Climbing Ayers Rock

Hi, can somebody enlighten me, can you still climb the rock? There is going to be a ban on it soon isn't there? Does anyone know when that will come into effect? Thanks Toni
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 19:16

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 19:16
Michelle Martin
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Follow Up By: Kilcowera Station Stay - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 19:50

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 19:50
Thank you Michelle. Toni
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 20:28

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 20:28
Sorry I was interrupted whilst posting and didn't get to add my words Toni. I meant to say that I had only just found out myself that there was a date and that for now it still remains possible to do the climb however be aware there is also a long list of other reasons that might render the walk not permitted on the day. This is posted here - Uluru info

The climb is closed:

when the temperature reaches 36 degrees Celcius or above
during the hot summer months December, January and February after 8am
when there is a greater than 20% chance of rain within three hours
when there is a greater than 5% chance of thunderstorms within three hours
if the estimated wind speed at the summit reaches 25 knots or above
if more than 20 per cent of the rock's surface is wet after rain
if cloud descends below the summit
the climb may also be closed for cultural reasons
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Follow Up By: nickb - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 21:45

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 21:45
Or if I’m wearing a blue jumper.
Or if the Dockers win a game.
Or if an ant bites someone in India.
Or (insert any ridiculous reason here).

Well that’s what it seems like, you could probably count on your hands and feet how many days it is open to climb per year.
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 12:38

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 12:38
And you could probably not bother to climb simply because it is inappropriate.

If you are a Christian, I guess you'd be OK with visitors climbing all over St Paul's?
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Follow Up By: nickb - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 13:17

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 13:17
It has been allowed by the elders for decades, why is it now inappropriate?
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 14:13

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 14:13
I have climbed Uluru.
I have also climbed up between the domes of Saint Pauls to the top.
OKA196 motorhome.
FollowupID: 895481

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 14:31

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 14:31
nickb. Have you seen the depth of the path that is worn into Ularu? If it was for the wrong reasons they'd just charge heaps and not close it
FollowupID: 895484

Follow Up By: Aussie1 - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 14:32

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 14:32
Sinner :) :) :)
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Reply By: Gerard S - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 19:17

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 19:17
Hmmm, Time for popcorn and a coldie.
AnswerID: 622533

Follow Up By: Kilcowera Station Stay - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 19:49

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 19:49
Whatever you reckon. It was a serious question asked of me by a traveller. Cheers Toni
FollowupID: 895455

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 20:37

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 20:37
What Gerard is alluding to is the fact that this will descend into an argument on if the climb should or shouldn't be banned at all.
FollowupID: 895458

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 10:03

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 10:03
Argument or discussion ? Climb or not to Climb ? The really amazing thing is that an area / thing becomes 'sacred' only after money can be made from the area / thing ...
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 10:28

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 10:28
If that was the case they'd be charging $20 a pop to climb. You can climb all over church's in Europe if you pay the fee. Most gods seem to like money. :-)

I think the majority of traditional owners are like the rest of us, only the big mouths get into a position of authority and try to impose their will on the rest. They will call on any obscure "truth" to justify their position. Religion has been the mainstay for controlling behaviour forever. Just pick your version. The traditional owners in charge are preserving their cultural traditions and beliefs, which are other words for their religion.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 11:40

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 11:40
The true meaning of the Rock is being lost and the younger elders have no real idea as the older true elders have long since past away, and only what they are told by the "White Do Gooders" or as many aboriginal people call them, "Spinifex Fairies"

There is an elderly gentleman in Clare where I love that in his younger days, ie in the 1950's was a Ranger in the then very remote part of the Northern Territory, Ayers Rock.

He has witnessed countless True Traditional Elders come in from the sticks and making first contact with white man, and Keith learned so much from them and held them with high respect, and they likewise got to trust him as a white man.

Yes there is no argument that the Rock was a sacred place for them, but they had no issues with people climbing it. All the true wise people that Keith witnessed are all now deceased and over the generations a lot of their culture has been lost and the young ones are a long way from their original ancestors.

Another friend of mine that also lives very close to Clare, was born in the scrub, and met his first white man when we was 9. When he was working as a Police Aid in Coober Pedy, I took one of my friends and showed him some very special sacred sites. Dean was very hesitant and asked old Jack why are you showing me these sacred sites when it should be only Aboriginals, it which Jack replied the young ones have no respect for there true Aboriginal Culture and are not interested in learning.

So in reply to your reply Michael, you can pick your version, and I know what is true from true Aboriginal people that were were born in the bush and never saw their first white person until they were very young.

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Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 16:18

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 16:18
Can you still ride a trials bike up there? They weren't excluded on the signs when I was there in '16.
You can't challenge the reasons it is closed. Any excuse is used to stop you.
It might rain next month.
"A cultural event is planned for the future". Walking up there is into the future so no you can't climb.
The wind can be an issue for those unsteady, but you can't measure the wind speed at the top so they say it is high wind. Is there a wind speed indicator up there. Rules would prevent one being installed, so it gets back to the control and $'s again. Unless happy to walk around there then don't go there.

Applying identity politics, If people claim to be indigenous as many people currently are doing for various reasons of advantage, do the "no climb" rules apply to them?
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 18:44

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 18:44
Hey Stephen,

"........ "in Clare where I love....."

Yep, and also live. LOL

Our very best Christmas Wishes to you Stephen and Fiona.

Roz & Allan.

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Follow Up By: Member - nickb "boab" - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 07:59

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 07:59
Hmm "Spinifex fairies"
Never heard this derogatory remark in reference for white man....
Cheers Nick b

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Reply By: equinox - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 20:07

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 20:07
October 26 2019

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
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Reply By: mechpete - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 22:42

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 22:42
they should about it they may cut off their nose to spite their face
lots of people like to climb it
cheer mechpete
AnswerID: 622537

Reply By: Aussie1 - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 11:15

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 11:15
Build a golf course around it, then and only then does something become "sacred" !
AnswerID: 622542

Reply By: smwhiskey - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 17:20

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 17:20
I can easily believe that the place is sacred but I'd suggest the stopping of climbing has much more to with protecting the stupid from themselves.and lowering the costs of the indemnity insurance than from any "sacredness".

Too many stupid people in society these days who have absolutely no concept of intelligent preparation and who only got to the rock because somebody else did all the hard work organizing the trip.

Example 1: What I saw when I was there in 2014. Asian tourist who did the climb in a set of boots with a 2inch heel that would have been more at home in the CBD of a major city than the Australian outback..

AnswerID: 622554

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 11:03

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 11:03
There you have a very large part of the problem , 'indemnity insurance' ... how can anyone sue for injury climbing the 'rock' .... it is a natural formation , NO ONE OWNS IT , no one is forced to climb it , by actually placing 'restrictions' on it you imply ownership and 'responsibility' yet the rock is not OWNED by anybody in any legal sense ... next thing will be that if you go for a swim at Bondi and get bitten by a shark you sue the council ....
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 12:36

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 12:36
Interesting point, Alloy c/t.

Uluru is officially "owned" (in the traditional sense) by the Anangu People, and the Anangu hold freehold title to the land that Uluru is located on, thus including ownership of the actual Rock. However, that land ownership is vested in a Trust.

"In 1958 both Ayers Rock and Mt Olga (Kata Tjuta) were excised from an Aboriginal reserve to form the Ayers Rock-Mt Olga National Park.
It took more than 35 years campaigning for Anangu to be recognised as the park's traditional owners and given the deeds back to their land."

Further to the above (from the Park Management Plan - link below) ...

"The Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is owned by the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust."

Management Plan - 2010-2020 - Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

However - the ATO makes the following point regarding Trusts ...

"A trust is an obligation imposed on a person or other entity (the trustee) to hold property for the benefit of beneficiaries or for a particular purpose.
In legal terms, a trust is a relationship, not a legal entity.
The trustee must deal with the trust property in line with the settlor's wishes as set out in the trust deed".

As I see it, as a result of thisTrust structure, anyone wishing to sue for injury or death incurred on Uluru, would have to sue the Trustees and prove negligence on their behalf.

From a Law website ...

"In order to win a negligence case, the plaintiff (the person injured) must prove the following four elements to show that the defendant (the person allegedly at fault) acted negligently:

1. Duty - The defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the circumstances;
2. Breach - The defendant breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way;
3. Causation - It was the defendant's actions (or inaction) that actually caused the plaintiff's injury; and
4. Damages - The plaintiff was harmed or injured as a result of the defendant's actions."

There would be plenty of lawyers out there who would be willing to take on a personal injury case, caused by climbing Uluru, if it appeared the Aboriginal Trustees were allowing climbing of Uluru, but failed to take reasonable steps to protect climbers from injury or death.

I suspect concerns about being sued by Uluru climbers, have only added to the Trustees concerns about the "cultural affront" caused by climbers on Uluru, and thus led to their climbing closure decision.

Can I climb Uluru?

It's interesting to see the comments in the ABC article below. I'll wager those commenters generally in favour of climbing, are the young and fit, and those who are happy to acquiesce to the climbing closure, are the older generations.

ABC - Uluru uproar

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 10:05

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 10:05
My 'point' of contention is that we have other 'sacred' areas that get nowhere the 'angst' generated ... going to the Rock is all about 'tourist' numbers and making a $$$$ from such have people climbing the 'sacred' [ to the so called traditional owners ] the 'Glass House Mountains' every day /weekend , on an average of every 2nd w/end there needs to be a rescue in some shape or form , Much much less than rescues - deaths at the 'Rock' ....where is the outcry from the 'traditional owners' ....there is none .. why ? No $$$$ in it .....
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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 00:31

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 00:31
I climbed it when it was called Ayers Rock, with a travelling mate, in mid-July 1969.

I was just 20 yrs old, and he was 21. We didn't take long to race up it, as we were young and fit.

There was no-one else but us there, that day. I remember there was a visitors book at the top, and I left a youthful cheery message in it. I bet they've thrown it out.

It was a pleasant day, and the view from 1100 feet up is quite impressive.

However, I've also climbed Mt Toolbrunup, and that is 1052 metres (3450 feet), and that is a very steep and difficult climb with loose rocks, and having to get on your hands and knees sometimes.

I was 29 when I did that climb, and I beat my 19 yr old highly-competitive companion, who wanted to race me to the top, by at least 400 metres.

Now, the view from the top of Mt Toolbrunup is REALLY impressive! - and puts the view from Uluru in the "also-ran" category.

The points I'm trying to make are -

1. You can climb lots of mountains/rocks/ranges, and get a great view. The view from the top of Uluru is nothing special.

2. You need to be fit to climb up every rock/mountain/range that you might find attractive to climb.

Lots of people suffer medical conditions halfway through, when attempting a climb, and that's not fun. In addition, someone then has to rescue you.

3. The impact of ever-increasing numbers of tourists, has seriously damaged many "tourist sites" - and the numbers and the movement of people to those sites, then has to be controlled, in a highly disciplined and structured manner.

4. Many sites of religious importance and sacredness, worldwide, have been freely open to tourists, but the numbers have had to be curtailed and controlled many times, for fear of damage to the site.

5. I would imagine the local Aboriginals have a variety of opinions as to the sacredness of Uluru, and whether it should or shouldn't be walked on.

Their Dreamtime religious beliefs seem to vary widely according to their upbringing and level of exposure to various elders.

Then we also have a multitude of half-castes, quarter-castes, eighth-castes, and "Aboriginals" who probably have about 1% Aboriginal DNA in them. But they still want to identify as Aboriginal.

I don't have too much of a problem with that - but I often wonder why they want to ignore and disown the 99% of their White, Anglo-Saxon, or other European, Middle Eastern, Indian, or Indonesian ancestral DNA that they carry?

6. Does climbing Uluru add to the "Red Centre experience"? If you're young and fit, I'll wager it does.

If you're old and unfit, I guess you would have already crossed the climb off your bucket list.

7. Will closing Uluru to climbing reduce the number of tourists and therefore impact upon the local economy? Has anyone even considered this? I doubt the local tribes have.

Whether they are prepared to accept a downturn in tourists, to "reclaim their culture" is perhaps something the local elders and decision makers have decided IS worth it.

8. Personally, I think that the impact of the ever-increasing number of tourists on Uluru is probably the "straw that broke the camels back", that has led to the decision to ban climbing Uluru.

I'm personally of the opinion, the few remaining "real bush Aboriginals" of the local tribes, would be happy to close Uluru off completely, and see the last of the tourists disappear, so they could return to their desert, Dreamtime roots. But the pull of the tourist dollar remains a major drawcard for the rest of them.

Just my 0.02c worth ...

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 622563

Reply By: rumpig - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 17:53

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 17:53
Was out there last July school holidays and climbed the rock with my daughter's before they close it to doing so next year....the place was mayhem the week before we got there apparently (my kids had 3 weeks holidays, one week more then public schools had...and we left the second week of them and thus missed the worst of the crowds). The resort was over run with people wanting to stay at it, they were turning away plenty of people wanting to stay there, even though they told us 2 1/2 months earlier that their overflow area (which they wouldn't take bookings for) never fills up. We free camped 5klms before the turn off to the resort / town area, went a couple of sand dunes back away from the highway, and had a great view of the rock from camp and our nearest neighbour was about 50mtrs away from us. According to the 2 security guys that came through our camp one night checking fires, the resort was overwhelmed with how many people came out this year, and telling people to go camp out there. We were on resort land according to him (after I asked who owned where we were), and he said if we thought it was busy now (which it was...beside the highway and between first and second dunes had heaps of campers there, aswell as a full resort and heaps at Curtain Springs aswell), we should have seen last week he said, an absolute mad house he reckoned.
Can't imagine what the 2019 crowds will be like, I know several people / groups who have already said they are going out there to climb the rock before it's closure.
The climb itself was pretty slippery in a few places, I don't recall it being like that 25 years ago when I last did the good footwear would be my recommendation. I met a guy in Boulia (who told us where to camp at Ayres Rock actually) that thought climbing the rock in bare feet was a good idea, the big blisters on the soles of his feet proved otherwise. Allow about an hour and a half to get to the top, can certainly be done much quicker by the very fit people, but stopping for breaks and taking in the views and taking pics will make it more like the time I mentioned or even 2 hours to top...then you need to get back down again.
AnswerID: 622567

Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 11:11

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 11:11
I have an old mate who traveled to the rock in July as well. He said exactly the same thing as you rumpig. His whole family went there(4 cars and campers). His 3 daughters are all Queensland school teachers. They even had to queue up at erldunda to buy fuel. They had booked sites at the Yulara caravan park months and months before hand and they queued for 40 minutes to check in. So yes I wonder what it will be like next year.

Ummm. Am I the only cynic on here who thinks that this whole idea of not letting people climb the rock has more to do with marketing than anything else ?? Imagine the extra income they have received since this announcement!!

I not a betting man by any means but I’m waiting for an announcement that they will extend cut off date by another year. They won’t do it until the planned cut off date passes. My opinion of course. If someone offered odds on this I think I would pull money on it.

Cheers Greg

Ps. Been there 3 times myself, couldn’t be bothered climbing it. If I was 20 years younger maybe.
FollowupID: 895537

Reply By: Candace S. - Sunday, Dec 16, 2018 at 03:28

Sunday, Dec 16, 2018 at 03:28
With regard to Uluru/Ayers Rock and climbing it... An interesting pic I found recently. It appears in the February 1988 edition of "National Geographic" magazine, pg. 201.

BTW, when I visited there in 2008, it was closed (due to wind, IIRC) all three days I was in the area. Otherwise this would have been another addition to the hundreds of summits I have been on and enjoyed.

AnswerID: 622650

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Dec 16, 2018 at 08:07

Sunday, Dec 16, 2018 at 08:07
If it closes, at least the prices of everything from beer to accommodation will drop back to more reasonable prices. All, except the airfares which will go up because there will be less flights.

AnswerID: 622652

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