"" Writer's Wanderings: July 7, 1992--Climbing Ayers Rock

Thursday, May 28, 2020

July 7, 1992--Climbing Ayers Rock

[Climbing Ayers Rock is no longer allowed. The reason is a combination of the damage being done and the fact that it is sacred ground for the Aborigines. Uluru or Ayers Rock is still a wonder to see and well worth a visit.]

Tuesday, July 7, 1992

              The challenge: to climb Ayers Rock. The bus drops us off at the base of the large flat topped rock rising 1260’ from the desert floor. From the side you can see the angle of the climb is 45-50 degrees. The only aid is a chain on poles driven into the hard, smooth rock surface but it only goes partially up the climb. There is no safety rail, no trees, nothing to break a fall. We learn five people have died falling from the Rock.
              The challenge is too great for me. I climb it halfway and make the mistake of looking down. The height is dizzying. I wave the boys on and I sit on my behind to scoot back down. At the base, I wait for the guys to finish their climb and get to know an Australian lady a little better. Rob and Bob return in about forty-five more minutes looking victorious, having recorded their names in the book at the top. The book was the only thing up there besides weary people and a spectacular view.
              We tour the base of the Rock, stopping to hear tales of the Aborigine tribes and view their painting on the walls in the cave like areas at the base.
              An hour later, we fly over the Rock and the desert below on our way back to the tropical area of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.

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