Nine­teen Hours on El Co­razón

Gripped - - FEATURE -

In 2018, dur­ing a one-day at­tempt to free El Co­razón, a 1,000-me­tre 5.13b route on El Cap­i­tan, and af­ter fail­ing near the top of the route at the “A5 Tra­verse,” Go­bright tried to get his part­ner Henry Feder to re­treat to the ground. With only five pitches left to go, Feder, in­tim­i­dated by the dan­ger of de­scend­ing such a sheer and steep wall with a sin­gle rope, con­vinced Go­bright to fin­ish the climb, even if it meant that Feder would be lead­ing the re­main­ing pitches. They fin­ished the climb.

“Rap­pelling sucks. It’s the most dan­ger­ous part of rock climb­ing,” Feder said. “I’ve lost so many friends that way. Brad was so chill about things. ‘What­ever, it’s fine,’ he’d say.”

A short time later the two re­turned for Go­bright to tick his free as­cent. With Go­bright lead­ing and Feder jug­ging with a pack, on Oct. 25, at 10:30 p.m., the two started up El Co­razón. All was go­ing well when the rope Feder was jug­ging on got hung up and popped free from be­hind a f lake. “I took a mas­sive 60-foot whip­per in the mid­dle of the night on Brad’s 9 mm rope. I thought I would die for sure,” Feder said. With the ac­ci­dent be­hind them, the two con­tin­ued to the sum­mit. That day Go­bright made his all free as­cent of the route in 19 hours.

Af­ter that climb, Go­bright con­tin­ued to climb in the park but Feder moved on to start a new life at Lake Ta­hoe, Cal­i­for­nia. Re­flect­ing on the au­tumn of 2018 with Go­bright on El Cap he said, “it was an ac­cept­able risk. At cer­tain



times in your life you take cer­tain risks.”

When it came to Go­bright’s abil­ity as a climber, Feder was al­ways im­pressed. “When you feel that good on rock, when you’re flow­ing that well, that plac­ing gear is an­noy­ing, when you’re that tal­ented of a rock climber…” Feder said be­fore paus­ing a mo­ment to re­mem­ber his friend. “He was all about sketchy raps and leav­ing bin­ers, but he was also di­aled and knew what had to go down with rock climb­ing.”

Rap­ping long routes with a sin­gle 80-me­tre rope was com­mon for Go­bright, who once de­scended the en­tirety of The Nose – 1,000 me­tres – with part­ner Lind­sey Hamm.

OP­PO­SITE Go­bright on Musta Been High 5.13R in El­do­rado Canyon

LEFT Go­bright on China Doll 5.14 in Colorado

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