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2016 kick over cairns thread

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Re: 2016 kick over cairns thread

Postby Hobbes » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:22 am

fishwrong wrote:the divine test of good vs. evil.... Rock Kickers vs. Rock Stackers... The fate of humanity lies is within your boots...

Overall, I'd have to say that hiking is perhaps one the more benign sports, with primary divisions occurring at pack weight, (long) trail vs x-c, and of course, stacking vs kicking.

For comparison, simply look at some companion activities like fishing or boating. The rivalries and complaints generated by fishers, especially when there is a seasonal run, can be pretty amusing. Boating takes it to a different level, not only between the obvious differences between sailors and power, but divisions within those specific categories.

But the sporting activity that hands down takes the cake for constant, consistent aggression, conflict and anxiety is the one marketed with the most extreme "we are the world" sentimentality. Here's a story that encapsulates an overt reaction that used to occur in CA (and still does to some extent in HI):

I was the other white guy in that scenario once in Japan, the spared one. I think surfing culture in Taiwan has a lot of similarities with Southern Japan, and you done fuct up I believe. You will be lucky to ever surf there again I'd guess, at least for months. IMO guy who gets in the way is always in the wrong- you gotta have it a black and white rule. To give an older guy who is local stinkeye, in a different cultural zone is basically a trifecta of ruin. Live and learn. That could have been ugly, steer clear of there for a while. You showing right back up soon won't be a good thing for you.

My witness whitey get sent in in E. Asia story=
I was surfing an intensely regulated right pt on the Nichinan Coastline, Miyazaki prefecture. It's very rural, traditional, deep South Japan. I spent a couple years already cautiously working my way into the lineups of that amazing stretch of coast. Im out on a decent typhoon season swell, and to my surprise this Aussie guy paddles out. That was unusual in itself in that area, and I've never seen this guy anywhere surfing before. He paddles straight to the top of the point! I'm like, oh yeah, this will be good. I chat with him at some point, but take pains to very visibly appear to be meeting him for the first time. "Nice to meet you" said loud, clear, and slowly lol.

He's visiting from Osaka area, speaks good japanese, so I figure it's all good. I see him get dropped in on by the gray haired old guy, no surprise there. Im mostly staying clear of this new guy, but he paddles by me and says "what's that old censored problem"? I say, "He's the old dog around here, I steer clear". When he paddled back out to the point muttering "****, old fook..." I knew I may be about to see some ****. That old dog is basically the Shogun of the surfing tribe on the entire Southern Miyazaki coast, who runs the oldest surf shop in the area, Freedom Surfboards. You don't get any higher status than this guy.

Maybe, I should have warned the Aussie guy a little better, because not 30 seconds later I hear him screaming in some Osaka dialect/English mix up "fook off tp hell you old **** dog. Bastard censored.. ". I couldn't understand the rest but he was going for it. They grapple and the entire lineup clears- 20 or 30 guys- and surround the Aussie guy and the Shogun in a tight circle. Meanwhile i'm getting wave after wave in the suddenly fee lineup, scared out of my mind I'm next. Every single guy there formed a corridor and pressed the Aussie in. Aussie dude was scared shitless.

That was intense to see. I kept surfing VERY humbly for an hour, also scared shitless but not wanting to show fear... basically trying to demonstrate that I'm here to stay, If they'll have me that is. I was spared.

Before I knew who this old guy was I watched him regulate on land with similar flair once. He always had this pit type dog with him when I'd see him around. The dog was pretty scary looking. I was watching some small surf one afternoon, after driving an hour and a half (I lived pretty far from Nichinan area), resigned to the fact I may not be getting wet.

I see this guy's dog trotting on the beach, and a couple hundred yards behind I can just make out the Shogun. Right in front of me, the dog starts yapping at some japanese longboarder who's about to paddle out. The dog is acting aggressively, and darting in nipping at his leash or ankle, and dude is trying to keep him off with nose of his longboard. The dog won't let him move, and the guy gets sorta pissed and starts to kick at the dog. Out of the corner of my eye I see the Shogun start running from maybe 100 yards.

As he's charging in, the long boarder is totally focused on fending off this aggressive dog, unaware of this new danger. From about ten feet away shogun leaps at full sprint, and plants both his feet into the chest area of the long boarder. I can hear both his lungs empty, pneumatic blasting noise. He got the wind knocked out of him so bad he was just writhing as shogun screamed at him. Once he could breath he apologized, bowed wincing in pain from probably broken ribs , and went back to his car. So fukn heavy. If I had not seen that I would have had a bad run in with the Shogun at some point, absolutely. Total ruthless burner in the water to any outsider, especially foreign.

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Re: 2016 kick over cairns thread

Postby SSSdave » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:15 am

Comments at end of essay on this link are worth reading as a number of rock stackers try and make a case.

http://www.hcn.org/articles/a-call-for- ... ones-alone

Some rock stackers are obviously afraid their growing whole community is increasingly coming under critical scrutiny due to the activity of many in parks and wilderness areas. As that may result in authorities clamping down doing so in places that most of us would agree are trivial and ok to do so. For instance in the riverbed of some urban stream where annual high water flows re-naturalize anything below annual average high water marks. Or on private lands or non-scenic rocky roadside areas along public highways. We could list many such places where no one ought to care and those places would be enough to entertain those few who do so for say as a meditative practice etc.

Others commenting obviously don't want to be held to limitations of where they might do so despite reasoned explanations of why the practice in our wild and scenic areas needs to be discouraged. Some enjoy visiting our parks and wilderness areas and that is where they have enjoyed that controversial activity that they want to continue. In those sensitive areas it indicates an inconsiderate and selfish attitude by some enthusiasts.

Some of those against the practice in our wild areas actually hurt their side of the debate by offering weak arguments because that results in responses from rock stackers that tend to only address such. One of the most frequent such arguments is that rock stacking will affect plants and creatures that live against and under the lifted rocks. Although that is indeed true, one also needs to acknowledge that in most locations there are vastly more adjacent landscapes nearby such that the disturbed rocks are an extremely trivial percentage. So the impact to a few plants and animals has a rather miniscule impact on those species in such zones.

A strong argument is that the stacks are a significant visual eyesore to most people visiting natural areas, especially in wilderness where there is an expectation for natural landscapes and scenery. We can accept a reasonable level of unnatural infrastructure as trails themselves, trail junction signs, use trails, camp spots, etc, but anything further deserves considerable scrutiny.

We can also make strong arguments against building unnecessary for navigation cairns and ducks along trails and use routes. Our trail corridors particularly are where we visitors view these landscapes from, where we take photos from, and where we are likely to see plants, flowers, and animals from, so disturbing the naturalness along trails may affect our visual and experiential enjoyment while hiking. For those wishing to read more of what the majority is saying Google "rock stacking graffiti".
Last edited by SSSdave on Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 2016 kick over cairns thread

Postby rlown » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:30 am

More rock stacking pollution.. Glen Aulin..

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Re: 2016 kick over cairns thread

Postby Cross Country » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:59 am

I went over Milly Foot Pass from the south and had a difficult time finding it. Thank god there was a hugh carn showing me the way.
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Re: 2016 kick over cairns thread

Postby fishwrong » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:20 pm

I appreciate the discussion in this topic. Aside from the chance to be a smart-ass, it does bring up a bigger issue of how we can all enjoy a public resource.

I have an opinion which may be a little different than some. I am a firm believer that public resources are for everyone. I bristle when I get a sence someone feels any group should be precluded from using a public resource because "they" don't do things the way "we" do, and "their" use detracts from "our" enjoyment. One of the most common complaints is about 4 wheelers and how those redneck hillbillies are an eyesore to nature. I once had a hiking companion asked to remove her hat because it was disturbing to a guy's horse, and a coworker once petitioned a forest supervisor to ban all horses because horse crap make the the entire forest "unusable". In each of those cases one group thought their interest outweighed the others right to use the same land.

I feel very strongly that so long as any group's activities aren't damaging a public resource it should be allowed. I feel equally strongly that people need to be honest when arguing an activity is damaging vs irritating.

After that it comes down to courtesy. The bulk of folks who hike 10 miles into the wilderness don't enjoy listening to Metallica from at 2:00 AM, and not many folks like seeing and smelling "meadow daisey" from folks who can't dig a hole deep enough. While I don't have a personal problem with stacked rocks, I get that most folks go to the wilderness to get away from society and a cairn obstructing a view can detract from the feeling of solitude.

So with all that said, I don't get the sence SSS Dave is proposing waterboarding rockstackers, and he has a valid arguement that folks should consider how their activities affect the enjoyment of those who follow. I also strongly support Rock Kicker's right to enjoy the experience and satisfaction of leather meeting granite at high velocity. Just don't break any public rocks (toes are private and OK).

Thanks for the topic.
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Re: 2016 kick over cairns thread

Postby tie » Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:09 pm

Of course I believe in leave no trace, but cairns and rock stacks don't usually bother me. I'm a big Andy Goldsworthy fan, too. :) It is hardly an important problem in most areas I've been. The worse problem is when there is a maze of trails defacing the landscape because there is a lot of foot traffic, no official trails, and not enough cairns to control the traffic. Mt Baldy is a good example.
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Re: 2016 kick over cairns thread

Postby oldranger » Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:18 pm


This was constructed as a joke. They were in the middle of the campsite a few years ago. I think Russ posted a movie of markskor getting stuck following the circle of ducks for several minutes before we pointed out to him to look up so he could see that he was going nowhere fast! They were deconstructed a few minutes later as we didn't want Mark to get stuck again. As you pointed out ducks can be of value in some circumstances but when you can see them scattered randomly across a slope it gets a little ridiculous.

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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