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Climbing Tales #12 Norman Camps Via Maggie Springs

Climbing Tales 
This series celebrates Ayers Rock climbing experiences posted online and elsewhere.

#12 Norman Camps, 1952 via Maggie Springs I lost four fingernails and was bleeding from the ankles, calves and fingers.
I recently received a folder of material about Ayers Rock from a local historian recently (thankyou J!). It included a number of items. One that stood out was a clipping from 'Peaks: Australiasian Mountain Magazine' No.3 December 1980 re-counting a climb up Maggie Springs (Mutitjulu Water Hole) by Norman Camps in 1952. The main part of the article about the climb is reproduced below.
Sketch from the article, original caption: The "V: Formation leading down to Maggie Springs (Mutitjulu water hole) at the base of the rock.

See for comparison below this wonderful photo the sketch is based on of the hidden valley above the waterhole by Robin Smith from The Red Centre, 1967.
The main northwest-trending watercourse above Maggie Springs (Mutitjulu water hole) has be…
Recent posts

The ban is not sustainable: Speaking with Ben Fordham 2GB

Thanks tto Ben Fordham at 2GB for having me on his wonderful radio show again. I spoke with Ben live from the Bankstown Sports Club on Friday 9 August, 2019. 
Marc Hendrickx, Ben Fordham and that book- A Guide to Climbing Ayers Rock!
Ben raised some important points regarding the impacts of the ban on the local community and the prospect of the ban being overturned in the near future and wiser heads prevail.

Ben ... I've got a feeling the ban will come into place for a few years, they'll see the impact on tourism in the area and job opportunities and someone will say this is ridiculous, let's open up the Climb again.

Marc ... I think that's the way it's going to go long term. I can't see that the ban is going to be sustainable decades into the future. In 100 years time are we still going the have a ban on climbing that wonderful monument in the centre of our country?

A podcast of the interview available via SoundCloud (HERE) and the complete show from 2GB (HERE).

Discussing HRC Decision with Stewart Brash ABC Alice Springs

ABC Alice Springs Radio Breakfast August 8 2019 (79 days till madness takes its toll).

I spoke with ABC's Stewart Brash this morning about the Human Rights Commission's decision to terminate my complaint of Racial Discrimination against the Park Board and the Director of Parks Australia. The termination is based on the HRC's view that conciliation with the Board is not possible and as the ban and removal of cultural objects have not yet occurred discrimination is not possible You can read the full HRC letter HERE.

Tiger Tjalkalyirri (standing) and Tamalji at the summit 1947. Photo by Arthur Groom. 

Stewart takes a couple of calls after my interview ends. The first is from David Hewitt who comments that in a recent trip and in his past experience traditional people have indicated it was ok to Climb. 
The link below provides a podcast of the discussion:
Full program available vis this link...…

Media Statement - HRC Terminate Claim

Media Statement regarding HRC termination of complaint of Racial discrimination against the Director of National Parks and Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board of Management for banning the Climb up Ayers Rock.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has handed down its decision on my complaint of racial discrimination against the Director of National Parks and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board of Management for the ban on Climbing Ayers Rock (full letter below).
The HRC delegate Jodie Hall terminated my complaint about the decision of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board of Management that the climb up Ayers Rock be permanently closed because she was satisfied that there is no reasonable prospect of the matter being settled by conciliation. “I have decided to terminate the complaint about the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board of Management’s decision to permanently close the Climb, under section 46PH(1B)(b) of the AHRCA, as I am satisfied that there are no reasonable prospects of the matter being settled by conciliation.” P.10

Climbing Legends #13 Graeme Phillips - THE legend

LEGEND OF THE CLIMB - Graeme Phillips 996!
Series of posts celebrating climbers of Ayers Rock #13.
Graeme Phillips standing on the summit cairn (on right), late 1960s (photo from Shirley Goodman.
While discussing our iconic Climb with Macca on the ABC his producer handed me a note with a phone number and said the person on it wanted to speak to me about the Climb. After the interview, I placed this slip of paper on the shelf and it took me a few weeks to get around to calling the number. I'm so glad I did, as, through the wonderful Shirley Goodman, whose name was on that slip of paper, I have learnt a small part of the remarkable story of the late Graeme Phillips. 

Graeme Phillips (photo from ABC report)
In my book "A guide to Climbing Ayers Rock" I credit Howard Rust as the person who climbed the rock the most times (100) and Graeme Phillips as the man who climbed the most different routes (7). I thought that 100 climbs was a remarkable effort and given the lack of historic…

Defying the Ban: Speaking with Ben Fordham 2GB

I spoke with 2GB's Ben Fordham about the coming ban on climbing. The rich history of climbing by all people deserves to be celebrated. Parks Australia has erased history at the Rock.
Tiger Tjalkalyirri and Tamalji 1947 you won't read about them in the official literature.
Link below will take you to a podcast of it:

Also soundcloud version:

Outsiders Ayers Rock

Outsiders 28/7/2019 featured a discussion about our iconic Climb led by Rowan Dean, Rita Panahi and James Morrow, with me and Dr Anthony Dillon. Some Facebook clips below...
PODCAST HERE. Marc Hendrickx on climbing Uluru: It’s such a shame that this is being closed. It’s not only the physical nature of the climb itself, it’s the extraordinary, majestic views of the desert.
Marc Hendrickx on climbing Uluru: Parks Australia claims 37 people have died since 1958, but seven million people have climbed the rock. The risks of dying on the rock are no different to flying a plane to get there.

Dr Anthony Dillon on Uluru: I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years’ time it’s no longer sacred and it’s seen as beneficial, if not profitable, to open the rock again.

Dr Anthony Dillon on Uluru: I was up six m…

Climb Reviews... spectacular views

A small collection of reviews of the Climb collated from recent posts on Trip Advisor... So worth it!. Great climb to do as a family. When we arrived at Uluru the climb was closed due to high winds at the summit. We were told that they close it at the drop of a hat and they reassess the wind every 2 hours. If you are going to climb Uluru then make that the first thing you do during your visit in case they close it. Uluru looks very steep and you wonder how you are going to get up but you do and when it gets really steep then there are chains to pull yourself up with. There were willing kids as young as 5 climbing up with their parents although I would recommend that you make sure your child “wants” to climb as there were a few parents who had to take their children back down again in the early stages of the climb. Once you reach the end of the chains, you think you are at the top but alas no. There is still so much that you can’t see. There is a lot of “up a…

ABC Alice Springs Breakfast - Speaking with Stewart Brash about banning awe and wonder at Ayers Rock

There's been a rush of visitors heading to central Australia to exercise their cultural heritage in climbing Ayers Rock. This morning (22/7) I spoke with ABC Alice Springs Radio Breakfast Host Stewart Brash about the issue.

The link below provides a podcast of the discussion:

For the full episode visit ABC Alice Springs...

100 days to go - In the spirit of Apollo 11... let the legacy continue

There are just 100 days before darkness descends on Ayers Rock and visitors from all over the world will be barred from scaling it, denying them the chance of experiencing a human cultural tradition that was established 30000 years ago during the last ice age.
The reasons for the ban do not stand up to scrutiny. They revolve around the actions of lazy bureaucrats sitting behind desks in Canberra remote from the Rock, claims of sacredness that go against the actions and views of the Traditional People and a false message about safety. In reality, the ban is all about petty politics and the corruption of power.
On July 20 1873 explorer William Gosse accompanied by his cameleer Kumran scaled the Rock and provided humanity with a first-hand account of the incredible experience. Ninety-six years later on the 20 July, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo lunar module "Eagle" on the surface of the moon continuing the same tradition of human exploration of our natura…