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Renowned American Rock Climber Brad Gobright Falls To His Death In Mexico

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Brad Gobright, who was one of the most renowned rock climbers in the world, died in an accident while in action in northern Mexico.

The 31-year-old adventurous American died in a rappelling accident on Wednesday, in El Potrero Chico, a national park north of Monterrey. Rappelling accidents are the most common cause of fatalities in climbing.

Aidan Jacobson, 26, from Phoenix, Arizona, had joined Gobright Monday after accepting his challenge on Instagram to scale a route called El Sendero Luminoso together.

The 2,500-foot, 15-pitch rock climb is one of the harder routes in the region, taking a direct line up a prominent slab of blank, gray limestone.

After reaching the summit on Wednesday, the two decided to descent by simul-rappelling down a sheer rock face using a single 80-meter rope.

Simul-rapping is a technique by which two climbers each descend opposite strands of a rope that has been rigged through a rappel anchor, their bodies acting as counterweights to each other. While this technique saves time, it also demands close coordination and communication between the two climbers. If one stops weighting the rope, it could mean sending the other climber into a fall.

"I was a bit above him. I was on the left. He was on the right. Then all of a sudden, I felt a pop, and we started dropping," Jacobson told the Outside website. Jacobsen crashed through a bush, which slowed his fall, and survived with injuries to his ankle.

"It was basically a blur," says Jacobson. "All I remember is seeing his blue Gramicci shirt bounce over the edge…" Gobright bounced off and fell more than 600 feet down to his death.

A group of climbers were reportedly searching to recover Gobright's body.

Gobright, who is a native of Orange County, California, began climbing when he was six. He was best known for gravity-defying free soloing, or climbing without any safety gear.

In 2017, he and Jim Reynolds set a speed record for climbing the Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite national park in California.

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