Cool Cat – Table Mountain

Hilton Davies opened a short, bouldery little route on Fountain Ledge, Table Mountain in December 1979.

At that time it was the hardest route on the mountain and in the Western Cape.  It goes at 25/E5/7a/5.12a.

On Saturday 7 March 2020 he made his 40th anniversary ascent of the route.

Belayed by the ever patient Tinie Versfeld and filmed by Felix Poppenberger.

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9 Responses to Cool Cat – Table Mountain

  1. Josh Mar 27, 2020 at 1:12 pm #

    Epic Hilton!

    • Hilton Apr 5, 2020 at 3:21 pm #

      Thank you Josh!

  2. Steven Bradshaw Mar 27, 2020 at 2:23 pm #


    • Hilton Apr 5, 2020 at 3:21 pm #

      Thanks Steve!

  3. Hector Mar 28, 2020 at 3:31 pm #

    Not many people get to climb their own routes 40 years later. Even fewer on such a rad (and hard!) looking line. Nice work Hilton!

    • Hilton Apr 5, 2020 at 3:38 pm #

      Thanks Big H!
      There was a lot of nostalgia for me with this one. Not the hardest route I’ve opened but the only one where I took standards of local climbing to a new level and with a fair amount of risk. And maybe the only route of this level to be opened before cams arrived. (My brother David had done the same the year before with Celestial Journey, Alone in Space etc). And my friend who was belaying me became the first person I knew to get taken by AIDS. And my friend who was working the project with me got taken by cancer.
      Hector this is not a route for you. I am very scared about the micronuts holding my 70kg if I blow it to the rail. And those face moves are hard. For you it would be very dangerous. But I have other things for you!

  4. Mike Scott Mar 31, 2020 at 10:22 am #

    Hilton you are incredible to repeat that climb so smoothly, and hang on while placing lots of gear..
    I remember after you opened it a piece of rope was left hanging down the smooth face for the leader to fix a prussic as there was no protection then. Can’t recall whether it was possible to place anything in the roof though.

    • Hilton Apr 5, 2020 at 3:57 pm #

      Thank you Mike!
      It’s been interesting to see a video of myself climbing. I realise that I mostly look appalling! I should prepare, rehearse and look polished – not like I’m doing an onsight at my limit!
      I can’t remember the details but Dave Kelfkens and I came in from the left or the right on that rail and fixed a big hex (I think it was a hex) and then left ‘the shoelace’ hanging there so that we could clip it where the micronuts now go. Of course we didn’t have micros in those days. I think I then clipped a short sling to the hex once up at the rail.
      When I sent the route I had no gear until a nut right near the end where one gets a leg over.
      (confession: I know it was bad form that I left the shoelace there….sorry…)

      • Mike Kelfkens Nov 3, 2020 at 12:03 pm #

        Well done Hilton! 40 years on and you’re still climbing at this level (H2) and more.

        I’ve a black and white photo I took of you and my brother, David Kelfkens, opening the route. I’ll see if I can find it.

        Unfortunately David succumbed to cancer in 2016 – he’d loved to have seen you re-climbing the route.

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