STONE GROUND

THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO GET UP CLOSE AND PER­SONAL WITH ULURU – AND SOME ARE EAS­IER THAN OTH­ERS

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - CONTENTS - WOR DS AN­DREW FEN­TON

Why climb Uluru when you can see it from a $21 mil­lion view­ing plat­form?

THERE

are many good rea­sons not to climb Uluru, chief among them re­spect for in­dige­nous cul­tural tra­di­tions and fear of dis­ap­prov­ing glances from the 62 per cent of vis­i­tors who no longer at­tempt the as­cent.

If you’re not swayed by ei­ther of these ra­tio­nales, there’s a third rea­son not to at­tempt the climb – it’s ridicu­lously dan­ger­ous. If you don’t suf­fer a heart at­tack, like dozens of peo­ple be­fore you, then there’s al­ways the chance you’ll miss your foot­ing on the steep gra­di­ent and tum­ble to your doom off the rock’s edge, a me­tre-and-a-half from the un­fenced path.

The last per­son to die here had a heart at­tack on the way back down the day be­fore An­zac Day.

It’s usu­ally a moot point though, as there’s lit­tle chance an in­di­vid­ual tourist will need to wres­tle with their con­science – the climb is closed when it’s too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy or for any other rea­son. It’s closed from 8am dur­ing sum­mer.

On the few oc­ca­sions it is open for five min­utes, climbers re­port it’s such in­cred­i­bly hard work that a large por­tion of peo­ple give up af­ter about 50m. That’s be­fore the part where they’re forced to haul them­selves up a nar­row chain

A Kanak girl car­ries baguettes in Noumea.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.