Jimbo Smith opens The King Slayer on Table Mountain

Jeopardy Wall, Fountain Ledge, Table Mountain

Jimbo Smith on the Kingslayer, Fountain Ledge, Table Mountain.  Photo Charles Edestein

I opened a couple more trad routes on the Jeopardy wall on Table Mountain recently.  The first was the arête that you dangle your feet above when you sit on the Roulette ledge.  I believe Guy Patterson Jones and Hilton Davies first tried it about 2 years ago but opted instead to climb the crack about 5 meters to the right.

There’s something about climbing an arête that I find really appealing.  I think it’s because they look cool!  They are also the antithesis of awkward balancy open-books, which I am crap at and find really claustrophobic and scary.  Anyway, the arête I climbed is anything but claustrophobic.  It’s slightly overhanging, kind of powerful, rather tricky to read, somewhat committing and slightly exposed.  All fine attributes for an arête in my opinion.  And it gives you that “Wow, I’m climbing a slightly over-hanging, kind of powerful, rather tricky, somewhat committing, slightly exposed arête.

Some not so interesting (or accurate) facts about The King Slayer:
•    I called it The King Slayer because I felt like it.
•    The crux involves a high step, a poor sloper pinch, a wee crimp layback, a grunt, a shout of encouragement, an off-width, another grunt, a foot flag, a girl in a blue bikini, some more fancy foot work, a desperate lunge to a gaston pinch and a knee bar – not necessarily in that order and I added the off-width and bikini girl so that I wouldn’t ruin your onsight.
•    The gear is good but a fall off the crux might be a touch exciting (read painful).
•    I worked it by myself on a fixed top rope before redpointing so it’s difficult to grade but I’d say it’s in the 26-27 range.  It will probably feel harder to onsight.
•    Douw Steyn of “Golden Belayer” fame held my ropes.

Jeopardy Wall, Fountain Ledge, Table Mountain

Jimbo Smith on the Kingslayer, Fountain Ledge, Table Mountain. Photo Charles Edelstein


After that I thought I’d give the first pitch of Roulette Arête a go.  This is the aforementioned crack that Guy and Hilton opened and goes at about 25.  Having tried it a year ago and fallen off, I was looking forward to awarding myself the retro-onsight.  I figured this was permitted since I have such a crap memory and was pretty confident after my courageous feat a few moments earlier.
But I fell off.  A little perplexed, I decided to make myself feel better by falling off something harder instead.

So from Roulette Arête I climbed straight into the crux of the Squid and the Whale and then straight into the crux of Double Jeopardy (both of which I fell off).   But there dawned the first attempt of a dead-straight link-up that combined some of the best climbing on the wall.  I came back and redpointed it a week later and after a few moments of thought, I settled on the highly original name Triple Jeopardy (31).  In hindsight, this link up turned out to be the most obvious line up the Jeopardy wall and this is where I originally thought Double Jeopardy went.

Bit ironic that it was also one of the last to be opened.  I say “one of the last” because much to my dismay I managed to find yet another project on the wall that I am hoping to open soon.

Jeopardy Wall, Fountain Ledge, Table Mountain

The Jeopardy Wall, Fountain Ledge, Table Mountain

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10 Responses to Jimbo Smith opens The King Slayer on Table Mountain

  1. Hilton Davies Jan 6, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Jimbo it’s been fantastic watching your new routes go down. The last time there was a big revolutionary new level on TM was with Andy de Klerk in the 1980s. Jeremy Samson, Tienie Versfeld, Dave Birkett and others have moved things up but you and Clinton have solidly taken things to a whole new level.

    Your Kingslayer was originally going to be my Roulette Arete but I couldn’t do it and by then I was in love with the name so applied it to the new line Guy and I did to the right.
    You made my day by falling off our route – that will never happen to me again. Thanks hey!

    It would be lekker to know who else has got up some of your lines and the others on the Jeopardy Wall. Douwtjie, Willem, Gosia, the Stellenbosch boys, etc. The repeats of these hard routes are also impressive.

    (It was way impressive watching you send the new improved version of Squid. Man that run-out to the big dyno at the top is gripping)

    Awesome work fella

  2. Justin Lawson Jan 6, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    Awesome stuff Jimbo!!

  3. jimbo Jan 6, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    Thanks Hilton. So the other project that I talked about in the article was the direct version of the Squid and the Whale which I climbed at the end of last year. Pretty sure there is nothing new to climb on that wall anymore so I am now looking elsewhere.

  4. Andy Davies Jan 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Good job Jimbo, we need to find you some more rock!

  5. andrew p Jan 7, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Brilliant Jimbo. You got the hunger. How about going straight up from the first half of Jeopardy and finishing under the big roof, looks lekker steep…? Looking forward to climbing a bit on TM I am in CT 1 to 8 Feb.

  6. jimbo Jan 7, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    hey andrew. I had a look there a while back. Something will definitely go but the rock was a bit loose so it needs a fair amount of cleaning. Could be worth another look though.

  7. jacques Jan 7, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    Nicely written, lekker gelag for the ‘wow’ bits and the new “Golden Belayer’ award. The Stellenbosch boys deserves to be named though: Big up to Phlip and Danie… hehehe…

  8. Dark horse Jan 8, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    Styling Jimbo! Rad name too.

  9. Richard Jan 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Awesome. Very photogenic indeed!

    Psyched to give KS a go sometime, just need to find the large pair me thinks…

  10. Clinton Jan 11, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    Good work Jimbo!

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