We were rock climbers. My brothers, David and John, and I were climbers. My uncle and cousins next door were climbers. In 1976, at the age of 15, growing up on the slopes of Signal Hill and Lion’s Head in Cape Town, I began rock climbing. I did my first Table Mountain rock climb – Arrow Final – with David and John in 1977. And in the same year the great Dave Cheesmond produced his little book The Western Cape – Fifty Selected Routes. And as fate would have it, Arrow Final is Route no.1. As excited young climbers, John, David and I bought our copies of Fifty Selected Routes. I paid the princely sum of R4.95 for my copy, which I bought at Butch de Bruin’s fabled climbing store, Varsity Sports. I immediately began devouring the book, the routes, and the legends. In February 2019 I finally closed my copy of the book for the last time – I had completed my journey. I had done all the routes. All 51 routes. Yes, 51, not 50. And I’d become the first person to do so. It took me over four decades. And this copy of Cheesy’s little book holds many of the climbing stories that define my climbing career and my life . . . and so many personal chapters of boundless joy in wild and beautiful places, and countless memories of emotions, love for my climbing companions, and, unavoidably, some sorrow and loss. These are the routes and this is my story.