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World opens up, Australia closes down

Compare the headlines. 
As the rest of the world shares their natural and man made wonders - letting in the light, Uluru's indigenous people, aided by misguided public officials, turn the light off. The climb is integral to visiting Uluru.

Seven new wonders of the world that were not previously accessible

If visiting the world's most ancient temples and monuments-Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, Petra-inspires your inner Indiana Jones, just imagine what it would be like to explore world wonders few people have ever even heard of yet.
Some of the world's most staggering historical sites - places that have long existed as local secrets - have recently been made accessible thanks to a slew of intrepid tour operators, hoteliers, or infrastructure developments. In the coming years, these places will find their way onto hordes of global travellers' bucket lists, but for now they are still relatively under the radar.
There are the dramatic, thousand-year-old temple complexes in India that are immaculately preserved but were hard to visit in style - until the area's first luxury hotel opened. There is a jungle-shrouded archaeological site in Colombia that predates Machu Picchu by 650 years, and a spectacular sacred city in Sri Lanka that's until now been off-limits because of underdeveloped infrastructure and political turmoil. And that's only a drop in the bucket. (Click link above to read full article)
Sigiriya Rock - A Lion-Shaped Fortress in Sri Lanka. When King Kassapa ruled over Ceylon in the late 400s, he decided to place his capital atop a 600-foot-high granite boulder smack in the centre of modern-day Sri Lanka - a country that's slowly been reborn to tourists after a prolonged civil war ended in 2009. The whole thing doubled as a massive piece of sculpture: Not only did workers carve stone staircases leading all the way to the top; they also added brick and plaster work to create the illusion of a gigantic lion emerging from the forest. The first two flights of stairs are straddled by enormous, clawed paws; another flight emerges from the lion's mouth. At the summit, visitors can explore what's left of Kassapa's palace, gardens, fountains, and ponds-but the climb is half the fun. Then you can retreat to your own sumptuous digs, at the soon-to-open Pekoe House, in nearby Kandy. 

Australia's famed Uluru outback monolith to be closed to climbers

Australia's world-famous Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, will be closed to climbers from 2019, its management board said on Wednesday, ending a decades-long campaign by Aborigines to protect their sacred monolith in the Northern Territory.
A board of eight traditional owners and four government officials voted unanimously to close the rock to climbers, a spokesperson told Reuters.
"The climb is a men's sacred area, the men have closed it," chairman Sammy Wilson added in a statement. "It has cultural significance that includes certain restrictions." (Click link above to read full article)

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Climber's Handbook: A guide to climbing Ayers Rock.

Coming soon... Climber's Handbook: A guide to climbing Ayers Rock. Everything you wanted to know about climbing the rock at the heart of Australia but were too afraid to ask...

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
Hoping to hit the internet book shelves in time for Christmas 2018.  In the meantime wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I just want one thing in my Christmas stocking: a ban of the ban!



17th death on the Rock

17th death on the Rock
ABC report that a 76 year old Japanese man collapsed on the steep part of the climb and despite first aid, was not able to be revived. The elderly Japanese man likely died as a result of heart complications, probably brought on by existing (perhaps unknown) medical conditions and over exerting himself. He appears to have died revelling in the opportunity life provides. RIP Brother of the Rock.  Our thoughts with his family and the first attenders who did their best to treat him. It's sad, but life goes on, and so should the climb.

His death marks the 17th death ON the Rock since 26 May 1962 when 16 year old school boy Brian Strieff, on a school excursion with Carey Grammar, wondered off the main path in heavy fog on the way down and fell to his death.

ABC's report indicate it is the 37th death, but these figures from Parks Australia have not been substantiated. It seems that many of the deaths Parks Australia claim to have occurred ON the Rock occurred in…

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…