Devastating news comes from Mexico where American rock climber Brad Gobright died yesterday, Wednesday 27 November, in an accident while climbing El Sendero Luminoso up El Toro at El Potrero Chico.
Gobright had received international acclaim for his daring free solo climbs and for having set a new speed record on The Nose up El Capitan in 2017 with Jim Reynolds. He was recognised not only for his talent and dedication to climbing but above all, as Alex Honnold stated, for being a “true light”.
Gobright’s totalising love for rock climbing enabled him slowly but surely to become one of the most experienced climbers in Yosemite Valley where he managed to ascend numerous big walls all free on El Capitan. In June 2015 together with Mason Earle he made the first free ascent of The Heart Route, while in 2016 he and Scott Bennett climbed Zodiac, The Nose and Lurking Fear in less than 24 hours. In 2018 he climbed what is known as the Yosemite Triple, Mt Watkins, El Cap and Half Dome in a day with Reynolds, and he also became one of the few who have managed to climb Salathé Wall free in a single day. Earlier this spring he completed single-day free ascents of The Shaft, El Niño Pineapple Express and Golden Gate.
According to information published by the US climbing magazine Rock & Ice, Gobright was simul-abseiling down the seventh pitch of El Sendero Luminoso with his climbing partner Aiden Jacobson. Although the precise details of the accident still await confirmation, they had reportedly not tied knots at the end of the 80m rope and it is believed that Gobright rappelled off his end of the rope. Jacobson miraculously fell onto the ledge below and remained substantially uninjured. Once again the close-knit climbing community grieves the loss of another of its stellar members.