Awesome job from the PA who stitched me up!
I still have 2 bruises that I can feel when running, but those are going away, too.
I finally returned to the Rock for the first time since I fell. I didn't intend on taking that long to get back up, as I wanted to go as soon as possible, but that's how my schedule worked out. Previously this year, in fact, I had been up at least once a week, until the fires closed down the park for over a week. I'll still plan on ~50 summits for the year, which pales in comparison to those that can run it a few times a week from their driveway.
I was anxious to summit again, but also wanted to check out where, and how, and how far, I fell.
I'm not sure exactly where I landed, but my best guess is pretty high up in the gap along some mossy rocks.
There's a narrow, steeper pitch below that which I'm very fortunate not to have fallen.
The pic doesn't do much good without perspective, so here's a pic with people on it for scale:
I was at least 3/4 of the way up the right side of the right gap, and fell to just below the bottom of that gap. In person, I could tell my feet were over 4 "Mike Heights" above the highest spot I might have landed...so at minimum, I fell at least 25 feet -- or my body and head fell 30. Yikes.
So I poked around a bit on the route that Nick actually took up, so I could also try to get a better view and pic of where I was. I only went up a little bit with no intention of going further than just a safe distance, and I hit wet rock (from the previous day's rain) as expected, but I had a purpose of testing this safe distance out. Although I was only 6-7 feet off the ground, when I turned around to downclimb, I hesitated. Then I thought about sliding and my heart started racing. Craph, that's exactly what I was worried about.
My body's healing nicely, but my mind hasn't yet.
I paused twice (for a few minutes) to shake away those feelings on a few easy steps, rotating around and deciding whether to face in or not on something I could easily have jumped off of.
I slowly reassured myself that I had great footholds and got down, but it shows that I need to shake this off and gain my confidence back in as slow and safe of a manner as necessary.
It also occurred to me how little Class 4+ downclimbing on rock faces I actually do -- I feel great upclimbing, I feel great on ledgy exposure on ridges and stemming both up and down chimneys, but having to search for smaller holds with my feet when downclimbing is clearly a weakness.
It also occurred to me that I couldn't remember how Clark got down after I fell, but it certainly must have sucked even more for him to have had to hurry a somewhat technical downclimb. Normally, we would have just gone down the standard route.
Once I got passed where I fell the rest of it was easy and without a second-thought, so it could also be very specific negative thoughts from being on the exact same route.
I went up for a quick summit on the standard route, something I think I could do with my eyes closed.
I learned that I have to get my confidence back slowly and safely -- but I also learned, again, how lucky I was.