Acclaimed 'Free Solo' Climber Brad Gobright Dies in Fall While Descending Cliff in Mexico
Brad Gobright, one of the world’s most accomplished rock climbers, died Wednesday in a climbing accident in Mexico, according to multiple reports.
According to NBC News, Gobright, 31, fell while attempting to descend the side of a cliff face in El Portero Chico, Mexico, a popular climbing destination.
The outlet reports that Gobright was with fellow American climber Aidan Jacobson. Citing the Nuevo León Civil Protection Authority, the outlet reports both climbers fell, with Gobright falling about 300 meters to his death and Jacobson falling a shorter distance and sustaining non-life-threatening injuries.
Rock and Ice, a magazine devoted to climbing, citing messages Jacobson sent a friend, reports that Jacobson fell about 30 feet before hitting a ledge, which allowed him to stop himself. But Gobright continued past the ledge.
The magazine reports he was raised in Orange County, California.
Gobright was an accomplished “free solo climber,” a type of climbing where climbers climb without the aid of ropes, harnesses or other protective equipment.
Rock and Ice reports that Gobright and Jacobson were using ropes at the time of the accident.
PEOPLE was unable to independently reach the Nuevo León Civil Protection Authority.
Free solo climbing gained attention after the 2018 documentary Free Solo, which won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film profiled rock climber Alex Honnold in his quest to scale the 3,000 ft. El Capitan rock formation in Yosemite National Park without a rope.
On his Instagram account, Honnold mourned Gobright’s death, writing, “He was such a warm, kind soul – one of a handful of partners that I always loved spending a day with.”
Another climber, Alice Hafer, wrote, “He was an amazing person, more driven and psyched than anyone I’ve ever known. He had a magic about him on the rock, unlike anyone I’ve ever met. He was so supportive and encouraging, always pushing me harder and believing in me.”