Amphitheatre Rock Climbing
Mountain Man Mania
Rock climbing is becoming a more and more mainstream sport internationally. As equipment has modernized the risk of injury has minimized and beginners have begun experimenting with the sport. South Africa offers more rock climbing routes than many other countries in the world. At Amphitheatre Backpackers you can find registered tour guides who adhere to strict safety regulations. We welcome anyone interested in the sport from novices to professionals. The area we visit is set in a nature reserve in the Swinburne area with indigenous flora, buck, small mammals, plentiful bird life and stunning rock outcrops.
The dominant feature is Rensburgkop, an enormous koppie with walls soaring almost 200 meters high. Surrounding the main mountain are huge boulders, several of which have bolted sport routes up to 20 meters high. There is something for everyone, trad climbing, bouldering and both single-pitch and multi-pitch sport routes ranging from grade 15 to 34. With more than 70 bolted routes, including several around grade 17 and some above 28. The climbing here is very different from the rest of South Africa. The rock is rough, reddish-orange sandstone filled with pockets and small sharp edges, and you’ll be surprised by the small footholds and sloped holds.
The most popular multi-pitch route, the eight-pitch “Long Bolt to Freedom” (17) is about 180 meters high and takes you right to the top of the mountain as does the 175-metre-long “A Time to Climb” (21.) Offering slabs, overhangs, cracks and face, it’s a worthy challenge. Other classics include the long “Lost Arrow” (18), which goes up the highest part of the Spear Head Boulder on pockets and crimps (note that it requires 13 draws), “Curry Muncher” (23), a short but overhanging route that requires a series of big moves, and “Swordfish” (28) a short but very steep line on the Shark Tank boulder that demands both strength and good technique.
For avid climbers, routes in the high berg (including the Sentinel) can be organised through the lodge.