Close friends of mine were the first responders for this accident (they were up manning my booth at the AAC Craggin Classic over the weekend while I was unfortunately called out of town) so I received a first hand report. While I normally keep quite on the boards I figured that since they don't check the forums I would add a couple of things based on their report of the accident to me.
1. Mike (who was first on the scene) has his Wilderness First Responder and not for the first time am I reminded of the importance of this sort of training. Just like helmets by the time that you realize you actually need it, it's probably too late. His training allowed him to assess the situation and take the proper steps. While the WFR training is expensive it makes so much sense to familiarize yourself with the basics of wilderness first aid.
2. Despite it being well within his abilities Mike and his partner had just backed off of this route (or maybe one right next to it) because of concern about rock quality. They then went around the corner to find something else to climb before hearing the sounds of rockfall and the yells from the belayer. The lesson here isn't that the climbers who had the accident should not have been on the route, but instead to trust your own judgement. Better safe than sorry.
3.Just to flush out the report: The belayed received significant rope burn on her hands. As was reported she lost control of the rope when she tripped dogging rock fall but then grabbed the rope above the belay device in order to slow the fall of the leader. She then did her best to try and get back under the falling leader to cushion his blow and keep him off of the ground with her body. The leader did ground fall but was probably saved significant injury due to her efforts. Not only will I will definitely be doing more belaying with my grigri after this, but it goes to show that having a competent belayer goes beyond whether or not they know how to hold the rope.
4. And finally while Sarah and Mike were spooked by the accident and reminded that accidents can occur at anytime, the thing that was really impressed upon them was the efforts and teamwork of their fellow climbers. While the Craggin' Classic weekend was all about the climbing community it paled in comparison to what was shown at Humpherys. They described the actions of their fellow climbers and the efforts, especially during the litter carry, as nothing short of phenomenal. While reminded of the dangers of climbing, the lesson they took home was that should an accident occur they can count on the compassion and strength of other climbers to help them out of it.
Be safe out there!