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Pictorial history of warning signs at the base of the climb at Ayers Rock

Pictorial history of warning signs at the base of the climb
Evolution of warning signs at the base of Ayers Rock from 1969 to present through photos. Initial signs focused purely on safety issues, but with the transfer of the Parks's management to Federal agencies in 1985 signage has become increasingly hysterical in pushing the "Don't Climb" message, ignoring the reality about the actual risks to fit, healthy responsible people, and disrespecting the views of previous Owners of the rock like Paddy Uluru and Anangu climbing guide Tiger Tjalkalyirri 
1969
Signage in 1969 comprised the simple and effective message that people climbing are responsible for their own safety.

Images from the National Mapping Program Video Tellurometer connection from Ayers rock, NT
Sign reads:
NOTICE
The public is hereby notified that the climbing of this rock is a difficult and dangerous feat and that this board accepts no responsibility for injury or loss of life to persons engaged in climbing the rock.
Rescue gear is available at the curator's cottage.
By order of the board. A Prose  - Chairman.

1980s
Photo of sign sometime in the 1980s. Not certain when this was first erected. By the end of the 1970s there were 5 memorial plaques on the Rock for people who had died on it, 3 from falls and two from heart attacks. Seems this prompted a change in signage at the base. Nothing yet though about any cultural issues with the climb despite hundreds making the climb on a daily basis.
From a broken Alamy photo link found online (search  "climbing  uluru 1980s")

1990s
The third management plan for the park was the first to indicate climbing was not considered culturally appropriate by Anangu. It seems memories of statements about the climb by Paddy Uluru and the feats of early Anangu climbing guide Tiger Tjalkalyirri  are treated with disrespect and forgotten. 
1990s sign (source)
Detail (source) Permission to climb is granted but they prefer you don't do it, but leaves the decision to climb to individuals as it should be.

2000s - First barriers installed
Park's Australia becoming increasingly authoritative and regulatory about access to the climb in 2001 installed the barrier fence at the base of the climb, and gates hindering access. 
View to base of climb 2001 (source)

Changes at this time also included the addition of a small sign providing a reason for closures.
What's the excuse this time? (Source)

By 2003 the sign had been substantially changed and moved outside the fenced area at the base. This included the "Please don't climb " message for the first time, and included other languages.
Larger sign from early 2000s (Source)

Sometime after the 2010 management plan was introduced the sign was replaced and current sign appears as follows:
Feeling guilty about enjoying the natural world? Warning sign in 2014. Source 


If you find any signs from the base missing, or can provide better timing (with evidence), please get in touch.

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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…

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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.”
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