George Francis Travers Jackson (1880-1964) grew up in Cape Town and was an enthusiastic mountain climber from an early age, making his first solo ascent of Table Mountain – up Slangolie Ravine and down Platteklip Gorge – at seven. He was a little older than 14 when he joined the MCSA, and became a pioneering climber on Table Mountain who is recorded as a first ascensionist of many routes, including such classics as Dark Gorge, Ferny Gully, Blinkwater Needle, Chockstone Gully, Wormhole Ravine, and more.
The late Dr Vivian E. Solomon was a professional historian with a PhD in Economic History, and a Club member who had been a climber since his teens. Table Mountain and the climbing history of G.F. Travers Jackson were among his many passions. He started writing a biography of Travers Jackson during his retirement, for which he met with members of the family, as well as doing intensive research into various publications. The work was almost complete at the time of Viv’s sudden passing in 1999, while out leading a Cape Town Section meet on Vlakkenberg.
The Climb ZA website is home to an online version of Viv Solomon’s biography of G.F. Travers Jackson (copyright The Solomon Family Trust). Although uploading it is still a work in progress (text is complete; pictures are to be inserted), it is a delight, dancing as it does with Viv’s lightness of language, and full of historical gems relating to the MCSA, and the era in which Travers Jackson lived.
The photo above shows Travers Jackson with Sherpa Tenzing, at the Alpine Club Centenary Dinner on 6 November 1957.
Photos sourced from The Camerons of Fassifern