No more climbing Uluru

Old Dec 18, 18, 7:13 pm
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No more climbing Uluru

Climbing Uluru (Ayers Rock) will be banned starting in October 2019, according to this article in CNN Travel. (There are surely Australian sources that others can link to as well.) One of the conditions that was set for closing the climb during the transfer 30+ years ago was that the fraction of visitors who climb had to fall below 20%. Apparently it has.

The article cites two reasons for closing the climb: that the location is a men's sacred area to local Aboriginal groups, and that the climb is dangerous. Our OzFest 11 (2014) guide pointed out a third: people visiting an area with no sanitation facilities will inevitably leave biological souvenirs of their presence; on non-porous rock those end up in watering holes along the bottom; and that poisons animals who drink there.

On my second visit to Uluru in August 2015 (to walk around the base, which we didn't have time for during OzFest) I overheard a conversation among some young Australians. One of them said to his mates "My grandfather climbed this rock. My father climbed this rock. Me, I'm not going to climb this rock." As best this Yank can tell, and subject to correction by those who know better, that seems to reflect the general attitude these days.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 7:53 pm
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National Park web site
https://parksaustralia.gov.au/uluru/...limb-to-close/
https://www.environment.gov.au/media...ru-climb-close
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Old Dec 20, 18, 10:42 am
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We thought about it quite a bit. Didnt have a strong 'need' to do it, as a rock climber and hiker it would have been fun and interesting, but it really isnt much of a challenge, IMO. The allure would have been stronger if it were indeed harder or more dangerous!

One message you DO get in australia is the the aboriginal societies have had a wretched existence over the millennia, and more so since whites arrived. It felt like one of the few things they have left is the control over Katja/uluru....so Im ok with not climbing their rock.

One thing of note when I was there....i really wanted to understand the geophysical creation of this feature. I assumed that it would be covered SOMEWHERE....Not a word. It is all a Dreamtime Story presentation, the entire park is based ONLY on the aboriginal interpretation of reality. At first I was offended/annoyed. Then it made me sad.....

anyway, on this general topic- some more recent genetic testing based theories of human dispersal across the planet have addressed the history of the aborignals in Oz. Fascinating stuff. (Google is your friend)


PS We biked around the base, it was about 112F, 45C. Would not have wanted to walk in that heat....
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Old Dec 21, 18, 4:07 am
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Originally Posted by Exec_Plat
We thought about it quite a bit. Didnt have a strong 'need' to do it ... the aboriginal societies ... one of the few things they have left is the control over Katja/uluru....so Im ok with not climbing their rock.
I remembered commenting on a similar thread and when I looked for it ... ack! it was seven years ago already!

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/17276934-post84.html
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Old Jan 5, 19, 1:09 am
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"As the ban approaches, tourists are climbing Uluru in droves," writes Trent Dalton in today's The Australian. (The link goes to the current issue on the day when you click. You can still search for, and find, Dalton's piece. You may have to pay to read it all, though.) "Fair game or sheer hooliganism? The truth isn’t so black and white."
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Old Jan 5, 19, 1:32 am
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It makes sense that an upcoming ban makes the climb more popular. If you don't subscribe to the Aboriginal people's wishes, and had a dream to climb the rock... well you'd be headed that way.

I've found they close the rock for wind and heat, so there might be some disappointed folks if the weather doesn't co-operate.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 1:12 pm
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Likewise, as a keen hiker and one with a passion for rock climbing, there's a part of me that wants to race to the top before 8am before the heat sets in, before it's too late, before it's officially banned.

But then, it doesn't bother me so because there's an even bigger rock Mount Augustus over in Western Australia. Not so convenient to get to, but it's bigger so my sights are set on visiting that one day.

But I think the beauty of Uluru is that there is nothing for miles around, not to mention the vivid colours that make it a phenomenal scene.
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Old Jan 26, 19, 11:30 am
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Visiting Uluru when there is a rainstorm is on my (likely never to be attained) bucket list.....


IMO the magic of Uluru is the interplay between the flat outback- and the rock- and life and water, and how they all come to sharp focus at this one place.

(just a reflection, kinda OT)
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