Cedar Wright’s “Safety Third,” a high energy love letter to climbing, tells the rags to… well, rags story of Brad Gobright, as he busses tables and lives out of his crappy compact and spends his spare time pushing his limits in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado.
If the most famous free soloist in the world is Alex Honnold, then Gobright was the least famous. An embodiment of the dirtbag climber persona, the happy-go-lucky climber from Orange County presented an interesting case study. On one hand, he was often the butt of jokes made by his peers. Powered by day-old pastries and working odd jobs to support his climbing, he lived out of a beater Honda Civic for long stretches. He forgot gear a lot. On the other hand, he was incredibly motivated to improve and push the envelope. He was talented, impassioned, and laser-focused on the rock.
Sadly, Brad Gobright passed away in 2019, in a rappelling accident in Mexico. Given that tragedy, “Safety Third” stands as a powerful final statement by a man that climbing may have not known quite what to do with, but the impacts of whose loss it nevertheless feels at its core.