Maverick Life

SHORT STORY

The Gentle Mountain Warrior: my brother died whilst climbing Table Mountain

Image: Murray Williams

My brother, Kim Williams, died on 27 February 2021 whilst climbing Table Mountain. Almost six months later, I retraced his final steps to say goodbye. Here, in a short poem, I recount an extraordinary encounter on the mountain where my brother died.

My ‘Gentle Mountain Warrior’ 

I went up Kloof Corner Ridge, to visit my little brother,

Who fell to his death here, 24 weeks ago. A week for every hour of the day.

I saluted him, where he took flight.

As I turned to leave, I felt a presence very close by.

It was this soul.

He kept me company while my tears dried in the wind. 

I was so grateful. 

***

Image: Murray Williams

Kim Williams grew up in Llandudno, Stellenbosch, the Banhoek Valley, on Dornier estate and in Somerset West.

His gifted mind was opened and blossomed at Somerset House, the country’s oldest school, SACS, at UCT school of Law, and the Graduate School of Business.

Image: Murray Williams
Image: Murray Williams

On Saturday 27 February 2021, he was hiking the mountain he adored for at least the 500th time – probably more. In 2015 alone, he summited Table Mountain 114 times – often in support of various charities.

But on that Saturday, for reasons we will never fully know, he fell to his death. He may have been scaling a rock-face, fell on to a narrow ledge – then plunged around 60m down a cliff high above Camps Bay.

Beneath the Twelve Apostles he lay. DM/ML

Read Murray Williams’ full tribute to his brother Kim here.

Do you have a story about grief that you would like to share with us? If so, please reach out to us here, we would love to hear from you. 

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