Hi Andrew, yes I have still kept my VK8 callsign but only seem to get up to VK8 every couple of years now.
I have climbed Ayers Rock a couple of times and played radio from the peak on hte last ascent. It was in October 2004 whilst I was on my way up to Darwin. I took my (then) new FT-817, a 7Ah SLA and a dipole that I knocked up the night before for 15m (no balun, just the 2 lengths of wire soldered to the braid and inner conductor).
Conditions were poor and not helped by the dipole being propped up with a couple of sticks maybe 50cm off the ground at the feedpoint and ends. However I still managed to make 2 contacts - one to VK5KFB/4 who was portable in the Bowen area in northern VK4 and the second to the Philippines (DU9/G4UNL). I think that a couple of metre long squid pole with wire wound around it, a counterpoise and a tuner would probably be the best option for activating up there. Anusingly what caused me to leave was not using the battery up, but rather running out of water as it was rahter warm that day - I think it went over 30 degrees before 9am (which I think was the temperature at which they closed the climb).
I have had a couple of discussions with Greg VK8GM about activating Ayers Rock (or to be culturally sensitive Uluru being the name that the traditiona owners like to refer to it as), however we have not progressed it since then. I fully intend activating it prior to it being closed for climbing - I think that would be best done in the cooler months to have the best chance of being able to climb it.
If there is sufficient interest, I think that a group activation would sensible to maximise the chances of being able to get 4 contacts, but I do admit to some selfish desires to be the first to officially activate it - although I think Greg should probably have that honour! Although it means more batteries and weight, QRO capability would also be sensible given band conditions as they are. I think with the time of day for the activation (and poor conditions), contacts outside of the VK/maybe Oceania region would be problematic.
VK1MA / VK8GMT