A RECORD-breaking US rock climber plunged 1,000ft to his death off a Mexican mountain on Wednesday – after failing to tie a crucial knot in his rope.
Brad Gobright, 31, was rappelling down the sheer El Sendero Luminoso rock face at El Potrero Chico, near Monterrey, when he tragically slid off the end of his line.
Brad Gobright, pictured scaling a different mountain, fell 1,000ft to his death from El Sendero Luminoso on Wednesday[/caption]
He had been scaling down the renowned cliff with Aiden Jacobson, 26, when he reportedly misjudged the length of rope he had left beneath him.
Gobright had only met Jacobson on the day of his death after posting an appeal for a climbing partner on Instagram the night before.
Jacobson, who was sharing the 260m rope with Gobright for the simultaneous rappel, miraculously survived after landing in a bushy crevice on the 2,500ft cliff.
Describing the harrowing moment they both began falling, Jacobson told Outside: “I was on the left. He was on the right.
‘I SCREAMED. HE SCREAMED’
“Then all of a sudden I felt a pop and we started dropping.
“It was basically a blur. I screamed, he screamed.
“I went through some vegetation, and then all I remember is seeing is his blue Gramicci shirt bounce over the edge.”
The pair had misjudged how much rope was left beneath them, according to Jacobson – who was left with only a broken ankle from his fall.
He claimed Gobright slipped off the end of his side of the rope after failing to tie life-saving stopper knots in it – which would have been a guide to how much he had left to rappel down.
Gobright was hailed as one of the world’s most accomplished rock climbers[/caption]
Aiden Jacobson, 26, (left) survived the fall and was left with only a broken ankle[/caption]
Gobright, pictured on another terrifying climb, failed to tie a knot on the end of his rope – causing him to slip off the end[/caption]
SLIPPED FROM ROPE
Gobright slipped from his side of the rope causing Jacobside, who was strapped to the other side, to also plunge, according to the surviving climber.
It’s thought Gobright may have neglected to tie a stopper knot on the end of his rope to stop the rope getting stuck.
Mexico’s Nuevo Leon state civil defense office said Gobright fell about 300 meters (984ft).
Gino Negrinni, a Costa Rican climber who was on the mountain at the same time, said he heard the climbers’ chilling screams as they plummeted, according to Rock And Ice magazine.
Gobright is believed to have landed near the bottom of the cliff on a ledge kown as Skull Amptheaer, according to the mag – which hailed him as “one of the most accomplished free solo climbers in the world.”
The veteran climber, of Orange County, California, had been scaling cliffs since he was seven and held multiple speed ascent records.
Among his biggest achievements was his October 2017 speed record for ascending the Nose route of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.
That climb is considered one of the world’s most technical and dangerous in the world.
He and climbing partner Jim Reynolds raced up the nearly vertical, 2,900ft rock face in just two hours and 19 minutes.
Previous record holder Alex Honnold wrote an emotional tribute to Gobright, saying the climbing world had lost a “true light”.
He wrote on Instagram: “I suppose there’s something to be said about being safe out there and the inherent risks in climbing but I don’t really care about that right now.
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“I’m just sad for Brad and his family. And for all of us who were so positively affected by his life. So crushing.
“Brad was a real gem of a man. For all his strengths and weaknesses (like his insanely strong fingers, or living out of a Honda Civic…) at the core he was just a good guy.”
In a statement, the state civil defense office said: “We extend our sympathies and support to the rock climbing community.”
Gobright, right, with fellow rock climber Alex Honnold – who wrote an emotional tribute to his friend[/caption]
The veteran climber had set multiple speed records[/caption]
Jacobson posted this image of El Potrero Chico just days before the climb[/caption]