We had a great day out. I spent over an hour working my way up delicate terrain on pitch 5. The initial moves are unprotected 5.9-5.10 slab climbing for about 20' before you get any pro. It is scary climbing off a huge ledge which makes for serious decking potential. The one piece of pro, 20' up is good, and provides a much needed boost of confidence. From there it is about 10 feet of easy climbing to a small stance and a good rest. I placed a #2 camalot in a weathered hole in this section. I knew this cam wouldn't hold a fall, but like chalk, it provided a little extra courage. About 6-8 feet above the cam I was able to get in a medium sized offset stopper, which again, was body weight only. By this time I was well above my only good piece and was looking at a long whipper if I fell. I should have backed off at this point but my desire to summit outweighed common sense. From my last nut it was 10 more feet of climbing before reaching a huge ledge and easier terrain. As I climbed past the nut, I reached up, grabbed a great left hand hold, secured a marginal right, began pulling up...and my right hand hold broke. I ripped out the stopper and the #2, and hit the ledge far below which my belayer was on. The pieces failing and the rope took some of the force, but I hit the ledge hard on my left side, bruising my left hand, hip, and leg. My hand swelled up immediately, leading me to believe it was broken. Thanks to Dow for getting me off the West Face safely. We did leave gear, as there was no fixed anchor at the top of pitch 2. Pitch one and pitch 4 have bolted belays. Short of a bolt kit, a hammer and pitons would not have helped protect the crux lead. It is not advised to descend the route. Loose rock abounds and snagged our rope. Pulling the rope sent a barrage of missiles down the corner onto our heads. Wear a helmet.
With Joe, worse fall he has taken...bounced but saved by a great belay and the 1" piece. That is a serious pitch he claimed he couldn't protect any better with a hammer and piton if he wanted....I did not get up it at all as he thought he broke his rap hand, so I had to lower him and get him off asap. Doubt I will be back at this one short of bringing a bolt kit or learning that we were off route.