One of America's Most Renowned Climbers Dies in Fall

Brad Gobright came off rope at El Potrero Chico
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2019 3:33 AM CST
Updated Nov 29, 2019 6:28 AM CST
One of America's Most Renowned Climbers Dies in Fall
The Potrero Chico climbing area,   (Wikimedia Commons/MaxWeininger)

One of America's most accomplished rock climbers fell to his death on a mountain in Mexico Wednesday. Brad Gobright, a 31-year-old Californian, was abseiling down a cliff face on El Potrero Chico when he fell around 1,000 feet, the BBC reports. Climbing partner Aidan Jacobson says they were descending on the same rope—a technique called "simul-rappelling"—when Gobright came off his end of the rope and they both fell. Jacobson's fall was broken by a bush and he landed on a ledge. "I felt a pop, and we started dropping," Jacobson tells Outside. "He screamed. I screamed. I went through some vegetation, and then all I remember is seeing his blue Gramicci shirt bounce over the edge."

Gobright, who was best known for free solo climbing, broke speed records on some famous climbs, including the Nose at El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in 2017, ABC reports. Alex Honnold, who features in the Oscar-winning Free Solo documentary, praised Gobright as "a real gem of a man," reports the Guardian. "He was such a warm, kind soul—one of a handful of partners that I always loved spending a day with," Honnold said in an Instagram post. "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," Honnold said. "I'm just sad for Brad and his family." (More rock climbing stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.