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Brad Gobright death: Pioneering climber dies in accident in Mexico

Brad Gobright
Free solo climber Brad Gobright dies in Mexico. Pic credit: Gramicci/YouTube

Free solo climber Brad Gobright died on Wednesday at the age of 31 following an accident in El Potrero Chico, Mexico. The Californian rock climber was reportedly killed while descending the famous climb El Sendero Luminoso.

Rock and Ice reports that a fellow climber, Joel Heriberto Guaddarrama Garcia, learned from a Costa Rican witness named Gino that Brad and his partner Aiden Jacobson, 26, were rappelling the El Sendero Luminoso on the front side of the El Toro formation at about 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday when they both fell to a ledge.

According to the witness, Gobright and Jacobson were using an 80-meter rope without having tied knots at the end of the ropes. Gobright’s partner Jacobsen survived the fall with no serious injuries, but Gobright bounced off a ledge and fell farther down towards the bottom to a lower ledge and died.

Many rock climbers commented on social media about the claims that the accident was caused by a failure to tie knots at the end of the ropes while rappelling.

Tributes pour in on social media

Friends and colleagues, including climbing legend Alex Honnold, have been paying tribute to Gobright on Twitter and Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

I’m so sorry to hear that @bradgobright just died in a climbing accident. He was such a warm, kind soul – one of a handful of partners that I always loved spending a day with. I suppose there’s something to be said about being safe out there and the inherent risks in climbing but I don’t really care about that right now. I’m just sad for Brad and his family. And for all of us who were so positively affected by his life. So crushing. Brad was a real gem of a man. For all his strengths and weaknesses (like his insanely strong fingers, or living out of a Honda Civic…) at the core he was just a good guy. I guess there’s nothing really to say. I’m sad. The climbing world lost a true light. Rest in peace…

A post shared by Alex Honnold (@alexhonnold) on

https://twitter.com/chrisis0bel/status/1200035152413503488

Who was Brad Gobright?

Gobright was a highly talented free solo climber known for his daring free solo ascents and record-breaking speed ascents.

He soloed Hairstyles and Attitudes on the Bastille, Eldorado Canyon, Colorado, and the Rostrum in Yosemite, multiple times.

He is also known for his speed record on The Nose of Yosemite’s El Capitan with partner Jim Reynolds in October 2017. They ascended to the peak of the 3,000-foot route in 2 hours, 19 minutes, and 44 seconds. The record was broken in 2018 by Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell.

In 2016, Gobright and Scott Bennett climbed three El Capitan routes — Zodiac, The Nose, and Lurking Fear — in 23 hours 10 minutes, and on May 8, 2019, he completed a free ascent of the Muir Wall via The Shaft in 17.5 hours.

In June 2019, he and Alex Honnold teamed up to make the second completely free ascent of El Cap’s Pineapple Express variation of the El Niño route.


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