Robert Davis III
Davis was born to Robert Carlisle Davis II, a descendent of polar explorer Richard Byrd, and Fran Sherrill Glendinning of Mountain Brook. He attended Mountain Brook High School and the Shades Valley Resource Learning Center, but left home for Tennessee before graduating. He finished high school in Tennessee and began hitchhiking around the country.
After an arrest for marijuana possession, Davis exhausted his savings to provide bail. He then enrolled at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, commuting to school by kayak. The next summer he traveled to the Himalaya region, traversing Pakistan on camelback and climbing in the mountains. After graduating, he returned to climbing in Greece, Hawaii, Mexico and South America. He then moved to Japan as an English teacher and moonlighted as a river guide.
Davis began a planned year-long visit to Africa in June. After touring Tanzania and Kenya, he began a climb of Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest peak, with a French companion. When the weather soured, his companion turned back, but Davis completed the ascent. On the way down, though, he lost his footing and fell 1,000 feet. His remains were recovered at the edge of a glacier.
A memorial celebration was held on August 25 at the Birmingham Zoo. A second service will he held near Olympia where his ashes will be scattered in Puget Sound. The Mountain Club of Kenya plans to erect a plaque at the summit of Mount Kenya.
- Wolfson, Hannah (August 22, 2006) "Climber dies on Mount Kenya". Birmingham News.