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Japanese tourist dies climbing Australia's Uluru monolith

32 Comments
By Torsten Blackwood

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© 2018 AFP

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32 Comments
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Japanese expect tourists to their country to respect local landmarks of religious significance, but when they go overseas they don't do likewise?

Its disrespectful and dangerous.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

zichi - yes ALL climbing will be banned from Oct next year, with stiff penalties to be put in place.

I've taken groups from Japan to Uluru twice. Always suggested it's better not to climb and explained the reasons why.

The climb is closed if wind-speed rises over a certain level and on both occasions this was the case, so no-one climbed. Everyone understood and were happy to just be there.

Exploring the fascinating base areas of the rock, admiring the sensational ground views, and learning the cultural significance to the local aboriginals was always a better option imo.

But as a late 20 year old, many moons ago, I did run up to the top and back in 1 hour. My first and last ascent after 6 visits.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@Ganbare Japan! - I didnt know it was so dangerous there. Where were the Medical clinics?

I nearly choked on my beer reading this. What do expect? Convenience stores, supermarkets, medical clinics and izakayas all around the base of the rock in the middle of the flipping desert? The closest medical clinics would be in Alice Springs about 4 hours away on a desert highway.

I've been there five times with different groups over 30 odd years. I climbed it the first time I went there in my late teens, but felt guilty for doing so. I also didn't think the view from the top was so impressive. It's just desert from horizon to horizon for 360'. The view from the lookout car park 5k away is much more spectacular.

The aboriginal history of Uluru is interesting, but the geological history of the formation of Uluru and the Olgas is far more interesting. They were created by sediments left by huge rivers that cut through Australia millions of years ago and fed into the inland sea. Australia is the flattest and driest continent in the world. However, it is also home to the world's largest underground water source, which is under nearly half of eastern Australia. It's called, the great artesian basin. Well worth a bit of Googling if you don't know about it. It's also where the Australian opals come from.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Good that it will be closed!

How would you (my Japanese friends in this case) feel, if some foreigner climbed on top of a sacred shrine or temple? NO GO, of course! So people should also respect the Aborigines' feelings.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Ganbare Japan!Today 03:28 pm JST

I didnt know it was so dangerous there. Where were the Medical clinics?"

They are just beside the lifts and the pachinko parlour on the ground floor

9 ( +9 / -0 )

If only we could read what this man actually died of.

A sudden, hard stop.

If people are thinking step and handrails, don't. Posts with chains to hang onto and pull yourself up a steep, smooth rock face. The sooner they close it the better. It has been disrespected in all manner of ways. It is sacred land to the local Indigenous people and needs respecting. How would you like it if someone crawled up the side of a cathedral or roller bladed around a mosque or banged on the drums in a Shinto shrine?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

nakanoguy - the land, hence Uluru belongs to the local Anangu people. It was returned by the Aust govt over 30 years ago. Being the title owners, they have say over the land and it's usage.

It is leased back by the govt and managed jointly by Parks & Wildlife Services and the locals.

There is so much beauty and wonder in the region with the nearby Olgas (Kata Tjuta) being at least as magnificent as Uluru.

No one needs to climb it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

That's dangerous for young athletic people and he was 76. "You chose poorly"

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Scrambling up the treacherous sides of the sandstone symbol of the outback, also known as Ayers Rock, is seen by many tourists as a must-do on their visit to Australia.

But they do so against the wishes of the traditional Aboriginal owners, the Anangu, to whom the site is sacred.

Bad mojo.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sorry to hear this. I would never climb it. Do they realize its cursed? No, im not joking either.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Is it from October of next year all climbing will be banned? yes I climbed it many years ago, its an awesome view from the top, but I will say its a long way to go just to take pictures , even taking pictures is against the will of the Aboriginal owners. I mean other than this massive rock in the middle of a semi-desert region theres not much else to see.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Is it from October of next year all climbing will be banned?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@sapphire

The coroner is investigating, apparently....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

76, climbing a mountain, he knew what he was getting into.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

76 and out!

Seems like straight forward mis-adventure to me. But at least the old fella cold have some adventure in his mis-adventure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@nakanoguy01

You're absolutely right. To the Anangu people, Uluru and it's neighbour Kata Tjuta is very sacred. They can claim it as they are the original owners of the land. You can't just half-half something as sacred as Uluru.

If you wanna climb it, you have until October next year.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If only we could read what this man actually died of.

Fell down(under), got hit by stones, heart attack, got stabbed, got lost, what ?

Poor news reporting here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought it was already made illegal to climb Uluru. Anyway, there are clearly more reasons why you shouldn't climb it than just severely insulted the natives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How would you like it if someone crawled up the side of a cathedral or roller bladed around a mosque or banged on the drums in a Shinto shrine?

If I'm honest, I wouldn't give two hoots. It's only disrespectful if disrespect is intended. However, I realise much of the world still believe in gods, spirits & ghosts and it's better not to push their buttons. They get offended and are often well-armed.

A sudden, hard stop.

Yeah, that will do it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They shouldn't have been climbing it in the first place. It's highly disrespectful, and notoriously dangerous. Why would anyone, let alone a 76 year old do it?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How would you (my Japanese friends in this case) feel, if some foreigner climbed on top of a sacred shrine or temple?

You mean like Mt Fuji? I think they are fine with it. RIP but 76 is probably in hindsight too old.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If I'm honest, I wouldn't give two hoots. It's only disrespectful if disrespect is intended. However, I realise much of the world still believe in gods, spirits & ghosts and it's better not to push their buttons. They get offended and are often well-armed.

ClippetyClop,

I think you are a genuine genius!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This mountain is important enough to the Anangu and it should be left alone. The Anangu and other Aboriginals have been treated like trash for so long and 'giving' Ayer's Rock 'back' to them is the least that the Aussie government can do!

It's the same deal of the 'Devils Tower' in the USA. The Cheyenne native people hold it to be important and they don't like it when climbers try to scale it either. They don't even like the name 'Devils Tower' - that's a White American name for it.

Native peoples have been stepped on and desecrated enough. Every continent has them. I remember in Japanese Studies class in college learning about the Ainu, a Caucasian (but not white) people now mostly living in Hokkaido. You can't change the past but you can learn from it. The best thing to do concerning Ayer's Rock is just to leave the place alone.

This mountain is pretty iconic to Australia. It's featured (viewed from a distance) in the video 'The Dead Heart' (an anthem for all native aboriginal peoples) by the Australian band Midnight Oil.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Respect the local aborigines and theit culture. Dont climb it!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Uluru is like Mt. Fuji, good from far but far from.good.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

He died doing what he loved...

...pissing off indigenous people

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If you can't climb it, well I was thinking why don't they install a rope way, but then it would be a blot on the landscape,

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Rest in peace fellow traveler.

Dropping off your toolbox in such a sacred place you love will make your family and friends find some solace.

While I respect the wishes of the Anangu people to ban climbing Uluru I do believe that the sacred monolith , just like Mount Everest , really belongs to all mankind .

It would be better therefore if our Anangu brethrens can formulate a way to regulate the climb and make it a holy pilgrimage experience for all.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

He died doing what he loved.

RIP

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

I'd best climb it before the ban.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

it's important to respect all cultures and religion, but i just don't see how the aborigines can lay claim to the whole mountain. are you telling me that every inch is sacred?

i think it would be fair to partition half  of uluru to the local aborigine tribe and the other half to be used by the public so people who want to climb it still can.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

I didnt know it was so dangerous there. Where were the Medical clinics?

Rest in Peace.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

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