The Nose with Lind­sey Hamm

Gripped - - FEATURE - Chris Van Leu­ven is an award-win­ning writer who chases rock climb­ing sea­son.

“BRAD WAS A DILI­GENT PER­SON. I NEVER FELT UN­SAFE WITH HIM. AND HE WAS SO FAST.”

In au­tumn 2019 Hamm, a guide with Sierra Moun­tain Guides, part­nered with Go­bright as he be­gan work­ing on free­ing the Nose. Their first out­ing to­gether was to rap­pel the en­tire route with Go­bright’s sin­gle 80-me­tre line. Here, she says, “I tied knots in the rope when he wasn’t look­ing. I was the en­forcer in that.”

The two also made sev­eral trips to Dolt Tower to­gether, 11 pitches up The Nose. There, high on El Cap, she watched Go­bright with amaze­ment. “It was cool to see Brad not be this sketchy per­son that people por­trayed him as. He was a dili­gent per­son. I never felt un­safe with him. And he was so fast – it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen, so ef­fi­cient, not fear­ful, no doubts. He was al­ways fluid. He also asked me how I was and was en­cour­ag­ing.”

In ad­di­tion to climb­ing to­gether, in­clud­ing dif­fi­cult free routes near Yosemite Val­ley, Speed of Life in Lee Vin­ing Canyon and Heart of Stone on Fairview Dome in Tuolumne Mead­ows, Hamm and Go­bright stayed in touch via text, send­ing each other memes. “And I’d send him stuff about dogs,” she said; they both loved dogs.

Hamm was in touch with Go­bright the week he died in Potrero Chico. “He was think­ing about guid­ing, and I was telling him about it,” she said. “I was not ex­pect­ing to lose him like that, to be hon­est. I ex­pected him to fall solo­ing or from slip­ping or some­thing. But I was never ner­vous about his rope work. I’m sad I’ll never get an­other text from him. It’s dev­as­tat­ing to all of us.”

ABOVE Go­bright flash­ing Broth­ers in Arms 5.12c/d

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