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Three Idiots Rescued From Uluru After Climbing, Getting Stuck

Simple solution: stop climbing Uluru.

20/09/2016 7:20 AM AEST | Updated September 20, 2016 09:11
Phil Noble / Reuters
Uluru: Best sampled from the ground.

Despite signs asking people not to climb it, the well-known wishes of the land's traditional owners for people not to climb it, and advisories and travel advice urging people not to climb it, people are still climbing it. And getting stuck. And getting rescued.

The latest batch of unlucky Uluru adventurers were finally plucked off the rock around early Tuesday morning, after becoming stuck in a crevice on Monday afternoon. Three men, all aged 23, reportedly went off the regular walking path and got stuck. It took 11 hours of work for a vertical rescue team to get up there, find them and get them out.

There technically aren't any rules against climbing Uluru, but the wishes of the traditional owners of the land, the Anangu, are well-known.

"Uluru is sacred in our culture, a place of great knowledge. Under our traditional law climbing is not permitted," reads a sign at the bottom of the rock.

"This is our home. Please don't climb."

Despite the polite request, and similar advisories on many UIuru travel websites -- here, here, here and here -- thousands of people climb Uluru each year. There's even a pretty blunt page, titled "Please don't climb Uluru", on the government's Parks Australia website.

And besides that, injuries and deaths on the Uluru climb are sadly common.

Another concern, however, is the cost of the rescue. An entire rescue team spent all night finding the men, then preparing anchor points so they could abseil down the rock face to safety.

"It is huge effort for the NTES volunteers. It's wear and tear on equipment and it does cost a lot of money," a Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said.

"It's really important that people stay within the designated areas when they're doing bushwalks so that they don't come into harm's way."

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