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Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks

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So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 15, 2014 09:41AM
I just came across some older posts on small rock piles that hikers are calling ducks and was just so amazed at how ignorant people can be. Rather than trying to understand what these figures are, and why people build them, they just get offended that someone else has a different idea on how to enjoy the wilderness and knock them over, or speculate on how many spider homes were disrupted to gather the rocks! Well, the spiders have now moved into the new rockpiles, and you disrupt them again when you scatter the rocks. In case anyone out there is interested in learning something new today, here is the scoop.

They are NOT ducks, they are inuksuit.
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From Wikipedia:
An inuksuk (plural inuksuit) [1] (from the Inuktitut: ᐃᓄᒃᓱᒃ, plural ᐃᓄᒃᓱᐃᑦ; alternatively inukshuk in English[2] or inukhuk in Inuinnaqtun[3]) is a stone landmark or cairn built by humans, used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America. These structures are found from Alaska to Greenland. This region, above the Arctic Circle, is dominated by the tundra biome and has areas with few natural landmarks.

The inuksuk may have been used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for travel routes, fishing places, camps, hunting grounds, places of veneration, drift fences used in hunting [4] or to mark a food cache.[5] The Inupiat in northern Alaska used inuksuit to assist in the herding of caribou into contained areas for slaughter.[6] Varying in shape and size, the inuksuit have longtime roots in the Inuit culture.

Historically, the most common type of inuksuk is a single stone positioned in an upright manner.[7] There is some debate as to whether the appearance of human- or cross-shaped cairns developed in the Inuit culture before the arrival of European missionaries and explorers.[7] The size of some inuksuit suggest that the construction was often a communal effort.[4]

At Enukso Point on Baffin Island, there are over 100 inuksuit. The site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1969.
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If you google the term you will find many monumental and impressive examples still standing after hundreds or thousands of years.

Some of us relate to the wilderness by hiking through it and camping there. How is it wrong for others to relate to it by building stone figures that emulate those built by ancient indigenous peoples? Perhaps the current builders were hoping to educate, to introduce the viewer to history, and that the viewer would be curious and want to learn about them, rather than arrogantly assume there was nothing to learn, and tear them down.
Personally, I'm a lot more ticked off by the people that think they should be allowed to take atv's, motorbikes, and suv's into protected areas.
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 15, 2014 10:14AM
From wikipedia:

"Officials in various wilderness parks throughout Canada routinely dismantle inuksuit constructed by hikers and campers, for fear that they could misdirect park visitors from the cairns and other markers that indicate hiking trails. The practice of erecting inuksuit in parks has become so widespread that Killarney Provincial Park, on the north shore of Ontario's Georgian Bay, issued a notice in 2007 urging visitors to "stop the invasion" of inuksuit.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 15, 2014 10:58AM
Leave no Trace is what people should be educated about. There is definitely way too much ignorance about Leave no Trace.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/15/2014 11:05AM by yosemitejim.
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 15, 2014 03:14PM
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 15, 2014 03:16PM
Quote
mythumpa
They are NOT ducks, they are inuksuit.

No, they are ducks. Why? Because that's what people call them.
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 15, 2014 06:36PM
As others are telling you, they are "ducks" - that's because we're talking about the Sierra Nevada (see the title of this forum if you're confused on that point) and not the Canadian Arctic (where your naming is correct) or the East Coast (where they'd be "cairns", for no particularly good reason).

And as others are also telling you they have no place within "leave no trace".
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 15, 2014 06:47PM
They are not ducks, cairns, or inuksuit. They are graffiti and are not to be erected in the Park. I shall continue to remove the blight whenever and where ever in the Park, I see them. We are not the ignorant ones; you are!
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 19, 2014 09:27AM
I rank them right up there with illegal fire rings.
Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 21, 2014 12:44AM
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tomdisco
I rank them right up there with illegal fire rings.

Fire rings, legal or illegal, are far worse. I would be very happy to see all fire rings made illegal.
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 21, 2014 07:35AM
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LVRAY
Fire rings, legal or illegal, are far worse. I would be very happy to see all fire rings made illegal.

Aren't they in many areas? I haven't been out in awhile, but I've done quite a bit of hiking and have never seen the need to light a fire. But, then, I grew up on the "leave no trace" idea. These rock stacks and fire rings are a "trace" and spoil things for those coming after you. Leave no trace is just respect for the environment and other hikers.
Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 19, 2014 10:34AM
Dave, you'll want to get your ass up to just below the summit of Mt. Langley, where there are a series of cairns built by the Park Service, and so marked, so you can educate them about their workspace, and clean it up for them:





Discussed here:

http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=98155&page=1#Post98155
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 19, 2014 04:04PM
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Ken M
Dave, you'll want to get your ass up to just below the summit of Mt. Langley....
Apparently you're not able to have an adult style conversation on the topic. Grow up.
Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 23, 2014 10:37PM
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Dave
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Ken M
Dave, you'll want to get your ass up to just below the summit of Mt. Langley....
Apparently you're not able to have an adult style conversation on the topic. Grow up.

"They are not ducks, cairns, or inuksuit. They are graffiti and are not to be erected in the Park. I shall continue to remove the blight whenever and where ever in the Park, I see them. We are not the ignorant ones; you are"

Yeah, you have a real adult approach to conversing. Perhaps I'm learning from you.
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 24, 2014 06:17PM
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Ken M
...Perhaps I'm learning from you.
I doubt that.
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 21, 2014 01:47PM
I've never liked the term "Leave no trace" since you almost always leave a trace. The idea of minimizing your impact is what everyone in Yosemite should be striving for.

That said, I dismantle these things too and not just in Yosemite. They are not part of a wilderness experience. I haven't read the fine print on what is required by the wilderness act, but these may violate it. The only difference in these and most other forms of graffiti are these are easier to clean up.
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 21, 2014 03:33PM
Quote
Hitech
I've never liked the term "Leave no trace" since you almost always leave a trace. The idea of minimizing your impact is what everyone in Yosemite should be striving for.
It was a goal, an ideal, not a demand. Another saying started at about the same time was; "Leave only footprints. Take only pictures."

Quote

That said, I dismantle these things too and not just in Yosemite. They are not part of a wilderness experience. I haven't read the fine print on what is required by the wilderness act, but these may violate it. The only difference in these and most other forms of graffiti are these are easier to clean up.
I destroy them with glee.
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 21, 2014 04:01PM
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Dave
"Leave only footprints. Take only pictures."

I have always preferred that one. smiling smiley
Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 23, 2014 10:40PM
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Dave
Quote
Hitech
I've never liked the term "Leave no trace" since you almost always leave a trace. The idea of minimizing your impact is what everyone in Yosemite should be striving for.
It was a goal, an ideal, not a demand. Another saying started at about the same time was; "Leave only footprints. Take only pictures."

.



You have a mistaken understanding of the timeline of the widespread use of these terms.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2014 10:56PM by Ken M.
Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 23, 2014 10:51PM
There is usually a problem when extremists start citing "never, always" and demanding how others should live their lives. THAT is almost always wrong.

Speaking as a volunteer wilderness ranger, and trail maintenance crew leader, SOMETIMES there good reasons for placing "trail reassurance markers" as they are known in the trade:

http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlpubs/htm07232806/page13.htm#inst

Note that the more generic term Cairn, is officially used to refer to something that is about 36 inches high and involves a lot of rock.

I mention this only because there are situations where they are appropriate (and in place of signs), and "your tax dollars" have been spent to build them. Leave them alone.

the "ducks" as such are inappropriate, and should almost always be removed.
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 24, 2014 12:30AM
Here's the illustration shown on the link that you provided:



(Cute illustration of a "Rock Duck" )
Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 24, 2014 10:31AM
Thanks. That illustration tracks well with the picture I posted upthread of the actual cairn up on Langley.

(Although I admit that I've never before seen such a large cairn--maybe 10 feet?) To me, that is rather intrusive, and I think one a couple of feet tall is enough to get the job done, but not be overly intrusive to the environment.

This interesting thread brings to mind the discussion that has occurred over on Whitney, where a very experienced hiker died recently, where he apparently lost the trail on granite, and went over a cliff (or something similar).....on a section of trail famed for people having difficulty finding the trail on pure granite. Apparently many people have some difficulties there, and in the five day search, I was impressed that within a couple hours of the original notice of his going missing, several people posted that they though that area where he was eventually found was where they should first look. They were right.

That led to a discussion of whether some better marking might make it safer. Lots of diversity of thought, there.
avatar Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 24, 2014 06:16PM
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Ken M
You have a mistaken understanding of the timeline of the widespread use of these terms.
So what?
Re: So-Called "Ducks" Made From Rocks
July 21, 2014 08:07PM
Well mythumpa if I ever hike up in the far north, thankyou for that cultural input as I'll be sure not to kick any over like I regularly do here about cross country areas in the Sierra. Note most ducks (quack-quack) in these mountains are merely single stones placed atop modest sized boulders and not elaborate constructions of many rocks. And most are quite unnecessary to navigate offtrail.



http://www.davidsenesac.com
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