31-year-old American climber Brad Gobright has died in an accident while descending on the classic multipitch El Sendero Luminoso on El Toro in El Potrero Chico, Mexico. Gobright was known for his audacious free solo ascents - including Hairstyles and Attitudes 5.12b/c on the Bastille in Eldorado Canyon and his multiple free solos of the Rostrum in Yosemite - in addition to his many record-breaking speed ascents of big wall climbs.
Link to the other thread...
Desperately sad and tragic news so sincere condolences to all of Brad's family, friend's and loved ones.
More on the accident (so many terribly inaccurate reports out there).
RIP Brad. My heart aches for you and your family and friends. I hate this part of climbing.
UKC not mentioning how he died and how it was completely avoidable. It's alright avoid the issues as if the UKs biggest climbing forum is somehow 'not the place' to discuss or inform.
> UKC not mentioning how he died and how it was completely avoidable. It's alright avoid the issues as if the UKs biggest climbing forum is somehow 'not the place' to discuss or inform.
I don't know about UKC, but on MP folks try to segregate the roles of a memorial conversation and an accident analysis into two separate threads, with the accident analysis sticking as much as possible to the facts of the accident without dragging in the people involved. There's no reason not to do it here; just start a thread on the pros and cons of simul-rapping. The corresponding discussion on MP is at https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/118102889/pros-and-cons-of-simul-rappelling . This addresses the desire or need to "discuss" and "inform" while mitigating some of the mostly pointless and sadly disrespectful blame-and-shame that victims can be subjected to without the dual threads.
As ever, thank you.
Shame can be a good way to encourage people to make better decisions. After all no one wants to be remembered as the fool who, for example, didn't wear crampons and slid off a cliff. Reputation management is a considerable motivating factor encouraging others to make the right decision in many circumstances outside of climbing. Surely this is particularly pertinent when most of the people offering condolences only know the individual concerned via reputation and have had no human contact with them.
Sometimesthings are unavoidable and sometimes we weigh up the risks and chose to take them, I firmly believe that we shouldn't pussy foot around these issues based on some false concept of 'respect' it is only an injustice to the truth.
Please if I die making a poor decision post on UKC about it, even come to the funeral to discuss the intricacies of how it happened, if it prevents a needless death in future in sure my feelings won't get hurt.
Just try and find anyone heavily involved in mountain accident analysis who would support such a simplistic view. You can't 'shame' someone based on speculative b*llocks and in any case any attempt at shame culture is bound to fail as the people who would react to that will just not report things. Rgold gives good advice based on experience and you need to think about that and read and listen more.
The most common causes of death and serious injury on big walls is experienced climbers making basic errors. It's not like crag climbing ,as the familarity and effort adds more dangers, especially given the necessity of some climbing tactics when conditions or form are less than ideal (going too slow and supposedly safe can actually add objective risk). The statistical analysis on this has been well known for decades now.
The fact that 5 people have already liked your post shows that your ignorance is not uncommon on UKC.
> Shame can be a good way to encourage people to make better decisions...
The idea that a climber would change a behavior or protocol for fear of some possible post-mortem shaming is, to me, hilarious. Sure doesn't apply to anyone I know; your crowd must be of a very different sort.
But here's a reality. No matter how mundane or heroic your accomplishments, if you eff up and die you're a dummy---it comes with the territory and everyone knows it, which is another reason not to promote piling on after the fact.
The "respect" I mentioned has nothing to do with the preservation of reputations in some field or other. It has to do with a long-standing sense that common decency counsels restraint in the treatment of an extinguished life. And nothing about that prevents people from from analyzing, discussing, and learning from accidents. Separating memorials from analysis treats the deceased with the dignity they deserve as humans without depriving anyone of even a shred of the lessons that might be extracted from the misfortune.
Shame is just another form of social proof, which itself pushes many climbers to make poor decisions. One thing is for sure there's no recognition for safe climbers, no magazine articles are written about someone who made the right choices consistently. Articles are written about people who take risks and it builds a false reputation, legend or fame these people.
There aren't many young climbers who aspire to be safe climbers, plenty who aspire to climb harder though.
Common decency is just another form of conformity. A tool used to push agendas of clubs. Life would be a lot more boring if people on UKC respected others.
This is very strange. I'm, not sure I share the same reality as you.
The truth lies somewhere between skepticism and Armageddon.
> The "respect" I mentioned has nothing to do with the preservation of reputations in some field or other. It has to do with a long-standing sense that common decency counsels restraint in the treatment of an extinguished life.
I couldn't agree more. And that applies whether the deceased was a fellow climber, a TV celebrity or just some bloke out walking his dog.
> Common decency is just another form of conformity.
I would suggest that it's the essence of our humanity.
> A tool used to push agendas of clubs.
This seems a very odd notion. (Why stop at clubs?)
> Life would be a lot more boring if people on UKC respected others.
If you don't respect others, it's unlikely that you'll have much respect for yourself.
> The truth lies somewhere between skepticism and Armageddon.
You sound like fun for a night out.
There are more young people every year who avoid all sport risk by sitting on their arse and watching stuff, reading or playing things. If things continue in this trend, way more of them will die young than those who took the risk of sport (no climbing, or any sport for that matter is safe) and we will have a epidemic of sedentary diseases like diabetes.
I think it's time for you to go to Homebase and get a bigger shovel....
This from Brad's mom on her FB page:
Oh Brad. God Speed my beautiful boy climber of mountains. I will live without you best as I can. I promise. And I look forward to the day we meet again in Heaven and this life without you will be but a blink of an eye.