Swinburne Rock climbing184 routes in crag
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Lots of sport routes and bouldering options on the boulders scattered all over. Also a few multi-pitch climbs on Rensburgkop, the main mountain.
A very popular climbing area with lots of routes to choose from. This area offers climbing for everyone from beginners to experienced climbers and is a superb learning spot. All climbing is on sandstone but after years of access most of the loose slabs have broken off and the climbing is generally really good. It is also a very good bouldering area with many options. The area is easily accessible by vehicle. There are still lots of options for new routes.
The area is on private land shared by the Bald Ibis Hiking Trail. Please contact the owners prior to accessing. They are friendly people and welcome climbers to the property. Please call Ansie on +27 (0) 82 926 1155 to arrange access. Be sure to book before arriving and pay before leaving. A day visitor fee may apply. Avoid bird nesting sites on the main crags.
The climbing area is close to Swinburne just off the N3 highway between Johannesburg and Durban. The nearest major town is Harrismith, about 35km away. The road into the property ends at the camping area, which is also where the first boulders can be found.
Where to stay
There is comfortable accommodation on the property, which can also be booked with Ansie. Accommodation includes the Appin Farmhouse, a number of double rooms with en-suite ablutions and The Barn, a climber's hangout with loads of beds. Facilities are comfortable and more than adequate. Contact Ansie to book on +27 (0) 82 926 1155. Alternatively you can find comfortable accommodation at the Hound and Hare (Riverview Country Inn) in Swinburne with a friendly bar and good food on offer.
Testing was done a few years ago on the different types of bolts and it was found that on slab, vertical or slightly overhanging routes the stainless steel Hilti HSA-KR M10x110mm can be used. Please note that for anchors of multi-pitch routes or steep routes these bolts will not be strong enough. Either the M12x110mm bolt or the Upat UKA3 glue-in capsule with 100mm stainless threaded bolts can be used. Almost all of the other glue's and readily available bolts were tested and not always found to be sufficient. Please take extra care in testing where you place your bolts as there are many hollow sections of rock. Remember that when you bolt a route you do not own the rock, and that many others would also like to climb it, so bolt it for everyone and not only yourself. Some of the routes are still bolted with unrated U-bolts and some dodgy placements can be found, but for the most part all routes are safe. If you would like more information about bolting in this area please contact the Mountain Club of South Africa.
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