Rock Climber Brad Gobright Dies After Falling Nearly 1,000 Feet From Cliff In El Potrero Chico, Mexico

One person said that the climbing community had lost one of its biggest 'characters,' another person called the news 'absolutely tragic.'

El Potrero Chico
Mia & Steve Mestdagh / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 Crop, Resize)

One person said that the climbing community had lost one of its biggest 'characters,' another person called the news 'absolutely tragic.'

An acclaimed American rock climber died Wednesday when he fell some 300 meters down the side of a cliff in El Potrero Chico, Mexico, Today reports.

Thirty-one-year-old Brad Gobright was reportedly climbing with 26-year-old climber Aidan Jacobson, who according to Today, had recently shared on Instagram that he would be spending three weeks at the Mexico mountain. Today said that Gobright and Jacobson had likely linked up and begun claiming together at some point after Jacobson’s post to Instagram.

A police spokesperson confirmed to Today that around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday the pair fell while on a descent. Jacobson reportedly tumbled a shorter distance than Gobright and suffered injuries to parts of his body, including his ankle. Gobright reportedly died when he fell some 300 meters – just under 1,000 feet.

Gobright and Jacobson reportedly were climbing the Sendero Luminoso portion of the Mexican mountain, which translates to “Shining Path Route,” Today said. The mountain reportedly extends some 850 to 900 meters at its peak, Today reported and can be claimed in “two days overnight,” according to police.

In an Instagram post made about a week ago, Gobright shared photos from a 10-day long road desert road trip he took earlier in the month, which he said involved various types of climbing. Gobright said the previous trip had become “chaotic” at times, though he said other parts of the trip allowed for “calm and silent” introspection.

“The trip wasn’t really about projecting and sending hard,” Gobright wrote about his trip earlier in November. “It was more about getting variety in a relatively short amount of time. I hadn’t taken a trip like this in a really long time and it was actually a very refreshing experience.”

People took to social media to share their sadness over Gobright’s death. One user said that the climbing community had lost one of its biggest “characters” with the death of the 31-year-old. Another called the news “absolutely tragic.”

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The U.S. Department of State confirmed Gobright’s November 27 death in a statement, although it did not go into specifics.

“We can confirm the death of U.S. citizen Brad Gobright in Mexico on November 27, 2019,” the State Department official said, per Today. “We offer our sincerest condolences to his family on their loss. We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation and are providing all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.”

Per Today,“solo climbing” has grown in popularity due to the critically acclaimed Free Solo documentary released last year. The type of climbing involves climbing without the assistance of ropes or harnesses, but as Today noted, it was unclear whether Gobright and Jacobson were solo climbing at the time of their fall.