American climber falls 1,000 feet to his death from cliff face
A world-renowned American rock climber has died at the age of 31 after falling from a rock face in El Portero Chico, northern Mexico, the BBC reports.
Brad Gobright, an acclaimed climber, had once held the speed record on the Nose of El Capitan rock face in Yosemite National Park.
He tragically fell approximately 1,000ft (300m) to his death.
Gobright was abseiling down the cliff with his companion Aidan Jacobson, 26, when the pair suddenly lost their grip.
"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 magazine website.
Due to a bush cushioning his fall, the 26-year-old survived with just an ankle injury.
"It was basically a blur," Jacobson recalled. "He screamed. I screamed. I went through some vegetation, and then all I remember is seeing his blue Gramicci shirt bounce over the edge."
The US State Department confirmed the free solo climber had died and offered its "sincerest condolences" to his family, the Evening Standard reports.
"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," the US State Department said in a statement.
Gobright and Jacobson were using a technique known as simul-abseiling, which, according to the Outside, is "a time-saving high-risk endeavour in which the leader and follower both advance at the same time."
The site reports the men had not tied potentially life-saving knots in the ends of their ropes.
Fellow climber Alex Honnold has since taken to Instagram to leave a touching tribute for the sportsman.
"Im so sorry to hear that [Brad] just died in a climbing accident," he begins. "He was such a warm, kind soul - one of a handful of partners that I always loved spending a day with. 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."
Alex continues: "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. I guess there’s nothing really to say. I’m sad. The climbing world lost a true light. Rest in peace..."
Another climber, Alice Hafer, wrote: "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. I can't believe that not even a few weeks ago he was sitting next to me as we drove home from Arizona. I'll cherish those moments always. He will be so missed, forever. Love you always Brad."