Free State

Often thought to be a flat province but there is actually unlimited outcrops of sandstone mountains sometimes over 200m high.   The dominant rock formation in the Free State is cave sandstone (geologically known as Clarens-formation sandstone), which is rather soft and not so good for traditional climbing, but has numerous excellent bolted routes.  Harrismith (Mnt Everest Reserve) & Swinburne offer good sport routes and bouldering in secure and beautiful settings.

Free State Climbing Areas

Harrismith Rock Climbing Harrismith

There are currently about 140 fully bolted sport routes at Mount Everest (Harrismith). These range in grade from 7 to 29 (up to 7c+), the majority are below grade 20 (6b) so this is the perfect place for beginner and moderate grade climbers.

Rensbergkop, Swinburne Cosmos Field Swinburne

This is a beautiful area that offers good bouldering and sport climbing including long multi-pitch climbs. The area is currently being developed and there is plenty of scope for new development. At present grades vary from 11 to 29.

Quicklink PDF Topo Downloads

Free State Climbing Wiki

The Climb ZA – South Africa Rock Climbing Routes Wiki has some more info on climbing in the Free State.


Printed Guides Available for Purchase

Featured Topos

Exposure In The F MajorExposure in the F Major Trad **** Grade F3/17

K Fletcher, H Graafland, H Snyders and G Ward 1963 For a real rock route – this is it!! Exposed in summer, exposured in winter. Exposure In The F Major Start The approach is the same as for Pisa Wall but, after ascending the last gully, traverse right …

Universal Energy TheoryUniversal Energy Theory

Jahne and Andrew’s Universal Energy Theory Grade ’28′, 5 Pitches – Rensbergkop (Swinburne), Free State Province, South Africa. A pretty spectacular and challenging five-pitch climb taking mostly excellent good rock all the way to the top of the 160 metre high cliff.

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