Brad Gobright, an accomplished "free solo" rock climber, has reportedly died. The climber was at El Portero Chico, Mexico, a popular climbing destination, with fellow American climber Aidan Jacobson when the two attempted to go down the side of a cliff face at about 3:30 pm, state police Civil Protection Nuevo León confirmed to NBC News.
According to the Nuevo Leon Civil Protection Authority, both men fell, but Jacobson, 26, was saved by a ledge which he used to stop himself. He sustained non-life threatening injuries and was assisted by members of law enforcement, rescuers and other climbers, who all helped him make it the rest of the way down.
Gobright, on the other hand, hit a ledge, continued past it and fell about 300 meters to his death. The Orange County native, 31, was known for climbing without assistance from ropes, harnesses and other protective equipment, but both he and survivor Jacobson were reportedly using 80 meter ropes at the time of the tragic accident, but they didn’t tie knots in the ends, according to Rock & Ice, an outlet dedicated to climbing.
“Brad set up the rope for a short rappel and didn’t use the middle point. I tried to pull more rope on Brads side but he said he was fine,” Jacobson wrote in messages to Rock & Ice. “We started simul rapping and Brad rapped off his rope.” On Thursday, November 28, the U.S. State Department confirmed Gobright's death.
"We can confirm the death of U.S. citizen Brad Gobright in Mexico on November 27, 2019," U.S. 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."
Following thenews of his death, Alice Hafer, Gobright’s rock climbing friend, shared some sweet words about him. “I don’t really know how to believe this or what to say. My good friend and best climbing partner I’ve ever had, @bradgobright is no longer with us,” he captioned a photo of the two rock climbing.
“He was an amazing person, more driven and psyched than anyone I’ve ever known. He had a magic about him on the rock, unlike anyone I’ve ever met.” Hafer continued, saying that Gobright “was so supportive and encouraging, always pushing me harder and believing in me. I can’t believe that not even a few weeks ago he was sitting next to me as we drove home from Arizona. I’ll cherish those moments always. He will be so missed, forever. Love you always Brad.”
Maison Deschamps, another Gobright climbing partner, said he will “forever remember” his “hard work and bravery."