Icelandic Trolls, Rock Balancers, and Responsible Mountaincraft

These stacked stones on a cairn on the plateau of Kinder Scout reminded me of a walking holiday in IcelandKinder-cairn-for-blog a few years ago. There I saw many little stone towers, and was told by locals that they were said to be built by trolls. I quite like this piece of folklore, but I'm not sure if it can explain the stones on Kinder Scout.

Recently I came across the concept of stone balancing which might do more to explain things. I have to admit that I was sceptical of it as an art form, until I saw this website which converted me: http://www.rock-on-rock-on.com/  

 

In many mountain areas of the UK cairn building and cairn removal have become a problem. New cairns have reduced the usefulness of those that are placed to aid navigation, and the large numbers of people adding to cairns can cause problems with habitat/erosion. On the other hand the altering or removal of cairns has also caused problems. Having been brought up always to add to cairns in the interest of responsible mountaincraft, I now find myself encouraging people not to do so for the same reason.

This article explains some of the issues:  fellrangers.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/cairns-help-or-hinderance.html

 

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