!