This is impressive. A remarkable group of climbers have joined together to express their opposition to the proposed cable car development on Mt Wellington/ kunanyi in Hobart. There are some real luminaries of the climbing world signed on, and this will help bring international attention to this ridiculous project.

You may feel like emailing the Premier and also expressing your concerns (see address below).

This letter was originally published on the Tasmanian Times, where you can see a much longer list of climbers who have supported the letter.

For background on the proposal, check here.


The Hon.  Will Hodgman
Premier of Tasmania,
Minister for Tourism
Level 11, 
Executive Building
15 Murray Street
TAS 7000

18 August 2014

Dear Premier Hodgman,

As rock climbers who have had the privilege of visiting your State and who deeply value the unique environment of Mt Wellington,  we are extremely concerned at reports of a proposed cable car being built directly over the Organ Pipes. There are very few places in the world where there is a climbing venue of this quality,  on an imposing mountain with an amazing sub-­alpine ecosystem,  easily accessible by road and serviced by all the amenities of a major city.

Cable cars are far from unique and in our experience can and do have a marked negative impact on the wild environment,  as we have seen happen in so many other locations around the world.

The projected line of the cable car, as shown on the proponent’s web site, is of particular concern as it goes directly over some of the most iconic climbs in Australia,  let alone Tasmania, climbs that we and many others will travel half way round the world to enjoy.

These climbs and this cliff feature in international magazines,  books and blogs around the world.

Unfortunately,  for Tasmania,  we live in a world where news of adverse developments such as this also travels quickly and impacts potential tourism. It would be a tragedy,  both economically and environmentally,  if Tasmania’s reputation as a wilderness climbing venue was tarnished and this fabulous natural resource was vandalised for uncertain, short‐term economic gain.

Any development of this sort inevitably changes the very nature of the environment it crosses,  sadly usually for the worse,  with a detrimental impact on the recreational and related commercial opportunities for visitors and Tasmanians alike.  The building of a massive tower close to the cliff edge,  visually obvious buildings,  more access roads and paths,  let alone the problems associated with an increase in visitors close to the cliff edge,  are exactly what should be avoided.

As we understand it,  no actual proposal has yet been submitted,  let alone agreed to.  We would urge caution before any definitive action is taken.  Hopefully,  good sense will prevail and we,  and the increasing numbers of climbing visitors to your wonderful state,can continue to enjoy the unchanged delights of the Organ Pipes and Mt Wellington.

Yours sincerely,

Henry Barber USA
Sir Christian Bonington   CVO,  CBE,  DL UK
Paul Caffyn ONZM NZ
Simon Carter Australia NSW
Kim Carrigan Australia QLD
Greg Child USA
Dr James Duff Australia NSW
Monique Forestier Australia NSW
Michael Groom OAM Australia QLD
Lynn Hill USA
Gary Kuehn NZ
Andrew Lock OAM Australia ACT
Tim Macartney-­Snape OAM AM Australia NSW
Dr Rick McGregor Sweden
Greg Mortimer OAM Australia NSW
Brigitte Muir OAM Australia VIC
Dr Simon Parsons Canada
Doug Scott CBE UK
Louise Shepherd Australia VIC
Heidi Wirtz USA