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20th January 2020
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Renowned U.S Free Sole Climber, Brad Gobright Falls To His Death

Renowned U.S Free Sole Climber, Brad Gobright Falls To His Death
Renowned U.S Free Sole Climber, Brad Gobright Falls To His Death

A renowned and record-breaking American free solo rock climber, Brad Gobright falls to his death, as reports say he fell from 1,000ft (300m) to his death in El Portero Chico, northern Mexico.

Brad Gobright who until his death, was just 31, fell alongside his companion, and fellow climber Aidan Jacobson. But he fell a shorter distance and survived with injuries.

“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,” Mr Jacobson told the Outside magazine website.

The 26-year-old escaped with an ankle injury after a bush cushioned his fall.

“It was basically a blur,” Mr Jacobson said. “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 was best known for free soloing, or climbing without any safety gear, but at the time the two were abseiling, a technique using ropes.

Abseiling accidents are believed to be the most common cause of fatalities in the sport.

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 – with an 80m rope, the Outside website reports.

The website reported the men had not tied knots in the ends of their ropes, which could potentially have proved life-saving.

However, many climbers avoid tying “stopper knots” as they can cause ropes to jam.

The US State Department confirmed Mr Gobright had died and offered its “sincerest condolences” to his family.

“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,” it said in a statement.

The publication Rock And Ice described Mr Gobright s “one of the most accomplished free solo climbers in the world”.

The young American had once held the speed record on the Nose of El Capitan rock face in Yosemite National Park.

Tributes have since poured in

to the sportsman from across social media.

Fellow climber Alex Honnold wrote: “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…”

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