Rock Clambing

Rock Clambing

Rock Clambing: "By all means climb Ayers Rock! It is indeed sacred to the Aboriginals, but only mild "pressure" will be put on you not to climb. It is not considered "bad luck" to climb it either. I respect the Aboriginal ownership of the land and wish them no disrespect, but without the choice to climb the rock it just isn't worth the trip all the way to the center of Australia. I don't think you will experience any guilt after you pay the fee to enter the Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park."

"Would you march into a Buddhist temple in shorts and hiking boots because the monks hadn't pressured you not to? Would you walk up to the altar rail in an English cathedral to take a flash photo of the communicants because the vergers hadn't asked you not to? If you wouldn't, you must have constructed some sort of cultural hierarchy in which the sensitivities of indigenous Australians are unimportant in the scheme of things."

"The Anangu owners are deeply disturbed by climbers desecrating their most sacred sites, but it does not appear to be in their nature to act on this by prohibiting climbing. I am also under the impression that this was part of the deal when the government agreed to return ownership of Uluru - that climbing would still be permitted."

"It is my understanding that the Anangu owners can, and one day might, ban climbing. I know the Aboriginal people realize that other cultures find climbing structures culturally significant and is an important part of tourism. I think that they are smart enough to realize that without the option to climb, Uluru might not be a prime tourist destination."

"I believe what the Anangu find most irritating is not climbing the rock itself but the attitude of many of the visitors: considering the rock as a trophy, a "been there done that", a photo op, a quick stopover on a busy itinerary."

"I'm not sure that this is a question of one side being right and the other wrong, just one of good manners. Surely the issue is straightforward enough if we apply the "do as you would be done by" rule."

In case you are curious where I stand: to me hardly any of the hotly debated points matter. The way I see it I am on someone else's land and therefore respect the owner's wishes.

You may arrive at a different decision and I respect that, too. It is your decision to make. If you decide to climb Uluru please be careful.

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