Uluru climbing ban: Tourists to scale sacred rock for final time

Huge crowds are expected to scramble up Australia's Uluru on Friday before a ban on the climb takes effect.

The giant monolith – formerly known as Ayers Rock – will be permanently off limits to visitors from Saturday.

Uluru is sacred to its indigenous custodians, the Anangu people, who have long implored tourists not to climb.

Only 16% of visitors went up in 2017 – when the ban was announced – but the climb has been packed in recent weeks.

In recent months, photos circulating of people in lines snaking up Uluru have even drawn comparisons to recent scenes on Mount Everest.

One social media user posted a timelapse, purportedly showing the massive queue at Uluru just one day before the closure.

In 2017, the board of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park voted unanimously to end the climb because of the spiritual significance of the site.

One Anangu man told the BBC that Uluru was a "very sacred place, [it's] like our church".

"People right around the world… they just come and climb it. They've got no respect," said Rameth Thomas.

There are several signs at the base of Uluru that urge tourists not to climb, but some said they would "do it anyway".

"It's because of my ego I want to climb it," Read More – Source