Home > News

American Nolan Smythe Dies in Mexico Climbing Accident

His rope was cut after a ledge broke beneath his feet

Climbers close to American Nolan Smythe have reported online about his death after a climbing accident in Mexico. Smythe was at pitch 14 of 28 on Logical Progression 5.13 on El Gigante. He was an accomplished BASE jumper and climber.

Sasha DiGiulian reported: “On March 6, one of our team members who was climbing and rigging with Aaron Livingston on El Gigante, Mexico, died in a terrible, unpredictable accident. Nolan Smythe was climbing on pitch 14 of 28 when a ledge that he was resting on broke beneath him. This caused him to fall, and the rock fall cut his rope. He continued to fall approximately 1,500 feet.”

Top American rock climber Brad Gobright died in a climbing accident in El Potrero Chico, Mexico, in November 2019. For a short clip of Smythe opening a new BASE jumping exit near Moab, scroll down. Our condolences to his family and friends. Please consider donating to help support those close to Smythe here.

View this post on Instagram

Standing at this point looking at the climb with Nolan’s mom and dad and brother. It’s a grief indescribable that I can’t even imagine to comprehend; losing a son, a brother. The only relatability I can feel is losing my own family members including my dad, and also this feeling of losing a friend. These are not the terms that I imagined this expedition. None of us. It is the worst case scenario to something that we had been so enthusiastic about. We were supposed to be climbing on it today. The feeling. It’s so strong. Everything should have been fine. What Nolan was doing was supposed to be totally fine. He was climbing. The terrain, chalking up on the exact ledge I should have been chalking up on. He was helping us rig, while climbing a wall that he was so enthusiastic about. He was a part of our team. He was a world class climber. It all doesn’t feel fair. Why. It doesn’t make sense to me. And I just wish I could pour everything warm that I have left in my heart into the hearts of Ryan, Mama Dree, and Papa Richard, and Savannah. Update: we have located Nolan’s body.

A post shared by S A S H A • D I G I U L I A N (@sashadigiulian) on

Nolan Smythe BASE Jumping