Free Soloist Brad Gobright Dies in Climbing Accident
Gobright fell to his death while attempting to descend down the side of a cliff in Mexico
The rock climbing world lost one of its more prestigious members when American free soloist Brad Gobright fell to his death while attempting to descend down the side of a cliff face in El Portero Chico, Mexico.
Gobright and a partner, Aidan Jacobson, were rappelling down the face of cliff after reaching the summit when the accident occurred.
The rope the two were sharing had no stopper knots in it and, thanks to a miscalculation by both climbers about a tangle, it slipped through Gobright’s rappel device, causing both climbers to fall.
Jacobson fell and injured his ankle after striking a ledge but Gobright fell more than 600 feet to his death.
“It was basically a blur,” Jacobson told 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 …”
After news of the death became public, many climbers began to post on social media, including Free Solo star Alex Honnold.
“He was such a warm, kind soul – one of a handful of partners that I always loved spending a day with,” Honnold wrote. “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.”
The 31-year-old’s death was confirmed by the U.S. State Department on Thursday.
“We can confirm the death of U.S. citizen Brad Gobright in Mexico on November 27, 2019,” a State Department official said. “We offer our sincerest condolences to his family on their loss. We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation and are providing all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.”
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