Brad Gobright, one of the world’s most renowned rock climbers, fell around 1,000ft to meet his death at El Potrero Chico in northern Mexico. The accident happened when Gobright was accompanied by fellow American Aidan Jacobson and both of them were climbing down a route called the Shining Path in Nuevo Leon. Both the Americans fell on top of a rock outcrop but Gobright fell further to his death. Jacobson survived with injuries to his right ankle and other parts of the body.
Gobright was best known for free climbing without any safety gear, but at the time the two were abseiling, a technique using ropes. The two men were simul-rappelling – a technique where two climbers descend opposite strands of an anchored rope, with their bodies acting as counterweights to each other. Jacobson told the Outside website, “We started rapping, using the North American term for abseiling. I was a bit above him. I was on the left. He was on the right. Then all of a sudden, I felt a pop, and we started dropping. He screamed. I screamed. I went through some vegetation, and then all I remember is seeing his blue Gramicci shirt bounce over the edge.”
Brad Gobright, who started climbing at the age of 6, garnered attention when in 2017 he and his then rock climbing partner Jim Reynold set a speed record for climbing one of the most technical and dangerous vertical routes called the Nose, located at Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan. Gobright and Reynold had reached the top of the route in a clocked time of 2 hrs and 19 min.
Alex Honnold, the world’s leading free climber, paid tribute to 31 year Gobright by through a social media message, “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.”