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
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.
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
- Mt_Everest_Bouldering_Guide_May_2012.pdf (190 downloads)
- Swinburne_route_guide.pdf (382 downloads)
- Harrismith_Mount_Everest_May_2012.pdf (348 downloads)
Free State Climbing Wiki
The Climb ZA – South Africa Rock Climbing Routes Wiki has some more info on climbing in the Free State.