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David Davies

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:52 pm
Dear oh dear TTATWOCIANs. One of the emeritus members of our fraternity has been beset by a grave illness. David Davies recently had a bad turn after a relapse of an illness that troubled him a while ago. Let’s all wish him and his family fortitude and support him and his family through what must be a difficult time.

I suggest that anyone that wishes to send a message should email Hilton his brother on

For those that do not know David well, his most impressive feat was that of coiling a 60m rope in record time of 6 seconds or so. Of much lesser significance are the classic world class trad routes that he pioneered of which I rate Celestial Journey at Wolfberg as being right up there with the 10 best routes of all time.

David has been serving the climbing community his whole life, either through blasting up new routes for us to climb, engaging us with his sunny nature and over the last many years providing us with expert advice and brilliant service from his gear outlet.

Let’s rally behind one of us and give him our best.

Tomorrow a bunch of TTATWOCIAN’s, Wannabe’s, Turkeys, Dark Horses, Shetland Ponies, and Cart Horses
are having tea with David and Patricia around 09h30. Ideally at a hanging stance halfway up Jacobs Ladder but if it is too cold there, then somewhere sunny on Africa Ledge. And we might just climb too!

Re: David Davies

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:26 am
by Hilton
It's been really lekker getting wonderful messages for David and the family. Thank you. If you want to get a message to Dave ask me for his private email address and send your message directly to him. What I would really appreciate is if you would relate some stories about Dave on this website. That will mean a lot to me and the rest of his family.
To give you the fuller picture:
Two years ago at the age of 47 David was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was removed and the next two years were excellent. Within two weeks of the operation he was climbing hard. He did a Thailand trip, we did a Cederberg Tafelberg trip, and just a couple of months ago he styled up Swan Lake (25). And Dave sure does have good style.
Unfortunately the tumour cells returned with a vengeance. Two weeks ago David had brain surgery. On Friday we learned the worst. With aggressive radiation therapy and chemotherapy David could hope for 1 to 2 years. He has decided that he'll have no treatment and that he will enjoy life, love, friends and family while he can - to the maximum. There's not a lot of time.

Re: David Davies

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:59 am
by Stephen
I heard with great sadness of Dave's illness resurging. I want to your family much strength, long life and courage through what must be a challenging time. I have known Dave mainly through MMO and from bumping into him at the crags over the years, and would love that everyone who knows him celebrates NOW the legend, the great human being that he is and always will be. I have no doubt he will make the most of every moment, as he's always inspired me by the way that he does just that, in such an affable and laid back way.

Re: David Davies

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:34 am
by Andy Davies
Cousin Dave and I have done some lekker routes together. Whenever there is some hard trad route I want to do, he sends me up the scary pitches. We did Oscillation up at Tafelberg with Beth Higgins. I had to do the 1st pitch (GULP) and wished I had worn the body armour. The highlight of the day was watching Dave place his whole rack in the first 10m of the crux pitch further up. Beth had to put up with our sordid fantasies all day which I think we may have written in the summit book (fear makes you say all sorts of lewd things). He also dragged me up to do Celestial Journey up at Wolfberg which is a cracker of a route he opened (up there as a world classic). I watched him lead the 1st pitch (pea pod) and got a tad nervous when he scuttled up the bridging move at the bottom (sport climbers don't use their butts?). Trish followed him, and it was the pea pod move which stumped me for a good 15 minutes. After lots of italian, french and afrikaans four letter words and a rattly jam, I managed to pull through - much to Dave's ammusement (that'll teach you young guns!)

Dave has opened some awesome routes (I did the Dream a while back which is uber super) and has unselfishly taken many of us up TM to introduce us to the adventure of the mountains. I wish I could have as many adventures as Dave has had - whenever we go climbing he shares another interesting story with us. I have asked him to document his life's adventures so they won't get lost in the mists and bogs of time - feel free to help motivate him.

Strength to Dave, Luke, Trish and the Davies clan - your friends are with you.

Re: David Davies

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:11 pm
by Jan Viljoen
It's with great sadness that I've just read about David's condition. I had the priviledge of meeting him once or twice in his shop, but living in Ladismith I got to know David better via telephone conversations and emails, with him always asking about Towerkop and what we're up to around here.

Let's all keep David in our thoughts and prayers and hope for a miracle.


Re: David Davies

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:14 pm
by jeff
To Dave and the family, my thoughts are with all of you at this time. Dave took me onto TM for the first time nearly 15 years ago, as Andy said, unselfishly, he hardly knew me at the time. We did Roulette, and it was my first TM classic. In fact he was the first person I climbed with in Cape Town, and I have some of my best memories with him.

I did Celestial Journey with Dave and Tony Dick on the 20th anniversary of his opening ascent, and more recently, did a crazy 2h30 ascent of Exposure in F-Major with Dave at Matt Simm when we were about to get rained in on the route.

Over the years there has been endless advice, assistance and laughter. I refuse to think of days after Dave, here’s still here with us, and I always believe in miracles. Collective consciousness is some big thing, and a lot of people are pulling for one of our sports greatest characters. I remember driving to Dave's house when MMO was there, with no cash or intentions to buy anything, but just to chat and get inspired. May he continue to inspire for a long time..

Re: David Davies

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:52 pm
by garvinj
On the weekend Derek Marshall and I were just talking about how David will climb with anyone and has such a relaxed way about him. It's always so cool to walk in the shop and he remembers me even though I get there maybe once a year. Of course like many others if I'm ever in Cape Town and stuck for a climing partner you can trust on David to help out.

From Mia and I we'd like to wish you al the best and we'll try to see you when next we're in CT.

Re: David Davies

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:57 pm
by karlbase
I have many fond memories sharing a rope with both Dave & Patricia. The day he had his first episode 2 years ago was after we had been out climbing in Muizenberg on my birthday.
One particularly memorable occasion was when all 3 of us nearly came to grief in a most horrible way in Jan 2005.
Dave phones me & asks "keen for a country route?" So it's off at 4 am to the Du Toits Kloof, park the car near the hotel & start walking in on the long approach to the Du Toitskloof NW Frontal. Only problem I found out much later is that we only start walking in at 6, when we should have been at the base of the route by then.
We get to the top of the talus around 9 & start up. It's hot. Worcester HOT. And we have 5 liters of water between us. Long story, but we eventually top out in the scorching summer sun, parched and not a drop of water left between us in the mid afternoon.
We're left with a long walk down the SW ridge & dusk is soon upon us. The N1 is so tantalisingly close yet so far, where we know the car & water are.
We end up stumbling down the long slope like drunks, totally dehydrated & already halucinating. We get to the road & the stream & drink like never before.
I saw Dave & Trish in the shop a few days later & we are all still wasted. It took a week to get over that epic! We still talk about it.

Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:11 am
by nic moose good
I remember way back in the early 80's …… often jumping on my bike after school and riding down to go visit Dave when he was working at a climbing store in Rondebosch. While I purved at the climbing kit out of my price range I would fire dumb questions at Dave and bug him until I got him to relate (in his ridiculously modest way) a few of the HECTIC stories of some of the stuff he had done. As a lighty - I couldn’t afford climbing kit so he gave me some of his personal climbing kit that he had spare.

My older brother Mike became pretty good mates with Dave and Hilton as they used to fly hang gliders together a lot. During a competition at Dasklip, Mike had a fatal crash and Dave, who wasn’t flying that day as he was recovering from a few broken bones, had to run a HUGE distance up the mountainside. Dave was the fist one to get to Mike and re injured himself pretty badly in the process.

Over the next few years after my brother’s death, Dave was an incredible support; whenever I saw him he would tell me cool stories about my boet and talk through the accident with me..... keeping me strong and positive.

Dave, you are my Hero.


Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:30 am
by DolphinDawie
I bought all my first gear from Dave - he sold me my first rope, harness and quickdraws in 1999.

Dave also told me that a well placed hex is way better than a cam, and I think of that every time I use a hex!

When I needed cash a couple of years later to go climbing, he graciously bought my goretex jacket from me for more than it was worth, I'm sure!

The photo of Dave on the shield in Yosemite placed the idea in my head, and I eventually went there to climb in 2007.

Thanks Dave!

Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:06 am
Keep it rolling guys and gals. I have known Dave for 30 years and yet, there is so much I don't know about him. I was introduced to using Alien cams in the 90's and brought them to SA. Dave imported them for a while but they did not sell well. I "did him a favour" about 10years ago and bought the whole stock including offset at cost. Anyway Alien's are now the uber cam on any trad rack in SA. Thanks Dave.

Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:22 am
by Dark Horse
I think the best compliment I can pay to Dave (and Hilton) is that although I don’t really know him that well, I only know Dave from MMO (hell I bought all my gear there just because he's the nicest guy) and from seeing him on the rock, I consider the two brothers to be my friends and from reading these post and speaking to people I am one of many. Dave you have such a beautiful soul.

Keep it strong.

Ps I can also say celestial Journey is my all time favourite climb. What a journey!!!

Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:53 am
by Justin
One time Jason TF and I went through to Dave to buy a biner or three - I also ended up buying a pair Boreal Ace's that day too 8)

It was raining, really cold and over coffee we started chatting to Dave about his time in Yosemite / Patagonia... Dave pulled out his slide projector and gave us one of the best slide shows ever - not to mention the stories that went along with the pics!!
As one of the core climbing stores, it was always fun purving the gear on the racks (which no one else stocked) and asking Dave 'what's this for?'
Thanks for everything Dave

Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:14 am
by garvinj
If David was up for it I would drive To CT for that slide show! I'm in East London.

One of the most Impresive things I've seen was a few years ago at Mary & Martha, when David on-sight opened a route that Keith James was still busy Bolting. So about 6 bolts up he had to wait for Keith to fasten the hanger and jumar up. Then he'd move up and clip that bolt and wait for the next bolt to be places. This must have happened for 4 or 5 bolts. All done clean and on-sight. The route was graded 24 And I've since seen Paul Brouad fall of it.


Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:40 am
by kyle
Hi Garvin, yes I remember that too. Seriously one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen. Can't remember what the route was called but the bottom crux through a small roof is a grunting knee scraping affair (for me anyway) and Dave just oozed up in incredible style. I also remember that trip sitting around the fire and being transfixed by Dave's stories - told in such a humble and compelling way while he fired up his banged up whisperlite. Truly an inspiration.

Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:12 am
by Ric
Over the years I spent with Dave in the store, I heard some of the awesome stories of his adventures, spent time in the garden slacklining, generally chatting and laughing. Best working years of my life! Thanks for everything Dave! My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your loved ones.

All the best.


Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:14 am
by BruceDaniel
In the 80's us wide eyed gullible young climbers used to listen to the Davies stories over tea at the local climbing shop. His brother John really got us going with the tales. There was one about when John and Dave did the North face of the Matterhorn. John reckons that they found a fixed piton at a crucial part of the climb but could not clip it cause there was a human finger stuck in the eye of the peg! We'd then be totally amped and hitchhike up Buitengracht street to TM and walk up to the ledge to climb. In later years we'd pull in for tea at the Hout Bay shop....sometimes Dave would lend us gear instead of selling it to us. My nephew recently arrived with a wad of Canadian dollars wanting to buy gear for a Kili trip. Dave insisted on lending him some of the gear instead and got him a sleeping bag out of his house to borrow.
Dave ,wishing you strength during this trying time.

Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:26 pm
by DBez
I bought my first pair of "Buddy holes" :o from Dave way back in 1997. Then got info from him about a person that was climbing in Ficksburg too and made more friends. Over the years I have met him at the shop and Monties in the kitchen where he parked in usual.
A few years ago Hilton, Dave & Trish came to PE (Garvie gave them my phonenumber)for their brother's birthday party here. A friend of mine and I took them out one day to the Lady Slipper, where with even the rain pelting on him and all around us he still managed to sail through a hardish 17 on trad and was smiling and telling stories on the way down as we kept slipping and falling in the rain.
Here goes Dave! All of the best and thoughts to your family as well. You are not alone, you made it big in my eyes!

Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:56 pm
by JohnoGordon
My first words to Davy-Boy 30 years ago were:

"Dear David - You don't know me but I am writing you a letter anyway because I know how lonely it must be in the airforce."

I had just started climbing with his brother, John, as a wide eyed youth and was asked to write a letter to accompany John's while chilling at Blue Horizon's one day after we had been climbing at the Granite Slabs.

I was shown a picture of Davy-Boy railing on the thin plastering edge above their garage door and quickly realized how strong he was when I tried to emulate the pose. From that moment on I knew that Davy-Boy was going to drill us all every time we went climbing.

Davy-boy took me for a stroll (for him, it was something like his 20th time) up Roulette when I was 16 and at the time it was the hardest climb of my life. I was psyched, but Davy-Boy just modestly talked it down like it really wasn't much at all. ( I suppose Richard Hess will agree with him, NOT, after hitting the ledge from the top of the overhanging crack whilst too pumped to sling the We used all to laugh about how funny it would be to take a poser up there and let him bomb off the start of the handrail pitch after we had led it with no pro, to freak him out, but nobody wanted to have to hold the fall on a Stich Plate with 9mm ropes.

Yup, no doubt about it, Davy Crocket is KING of the wild frontier. I have been constantly in awe of both his climbing and his huge heart whenever I'm around him.

I'll send these little snippets as I remember them, 'cause to write them all down at once would take a month of Sunday's.

Davy-Boy, I love you man.


Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:37 pm
by DavidM
I too was one of those people who met Dave by buying their racks from him. There were too few carabiners for all the cams I'd bought and he nonchalantly dismantled a few quickdraws and let me buy the single carabiners - even though he'd never sell the quickdraw slings and recover the extra cost. That made a big impression on me and thereafter I tried to make a point of buying all my gear from Dave.

I remember buying a tent with my girlfriend and asking Dave's advice, he started talking about some of the technical features and then stopped, pointed out the door to the patch of lawn and said that the only way we'd really know which was the best would be to try them. We took our 3 final choices onto the lawn, unpacked fresh, never-before-opened tents and began pitching. Soon a mini tent town had sprung up and we crawled from tent to tent lying in each one until we'd made up our minds which to buy.

Through Mountain Club Journals, local climbers and guide books I soon learned that Dave is not only a shop owner but a pioneering hard man with incredulous achievements in the mountains. On trips to Wolfberg we gaze up at Celestial Journey and wonder when we will be equal to it's challenge. That he treats everyone with compassion and humility only makes him greater still.

Thanks Dave

Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:58 pm
by DouglasWard
I first met Dave many years ago at the Mine, after he'd just hosed up a couple of routes that were then projects for me. This was a little annoying, because not only was he obviously well older than me, but since I'd never seen him there before (and we spent a LOT of time at the Mine back then), it was obvious the routes weren't that familiar to him. Anyway, his disarming, friendly manner meant the annoyance was short-lived.

Dave, I will be in Cape Town in August next year, and I am looking forward to walking into the shop to being welcomed by that disarming, friendly manner!

Re: David Davies

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:16 pm
by Hilton
People want to know what Dave's done. Here's a skim over some of the stuff.

North Spur of the Chardonnet (w. John Davies and Doug Pratt-Johnson, 1981)
Hornli Ridge on the Matterhorn (w. John Davies, 1981)
North Face of the Matterhorn (w. John Davies and Doug Pratt-Johnson, 1981)
American Direct on the Dru (w. John Davies, 1981)
Walker Spur on the Grande Jorasses (w. John Davies, 1981)
North Face of the Dru (w. John Davies, 1981)
Tour Ronde North Face (w. John Davies, 1981)
Pico Del Rey (w. John Davies, 1981)
Naranjo de Bulnes Direct (w. John Davies, 1981)
Yellow Edge, Dolomites (w. John Davies, 1981)

The Nose, El Capitan (w. Doug Pratt-Johnson, 1983)
The Shield, El Capitan (w. Craig Peer, 1984)
Zodiac, El Capitan (w. Jonathan Fisher and Guy Robbins, 1986)
Mescalito, El Capitan (w. Jonathan Fisher and Guy Robbins, 1986)
Salathe Wall, El Capitan (w. Rich Grigsby, 1986)
North West Face of Half Dome (w. Rich Grigsby and Gary Valley, 1986)
Separate Reality onsight (w. Jonathan Fisher, 1989)
West Face of El Capitan in 6 hours (w. Jonathan Fisher, 1989)
hundreds of valley routes on the Sentinel, Cathedral, and Tuolomne etc

Other West Coast:
Keeler Needle, Mt Whitney (w. Jonathan Fisher and Rich Grigsby, 1986)
University Wall, Squamish, Canada (w. Jonathan Fisher, 1986)
hundreds of routes at Tahquiz, Suicide, Joshua Tree, Smith Rocks etc

South West Face of Alpamayo (w. Chris Lomax and Pierre Carter, 1988)

Mt Kenya:
one-day blast to the summit without route book (w. Hilton Davies, 1995)

Some First Ascents:
Urkinmang, Jugal Himal, Himalayas (w. Chris Lomax, 1983)
South Face of the South Tower of Paine, Patagonia (w. Johnathan Gordon and Craig Peer, 1984).
A Private Universe, Slanghoek, Du Toits Kloof, Cape (w. Hilton Davies and Matt Sim, 2002)
Armageddon Times Direct, Yellowwood (w. Chris Lomax and Cathy O'Dowd)
Second Coming, Yellowwood (w. Tony Dick)
No More Bells, Yellowwod (w. Alan Ross)
Farewell to Arms, Table Mountain (w. Dave Cheesmond, 1978)
The Dream, Table Mountain (w. Greg Lacey and Dave Kelfkens, 1978)
The Cruise, Table Mountain (w. Jonathan Fisher, 1980)
Alone in Space, Wolfberg, Cederberg (w. Robin Barley, 1978)
Celestial Journey, Wolfberg, Cederberg (w. Robin Barley, 1978)
Satisfaction Guaranteed, Wolfberg, Cederberg (w. Robin Barley, 1978)
Gallows Bird, Wolfberg, Cederberg (w. Robin Barley, 1978)
Old Timer's Disease, Wolfberg, Cederberg (w. Robin Barley and Hilton Davies, 1994)

Last Laugh (first G1 solo on Table Mountain), Roulette, Jacob's Ladder, Atlantic Crag, Escalator - all many times

climbed almost all the good hard routes in the Western Cape
showed Greg Lacey and Dave Kelfkens how to do Tour de Force
made one of the first clean ascents of Tour de Force (w. Mike Roberts and Hilton Davies, 1980)
big-effort failure opening later-Oceans of Fear route due to weather (w. Hilton Davies, 1980)
big-effort failure opening new line left of Oceans due to storm (w. Andrew Lainis and Hilton Davies, 1985)
failure high on Astroman, Yosemite, due to slot being wet (w. Jonathan Fisher)
trip to Thailand with Patricia Gaertner
trip to Arco, Italy, with Hilton
trip to Verdon Gorge, France, with Hilton
trip to Gran Sasso, Italy, with Patricia Gaertner
numerous trips to Spitzkoppe, Namibia
ice climbing trips to Giant's Castle and Sani Pass, Drakensberg
many ski-mountaineering trips in the Hex Mountains with Alan Ross and Hilton
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
was on the Western Province Hang-Gliding Team in the heyday of the eighties
a lot of incredible hang-gliding flights in the Cape and California
many thousands of kilometres of hiking, trekking and skiing
a lot of time upside when kayaking the cold Cape mountain streams

Guys and gals will have to fill in most of the stuff, which is missing here.

Re: David Davies

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:22 pm
by paddy
Hi Dave

Some of my favourite memories of living in Hout Bay was stopping over at your shop (in their various incarnations) and having a chat. As Doug said, always relaxed and friendly. I just wish I spent more time chatting. I also remember (vividly) the time my brother in law lead the traverse on Roulette and placed less gear than I thought was adequate (I still love him) and how you came upon this SCENE and reversed the traverse to place gear for me (and I don't recall any rope on you). It sure was appreciated.

One thing I always wanted to know - how the hell did the piton on the grey slab on Celestial get there in the first place. I just recall desperation in trying to stay on the face, never mind hanging in to place the thing.

Many thanks for all the chats and excellent routes. I look forward to enjoying more of both when next back in town.


Re: David Davies

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:47 pm
by steveB
Awesome and inspiring tick list!

What I loved about going into Dave's shop (many years back) was that he was happy to spend hours discussing the relative merits of my small purchases - usually just one pair of shoes or a chalk bag. There was no upsell and he'd happily throw in a discount without being asked. The best part though were the stories, beta, inspiration and encouragement. He was never in a rush.

Its been awesome to learn more about Dave in this thread. It seems we've all shared very similar experiences. Truly an inspiration

Re: David Davies

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:08 am
by ianbaker
I first met Dave when a young climber in Durban. I phoned him up and asked about some free posters... Instead he shared a few jokes and offered me a job.

When I moved to Cape Town a few years later I got to actually meet him in person. He took pity on a young climber and took me under his wing. Dave let me work for him and gave me stupidly large discounts on all the gear I bought <a set of camalots for R160 being a rather good deal>.

More than that was the climbing we did... I have lost count of the number of times we ended up at Skoorsteenskop after getting bored in the shop. Or aiding up to the roof. Dropping everything and driving to Montagu. Or Elsies Peak. Or the hidden gems on Table Mountain and the short cuts down. Or Rocklands, sleeping in caves and ticking off the classics.

I was lucky enough to climb Celestial Journey with him. As we got to the base of the climb we saw it was going to be cold. There was ice on the ledges and halfway up the first pitch I couldnt feel my hands, my feet, anything... All I could hear was him telling me to "crank it like a spanner"

Through it all shone Daves love for climbing, adventure, and being out doing what he loved.

Anyway, Dave. If you see this. All the best buddy. Thanks for showing me the ropes.

God bless

Re: David Davies

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:25 pm
by keith james
Garvin has mentioned above the time I "gave" Dave a route which he climbed while I was still bolting it!

I have known Dave for nearly thirty years. I remember when in '83 he and Hilton came to Wolweriver with Viv Connel and he showed us a direct start to Space Shuffle, bouldering out the moves, despite the fact that his good arm was in plaster!

There were many fine encounters in The Cedarberg and at Mary, as well as countless telephone calls over the years to order gear, but the time I will cherish the most was a few years back when I met him and Alan Ross at Loteni to go ice climbing at Giant's Castle. We took a leisurely stroll up the Loteni valley and pass - three old bullets talking up a storm and drinking gallons of tea at every break. Alan had to turn back because of a knee problem, so Dave and I continued up the pass and onto the top where the wind chill factor was such that we decided to skip climbing and just carried on walking across the snow and ice, sharing a tent and talking non-stop for the next few days about our lives, about love, and death, and the real meaning of fatherhood.

I'd always been inspired by him as a climber even though he was several years younger than me, always loved meeting him unexpectedly as a friend, but that trip truly showed me how huge his heart is, how wide open as a human being he is, how priveleged I am to know him, how easy it is to love him as a brother, fellow-souls in the vagabond art of being at home in mountain places...

You're so much in our thoughts, umfowethu, your spirit will nevr be lost to us...

Re: David Davies

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:10 pm
by Hilton

David has been overwhelmed by the concern and sympathy of all his many, many friends in the climbing community. This has been very touching.
Dave has reached saturation point however. He is exhausted by the hundreds of calls per day. So a couple of requests:
- please don't phone or visit. Post on this site or send an email.
- only positivity please.
- Dave is going the alternative-therapy route and for this he needs strength. He therefore cannot continue in an exhausted state due to dealing with emotional and sympathic friends.
- please don't supply alternative treatment information. He has been inundated with anecdotal information.

On a different tack:
Dave climbed in the gym yesterday. Two weeks after brain surgery makes for tough going. He found the 21s were starting to weigh on him.

Other climbing stuff that comes to mind since posting the list above:
Dave and Chris had big-effort failures on
Huascaran, Peru
Huascaran Norte, Peru
FitzRoy, Patagonia
As any mountaineer knows, its not just about the successes!

There've been a lot of very kind words. Some snippets-
Tony Dick - I guess we just have to give David lots of support and celebrate what a wonderful person he is;
Andy de Klerk - I feel sad but also happy for Dave what a beautiful life and a strong man;
Chris Lomax - Remember that dave has lived his life more and achieved more than most;
Doug Jamieson - David is far braver than many of us, his decision is extraordinarily brave - who of his friends would be surprised?

Very cool that Andrew Lainis and Rich Grigsby are flying out from the U.S. to have one more whirl on the rock with an old buddy.
Very cool that John (brother) is flying out from Vancouver.
Lots of incredible messages from wonderful people.

Re: David Davies

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:57 pm
by Ashtonj
Very sad news indeed. David is such a special guy, always willing to assist and very generous with his time. I purchased the majority of my gear from David, since I began climbing again, after a break of 30 yrs. My special memory of David was when he and Patricia took me up Jacobs Ladder to celebrate my 60th. I mentioned to him a few weeks before that it was something I was really keen to do, but had no idea if I could make it. No problem, David tells me, he will take me up, the date was booked. After checking my ability on Africa Corner, we arrived on the actual date, on a glorious day in Feb. Somewhat apprehensively I abseiled down from the top of TM. and found myself in no time following David up pitch1 with Patricia encouraging me from behind. David was moving so quickly that we had to stop halfway up, to allow my family to be at the top to greet me armed with the appropriate champagne and smoked salmon sarnies etc. No problem for David, he abseiled off from the ledge we were on, and proceeded to do the crux pitch of Roulette, not once but twice. So when I topped out my family were all there, along with a large group of tourists to share my celebration. Thanks David & Paticia, this is such a wonderful memory that will always be with me. My wife, Toni, joins me in wishing David, Trish and family all our loving support, with warmest wishes, John Allen.

Re: David Davies

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:03 am
The common thread that emanates from the posts is that Dave is one of the most affable and genial people I, and most everyone else has ever met. When (stupidly) getting involved with mixing business and pleasure by getting involved with setting up CityROCK, I was unpleasantly surprised at how alienating it can be when dealing with climbers and friends and associates that one has known for years. But not Dave! CityROCK, one can argue, makes customers for all the players in the business of climbing but also competes for customers for certain items with Dave’s business. But Dave has never ever stymied us, fought us or done anything but support our endeavours and has supported every climbing competition at CityROCK with REAL prizes. Dave you are amazing.

Dave has not made a movie, written a book, sprayed forth, promoted himself or gone the route of self aggrandizement like some of us. But he is a legend of the Golden Era of South African Rock Climbing. TTAWOCIANS go read about him on WWW.Climb.CO.ZA.

I heard a little birdie tell me that he was cranking grade 21’s at CityROCK a few days ago…… Tony Dick, Tini Versfeld and I seem to struggle on grade 21 routes at the gym while ostensibly styling up trad routes 2 or 3 grades harder at the Ledge ….. Mmmmmmmm……… Makes one think. Doesn’t it?

Some time ago I climbed with Dave was at Karbonaatjieskraal. We opened two new routes and one we named “Cranking Old Bulls”. Keep cranking dude. We love you!

Re: David Davies

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:17 am
by dannypinkas
David’s list of achievements as a climber, while impressive, does not come close to matching his character. Any climber can open a good line, but you’d have to search far and wide to find people with Dave’s humility.
Thank you David for all your entertaining stories and hospitality whenever we met. Lots of strength and warm wishes to you, Trish and your family