Nineteen Hours on El Corazón
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
“BRAD WAS SO CHILL ABOUT THINGS. ‘WHATEVER, IT’S FINE,’ HE’D SAY.”
“RAPPING LONG ROUTES WITH SINGLE A 80-METRE ROPE WAS COMMON FOR GO BRIGHT .”
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