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10/13/2009

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sarah Auerswald

I always wondered about those rock piles.

Climber Man

They're called "cairns", and building them is just one of those traditional things people do on top of mountains. Judging by the color scheme, I'd venture a guess and say that this is in a national park (or possibly some other type of wilderness area).

National parks (and the like) prefer to leave the site in its original state with a minimum of human interference. (Generally, they'll only do as much as is necessary to minimize further human impact.)

The sign isn't because of any inherent danger in cairns (rock piles). It's more analogous to the "DO NOT TOUCH" signs in art galleries. (That's the rest of the story -- not quite as entertaining, but perhaps educational.)

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