Re­port: Elite US climber dies rap­pelling down a rock face

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - NEWS - By Mark Steven­son and Ste­fanie Dazio

MEX­ICO CITY >> Cal­i­for­nia rock climber Brad Go­bright re­port­edly reached the top of a highly chal­leng­ing rock face in north­ern Mex­ico and was rap­pelling down with a com­pan­ion when he fell to his death.

Climber Ai­dan Ja­cob­son of Phoenix, Ari­zona, told Out­side mag­a­zine he was with Go­bright, and said they had just per­formed an as­cent of the Sen­dero Lu­mi­noso route in the El Potrero Chico area near the north­ern city of Mon­ter­rey. Ja­cob­son also fell, but a shorter dis­tance, af­ter some­thing went wrong in the “simul-rap­pelling” de­scent, the mag­a­zine said.

The tech­nique in­volves two climbers bal­anc­ing each other’s weight off an an­chor point. In on­line fo­rums, many climbers de­scribed the tech­nique as dif­fi­cult and po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous.

Civil de­fense of­fi­cials in Nuevo Leon state said Go­bright, 31, fell about 328 yards to his death on Wed­nes­day. The mag­a­zine ac­count de­scribed the fall as 600 feet. Ja­cob­son suf­fered mi­nor in­juries, of­fi­cials said.

His body was re­cov­ered Thurs­day. The pub­li­ca­tion Rock and Ice de­scribed Go­bright as “one of the most ac­com­plished free solo climbers in the world.”

Friends on Fri­day de­scribed him as a ded­i­cated climber who would travel the West Coast, liv­ing out of his Honda Civic, fol­low­ing the weather on a diet of gas sta­tion food.

“In some ways, I think he was such a fix­ture of the climb­ing com­mu­nity and such a big char­ac­ter on the scene, I feel like I’ve al­ways known him,” said his friend Alex Hon­nold, who was the first per­son to as­cent Yosemite Na­tional Park’s gran­ite wall known as El Cap­i­tan with­out ropes or safety gear.

“He spent al­most ev­ery day of his life do­ing ex­actly what he wanted to be do­ing.”

Ja­cob­son said the pair might not have evened out the length of the 88-yard rope be­tween them, to en­sure each had the same amount, be­cause Go­bright’s end was ap­par­ently tan­gled in some bushes near a ledge be­low them.

That might have caused Go­bright to es­sen­tially run out of rope; with­out the bal­anc­ing weight of the other climber, both would fall. Ja­cob­son fell through some veg­e­ta­tion and onto a ledge they were aim­ing for, in­jur­ing his an­kle.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.