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Sky Hiker
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PostTue May 03, 2022 5:48 am 
Where should it be then in your back yard?

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HitTheTrail
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PostTue May 03, 2022 8:38 am 
MangyMarmot wrote:
Perhaps the WTA can mobilize a professional cairn crew.

Sounds like the FS already has a professional cairn building effort..

Kim Brown wrote:
One reason we re-built cairns on Aagard the year I worked up there was to guide people away from a particular area where a protected/rare plant grows.†

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RumiDude
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RumiDude
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PostTue May 03, 2022 2:56 pm 
Hiking addict wrote:
I have used cairns for navigation in the past, but I donít rely on them. One time I was hiking in Southern California and almost missed a junction off a dirt road, if there werenít cairns there I would have missed it. Many people make cairns just for art but that can confuse navigation. If you want to make a cairn for art donít do it near a hiking trail.

It kinda sounds like you did rely on that cairn in California. Your post exemplifies the problem with cairns, you can never tell when it is actually marking the correct way you are looking for. What if that cairn was placed to marking a different junction for a trail/route you were not aware of? What if you followed this other trail for many miles thinking it was the correct way you were wanting only to discover much later you were lost? Or worse you kept going continuing to believe you were on the correct path?

People not only put up art cairns but put up cairns intended to mark the way. The big problem is that many of these people are flat out wrong and if you follow their mistaken cairns you will be wrong as well. The art cairn and mistaken cairn both confuse navigation and it is likely you won't realize that by just looking at them.

If a person is not relying on cairns then they are likely relying on something else for knowing the correct route, usually a route description. Nowadays GPS routes are common as well. Anyway they deem that something else as a better guide than random cairns to navigate. And if that something else is better then the unreliable cairns should be ignored and likely should be dismantled to avoid misleading people.

Rumi  <~~~~~misguided

--------------
"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."

Brian Curtis
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Hiking addict
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Joined: 07 Mar 2022
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Hiking addict
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PostWed May 04, 2022 12:52 pm 
RumiDude wrote:
Hiking addict wrote:
I have used cairns for navigation in the past, but I donít rely on them. One time I was hiking in Southern California and almost missed a junction off a dirt road, if there werenít cairns there I would have missed it. Many people make cairns just for art but that can confuse navigation. If you want to make a cairn for art donít do it near a hiking trail.

It kinda sounds like you did rely on that cairn in California. Your post exemplifies the problem with cairns, you can never tell when it is actually marking the correct way you are looking for. What if that cairn was placed to marking a different junction for a trail/route you were not aware of? What if you followed this other trail for many miles thinking it was the correct way you were wanting only to discover much later you were lost? Or worse you kept going continuing to believe you were on the correct path?

People not only put up art cairns but put up cairns intended to mark the way. The big problem is that many of these people are flat out wrong and if you follow their mistaken cairns you will be wrong as well. The art cairn and mistaken cairn both confuse navigation and it is likely you won't realize that by just looking at them.

If a person is not relying on cairns then they are likely relying on something else for knowing the correct route, usuallya routedescription. NowadaysGPSroutesarecommonaswell. Anyway they deem that something else as a better guide than random cairns to navigate. And if that something else is better then the unreliable cairns should be ignored and likely should be dismantled to avoid misleading people.

Rumi  <~~~~~misguided

I agree. If you want to mark the way then use flags, not cairns.

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To have a good life, you need to take risks.
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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Jul 28, 2022 10:30 pm 
I am reading the book, "Colorado 14er Disasters"...and there is a chapter about climbing Little Bear peak and that several climbers have descended the wrong couloir with fatal results in a few cases. There are 4 routes down that look similar, but only one is non technical enough to not require a rappel. So, there is a cairn now marking the correct route. So, maybe in cases like that they can be useful, although one should not ever trust to them completely. After all they are all placed by people and people aren't always reliable.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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