Californian free solo climber Brad Gobright died in a fall in the El Potrero mountains in Mexico on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old and his climbing partner Aidan Jacobson descended synchronously from the Sendero Luminoso on an 80-metre rope when the accident happened. Gobright, who according to Jacobson was at the shorter end of the rope and did not tie a knot, fell 300 metres into the depth. Jacobson's fall was stopped by a bush on a ledge after a few meters. He suffered a slight ankle injury.
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These are some shots taken on the desert road trip I took last week. The trip was ten days long and we sampled different types of climbing. Long, short, winggate, solidified mud, exposed calcite, scary basalt. We climbed trad, sport and even bouldered. Some times it was very hot and other times it was very cold. We slept in the dirt, the back of vans and fancy hotel rooms. At times things got very chaotic but at other times it was calm and silent as I stared off into the vast openness. The trip wasn’t really about projecting and sending hard. It was more about getting variety in a relatively short amount of time. I hadn’t taken a trip like this in a really long time and it was actually a very refreshing experience. I’m teaming up with @gramicci_climb to make a short film about the trip. Pic 1: The Six Star Crack 📷 @tradisplaid Pic 2: Castleton Tower Pic 3: @alicehafer on Castleton Tower Pic 4: @maison.deschamps in The Fisher Towers Pic 5: 📷 @maison.deschamps Pic 6: Monument Valley. @evolv_worldwide @frictionlabs
"We didn’t tie knots in the rope, either. We started rapping. 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" Jacobson told Outside magazine.
"It was basically a blur. 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 started climbing at the age of six and was considered one of the best freeclimbers. He set several speed records. In June, together with Alex Honnold, he freeclimbed the El Nino route on El Capitan in 14.5 hours.
Honnold was shocked at Instagram at Gobright's death: "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. "
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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...