What did I know about Australia before my first trip to that country? It were only two things – Sydney Opera House and Ayers (Uluru) rock.
So I wanted to see both these landmarks and to climb to the top of the largest rock in the world. At least at that time I thought it is largest.
I saw Opera House on my first night I landed in Sydney, but it took more then 2 years till I get to Red Center.
I did probably all possible hikes around the Rock, but I wasn’t thinking about climb it anymore.
Why? I am keen hiker and for people who know me it could sound very strange decision. But after living for two years in Australia I heard so much controversial information about this climb.
“Uluru visitors face climbing ban for safety reasons”, it was first news I heard. “Oh,no!”. I was very disappointed because of that. Of course this ban never was carried into effect, but then I read that safety was not primary reason for climb ban plans. It was more concern about cultural reasons.
So I started research this issue and find out that it is a really important sacred place for people and traditional owners ask people not to climb Uluru for cultural reasons – Wanyu Ulurunya tatintja wiyangku wantima – but there is no law that requires people to obey their wishes. So what should I do? It was dilemma for me. But it didn’t take too long to make decision. I am tourist here and I must respect owners wishes. They don’t climb, why should I do that?
After all I was thinking Uluru was biggest rock in world and that was one of driving ideas to climb it. I was wrong. As a lot of people are wrong too. It was big discovery for me that in the Western Australia there is another rock – Mt. Augustus – twice and half times the size of famous Uluru. Because it is so remote not so much people know it exists at all. Then I thought, why should I climb most pretty rock (Uluru) then I still can climb largest rock in the world and don’t have to do any negotiations with my conscience? Decision was made and implemented. You can check this post how to reach Mt.Augustus and the trails there. For now enjoy the view of Uluru.
Should you climb it? It is up to you. My decision was not to.
The climb to the top of Uluru rock is not prohibited as of January, 2013, but I think you just watch this video of the climb and don’t climb your self
I think a lot of people who decided to climb that rock underestimate their fitness. It is tall rock and it is hot out there, so even if you take aside cultural reasons think twice before you start to climb it.