Rock Balancing: Destructive or Desirable?
If you've ever hit the Colorado trails, you may have stumbled upon small stacks of rocks — deliberately placed and balancing on top of each other. They could be marking the path that's meant to follow, or arranged simply for visual pleasure. Skill and patience comes with those who take the time to create these stacked rock sculptures, and it can even be a meditative activity. The question is though, is rock stacking more destructive than it is desirable?
Rock stacking is actually considered a form of "land art" and serves as a way to connect the creator closer to nature. Artists like Michael Grab have created stunning stacked structures, balancing them in ways that doesn't even seem possible. Several different techniques can be used to maintain balance, and people who do it agree that it requires not only patience, but problem-solving, critical thinking, adaptation, slow-breathing and steady hands too.
While these impressive displays of stones are intriguing and artistic, there are also plenty of people out there who find them to be totally destructive. For one, when rock stacking is done, it disrupts the natural wilderness around it - potentially altering the homes of insects and animals, and could also lead to erosion. The practice definitely goes against the "Leave-No-Trace" motto, that is expected to be respected on public lands. In 2015, the city of Boulder even went so far as to make rock balancing illegal, saying it would be a punishable offense.
There's valid points for each side of the stacking debate, and whether you find it to be intrusive or not, I think most of us would agree that it definitely takes lots of talent.