The hazards of Tertre Making

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When you’re hiking inside the backcountry, you could notice a little bit pile of rocks that rises from the landscape. The heap, technically called a cairn, works extremely well for many methods from marking paths to memorializing a hiker who passed away in the region. Cairns have been used for millennia and are found on every region in varying sizes. They range from the small cairns you’ll see on paths to the hulking structures like the Brown Willy Summit Tertre in Cornwall, England that towers more than 16 ft high. They’re also utilized for a variety of causes including navigational aids, burial mounds so that as a form of artistic expression.

But if you’re out building a cairn for fun, be cautious. A cairn for the sake of it isn’t a good thing, says Robyn Matn, a teacher who specializes in environmental oral reputations at Upper Arizona University or college. She’s viewed the practice go out of valuable trail markers to a back country fad, with new stone stacks popping up everywhere. In freshwater areas, for example , pets or animals that live within and about rocks (think crustaceans, crayfish and algae) lose their homes when people engage or collection rocks.

It could be also a breach from the “leave not any trace” guideline to move rocks for virtually any purpose, whether or not it’s simply to make a cairn. Of course, if you’re building on a path, it could confuse hikers and lead these people astray. There are actually certain kinds of buttes that should be still left alone, including the Arctic people’s human-like inunngiiaq and Acadia National Park’s iconic Bates cairns.