Homie and I continued our rock climbing training for Europe this morning. We did a couple of the classics on the Wind Tower. As we drove into the parking lot at 6 a.m. I was surprised to see two vehicles already there. I'm slipping, obviously... There was a party of six working their way up the East Slabs descent of the Redgarden Wall. They would eventually top out and it looked like they lowered in to TR the last pitch of the Naked Edge.
Later, we saw another guy, alone, fixing a single line from the top of the Bastille down Outer Space and XM. He rappelled the line and the TRed back to the top. Also, a party of three was starting the Bastille Creek and were up a pitch by the time we left.
We had the Wind Tower to ourselves, though. I put the first two pitches of the Wind Ridge (5.7) together and belayed Homie up to the big ledge. I then turned the tricky overhang on the third pitch. As I turned the lip I heard Homie say something. I paused and looked down and he was rubbing his forehead. He asked me if I knocked off a rock. Nope. He thought maybe I dropped a biner. I checked my rack and it all seemed to be there and we concluded that it must have been some random rock falling from above. But at the top of the route, when we re-racked, I realized I was missing the second 0.75 Camalot. I had only placed one piece on the pitch and it was the other 0.75. Oops. I must have dislodged it taking the other one off the rack and when I turned the roof, it fell free smacking Homie right between the eyes.
We scrambled off to the descend and then downclimbed the descent to the trail. We hiked down a bit and then I climbed up the ramp that leads to the top of the second pitch to search for the errant Camalot. I did not find it on the ledge, where I was hoping it had stopped. I was resigned to descending and climbing up Breezy or the Wind Ridge again to look for it when I spotted it lodged in a crack about thirty feet down the route. I down-soloed to the piece, retrieved it, and climbed back up.
Of course I felt horrible for beaning Homie with the gear and dropping the piece at all. What a bumbler, I am. I'm trying to instill in Homie some confidence in me. This isn't doing it. We've done a lot together, though, and I suspect he already thinks I'm a competent partner. I hope so. He sure is a rock solid partner himself.
We moved down the hill a bit and climbed the first pitch of Calypso to the sloping ledge. Then we finished up Reggae. Homie followed easily and we downclimbed to the rappel anchors. Two rappels put us on the ground and we were driving out of the park a little after 8 a.m.