Swinburne

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Swinburne
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Latitude-28.22877
Longitude29.16576
Climbing TypeSport, Trad and Bouldering
Rock TypeSandstone (Soft)
SeasonAll year round
ProvinceFree State
AreaSwineburne
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Basic Info

Swinburne is a little village just off the N3, south of Harrismith. It is a very beautiful area strewn with good boulders, some with bolted routes. The main mountain, Rensburgkop also has multi-pitch sport routes. There is a huge potential for new routes and bouldering in this area.

The Main Mountain can be seen in the image to the right as well as the boulders scattered around it. Keep in mind that the mountain extends much further southward and offers much more rock than can be seen here.

Access The crags and boulders are on private property which is shared by the Bald Ibis Hiking Trail. Please call ahead if you plan to visit. Sometimes hikers or events block book the barn. The house can also be booked. When staying in the 2-bed rooms, the kitchen in the main house is at your disposal.

PLEASE CALL Elzeri on 058 672-1013 or 084 516 6820 TO BOOK, BEFORE ARRIVING and to get directions. She is sometimes out of cell range, please be patient and try again. Alternatively, try Frans (manager) 072 708 5965.

Please pay before leaving or we could loose access to this crag. Ansie accepts internet payments, or pay her directly when you're there.

You will see some GPS co-ordinates listed for certain problems, they are all using WGS84/Hartebeeshoek94 datum, all degrees and decimal minutes South then East. The area is open to bolting but please avoid any nesting sites of birds on the main crags.

The Barn & Appin House

There is a barn in which we stay for R60 per night per person. Bunk beds, a gas stove, a fridge, firewood, hot water, hot showers and electricity are all provided. The barn can sleep about 20-25 people. You can also stay in the old farmhouse with bedding, kitchenware, a bar, a lapa and the works for R120 per person per night. The house sleeps about 12. There are now also rooms sleeping two with your own ablutions, bedding, kettle etc. also for R120 per person per night. The barn GPS is -28,22.877,29,16.576

Food & Rest Day Stuff Etc.

The tiny town of Swinburne has a very basic shop and the 'Hound and Hare' restaurant and pub at the Riverview Country Lodge. There are several places to eat including a House of Coffees at the Montrose petrol station. A Steers can be found at the Caltex garage just after Montrose on the left. You can journey further into Harrismith to stock up on supplies or to go to their Spur or Nandos. Of course you could even give the 2-day hiking trail a bash or some of the shorter walks. The area is really beautiful with some small Yellowood forests, there is even a Bald Ibis Restaurant. This is also excellent mountain biking country.

Safety & Medical

To date the area is very secure from theft etc. but please take the usual precautions. The soft sandstone rock tends to be quite soft and chunks can often break off. It is wise to use a helmet for belaying, especially on newer routes or when opening routes.The closest hospital is in Harrismith. At present there is no stretcher or first aid dump in the area. For serious accidents please call the MCSA Rescue team on 011 315-0203.

Weather

Swinburne is within a few kilometres of the Drakensburg escarpment. As a result is attracts a variety of mountain weather. In other words it can be hot, cold, windy, misty or even snowy all in a day. Plan accordingly, bring sunblock, warm jackets, beanies etc.

Ethics & Bolting

Testing was done on the different types of bolts and it was found that on slab, vertical or slightly overhanging routes a certain kind of expansion bolt can be used. This was the stainless steel Hilti HSA-KR M10x110mm, please note that for anchors of multi-pitch routes or steep routes these bolts will NOT be strong enough. Either the M12x110mm bolt can be used 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. Please take extra care in testing where you place your bolts, 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. Projects should be marked as such by placing the first bolt (preferably) or the top anchors and tying ribbon or tape around it. Since there are overseas visitors the usual 'I.P.' is often not understood.

Route Guide

[Click here to download the Swinburne Route Guide

Swinburne map.gif