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Uluru Reviews #2: Beauty, bans, fines, nonsense & superstition... Is it really worth a visit?

Uluru Reviews: This series features reviews and comments about the Uluru Experience. These are the ones you are unlikely to see promoted by Parks Australia.

#2 Beauty, bans, fines, nonsense & superstition... Is it really worth a visit?

This great review by Roy Broff (click on the link) tackles all the hard questions about visiting Uluru:
Getting there The desert is boring and monotonous but at least easy to steer
Impressions of the cultural centre The best thing about the centre is that it has TOILETS
Photography Huge areas of the rock are declared sacred and penalties for photographing such areas ($5000 or 6000) can make you broke in no time – please leave your CAMERA in the car
Climbing the climb to the top is seriously discouraged and frequently banned for a range of often ridiculous excuses/conditions (e.g. high winds or temperatures at the summit where there is obviously no anemometer or even a simple thermometer). Failure to comply with the ban shall get you another $5500 fine... SAFETY is very convenient excuse, although the climb to the top is not a big deal for any fit person (I'm 53 and did it "hands-free" – this is no use of hands or chain). 
What to do on top We spent a whole day discovering heaps of interesting plants, herbs, animals, birds, bugs, holes, mini-caves, views, waterholes, crevices, rocks, etc. Believe it or not my son swam into some of the waterholes – depths can be more than 2 m. but the water is quite cold!

As Roy says "Swim between the flags"

The future make (the park) a real National (as opposed to the current aboriginal) park & attraction where millions of people from all over the world can worship &/or enjoy whatever they like - nature, Australian (aboriginal & other) culture, lifestyle and have serious fun
Thanks Roy!

Here's a comment on Roy's review:
The Summit is Fantastic 
by: Anonymous 

Anyone who dismisses the climb as "only a small part" of the experience misses the importance of it to those of us that want to climb it. It is part of the Australian culture to climb such things for many reasons - tradition, family who have done it; life long desire and like Everest "because it is there".

I spoke to over fifty people who climbed the rock the same day I did and all had stories to tell of their dreams of climbing it and how agry it made them that the aborigines seem to close it on a whim. Many were very upset that their children and grandchildren will not be able to climb it. The friendly atmosphere on the climb is fantastic. People who would never normally speak to each other were chatting and offering help and encouragement. It was a wonderful community feel that will be lost.

I spent five hours on the rock and walked out to the far end. I spent about the same walking and driving around the base. The top of the rock is one of the most special and fascinating places in the world and I have been to 35 countries. The walk around the base is but a mere shadow of the walk at the top.

To stop the climb is insensitive and illogical but culture and politics always are. Whose culture is more important? What compromise can/should be made?

If you respect all people. Why do you not respect those who want to climb?
ALL racism. All bigotry is UGLY.


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

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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
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…