Two Crag Climb

Swinburne and Eagle Mountain are two very well known climbing areas of South Africa. Very accessible and very friendly towards the beginner and those who climb moderately graded routes. Climbing is real, on real rock, with real chalk on your hands, with real rubber on your feet and you are in charge of the belay. If we cannot offer it on these terms, we wouldn’t bother in the first place. The rendezvous point is usually in the area of Harrismith or Van Reenen. This is where the climbing areas are. Remember, more than one day can be spent at either of these crags. They are about 20km from each other.

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Description of Itinerary:

DAY 1 – Rock Climb Eagle Mountain

With one of the major climbing areas at this crag looking like a giant eagle’s head, the name (Eagle Mountain) describes the area much better than its original name (Mt Everest). Together with Eagle’s Head, Mooihoek Mountain and Mount Everest are the other two main climbing areas at this venue. Climbing is mostly sport. Currently there are 140 bolted routes, with grades ranging from 9 to 28 (starting from 8, the higher the number the more difficult the route). Good multi-pitch climbing can be done at the three main climbing areas with single-pitch climbing and bouldering on the underlying boulders. There is still ample room for new routes to be developed.

Accommodation consists of an excellent campsite and chalets. Climbing can be done here all year round, but is best during the summer months. During winter these areas are very cold and are usually windy.

DAY 2 – Rock Climb Swinburne

Very similar to Eagle Mountain. Climbing in this area comprises mostly of single-pitch sport with good bouldering. Grading varies from 11 to 29 (starting from 8, the higher the number the more difficult the route). Long multi-pitch climbing can be done on the main mountain (Rensburg’s Kop).

Accommodation consists of the Appin Farm House, either double en-suite rooms or the backpacker’s barn. Camping is also available on the large lawn surrounding the above-mentioned accommodation facilities.

Region: Around the town of Harrismith, Free State.

Duration: As longs as you like.

When to go: All year, best during the summer months (September-May).

Itinerary rating: Easy to moderate.


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