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Climbed for Science: 1950

Amongst the research to be commemorated by the "Climb for Science" is the Mt Olga-Ayers Rock research expedition of 1950.

Trevor Bloom at the summit cairn with altimeters August 1950.

Expedition members including: Ewen, Kemsley, Moore, Broom, Greenhill, Lofthouse, Clarebrough.

From the road log...

Up late (8.00 a.m.) for breakfast.                                                                                                            DU operated wonderfully on the 8 a.m. session and all criticisms of aerials & knobs ceased. 
Several telegrams were sent after calling on John Nick, the only one of the party who knew the phonetic alphabet.  Party then sets off round S. side to spur on W. end.  Climb of rock started at 1050 & cairn was reached 1½ hours later after refreshments en route.  Some time was then spent reading the names etc. in the jar.  The following signatures were then added: D.S. Kemsley, John Nicholas, Bob smith, Leo Clarebrough, Alec Ewen, Alan Moore, Brent Greenhill, Alan Lofthouse, Trevor Broom.  The party then split up, traversing the ridges & investigating trees, rock pools etc.  One rock wallaby seen.  Descent begun at 1430 and everyone was more confident after being frisky on the ridges.  The party then relaxed at the foot and slowly returned to camp where a good meal was slowly prepared.  Jim Ingram walked round the Rock during the day.  Alan Marshall, Jack Ross & Dereck Falconer rested all day, and went for a drive in the late afternoon – starting a memorable (according to them) bushfire


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Indicative Contents History of discovery and climbing Facts and figures Geology and Geomorphology Route Maps Reasons to climb Climbing stories Chronicles of the fallen  Preparations Best time to climb What to wear How to climb What you can see from the summit Things to do at the summit Climbing Trivia Selected climbs and hikes in central Australia
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A pictorial response to arguments against climbing Ayers Rock

A pictorial response to arguments against climbing Ayers RockIt's too dangerous Group of women aged 19-70 climb Ayers Rock as part of the 1957 Petticoat Safari. This was prior to the chains being installed. Since the 1950s over 6,000,000 people of all ages have climbed the rock. In that time there have been a reported 36 deaths mainly heart attacks to older men, not acclimatised to the heat of central Australia. If you are fit and healthy and stick to the marked path climbing Ayers Rock is an exhilarating adventure but a decidedly low risk activity.

Here's Arthur Groom's take on the climbing options: extract from I saw a strange land
Various writers have described Ayers Rock as difficult of ascent, when in reality it is a trained mountaineer's job on the east-south-east corner, a rough and steep scramble up at least two places on its southern side, and nothing else but a strenuous and spectacular uphill walk on its western side It’s a Sacred Site, climbing is disrespect…

The Ban on Climbing Ayers Rock is Immoral and Illegal

The Ban on Climbing Ayers Rock is Immoral and IllegalQuadrant Magazine have placed my recent article online outlining reasons the ban on climbing Ayers Rock is immoral and illegal.

Claims that Aborigines never ascend the monolith are false and the highly sacred nature of the route a recent invention. The cultural-heritage significance of the climb to both Anangu and millions of non-Aboriginal visitors is something that should be celebrated and maintained, not discouraged and condemned.

Read the Article at Quadrant.
“In the realm of ideas there has been no better publication in Australia over the last fifty years than Quadrant magazine.”
— Former Prime Minister John Howard