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Climbing on Standing Stones
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Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 08:57
Resonox wrote:
thesweetcheat wrote:
I don't want to see damage, but similarly these sites will not survive by being preserved in aspic with "do not touch" signs everywhere (think Stonehenge, think Carnac), they'll survive by being living, breathing places to visit and interact with.

I entirely agree about climbing on the stones themselves, but that isn't doing to stop me climbing onto (and into!) upland cairns either. :-/

I may be getting the wrong end of the stick here...are you saying that Carnac is NOT surviving because of the "no climbing/do not touch/fenced off access by special permission only" policy or despite it? In all the times I have visited Carnac...the only people climbing the stones are tourists who ignore ALL signage but have to face the wrath of inhabitants for so doing...there are a few designated for standing on (for picture opportunites I assume).....climbing into dolmens/chambers also has a "designated" permission system. The locals realise that these very stones are their bread & butter and that the influx of these paying tourists has created associated problems(Devil and Deep Blue Sea Syndrome). By climbing into upland cairns are you creating your own access or do you use existing?......I assume people have the need to go into such "chambers" for their own spiritual purposes/shelter from the elements/the hope to find an overlooked artefact/just to admire the workmanship.....Most humans do have an affinity with caves, tunnels and underground chambers, there is an irresistable urge. However standing on top of ancient stones and the like IMO is just a bit of "look at me ma, top of the world" showing off as it isn't serving any useful purpose.....Of course it could be argued that this is done just to admire the surrounding environs and their relationship with stone/cairn being stood on.However we can't gripe about tourists doing it for photo opportunities if we don't lead by example...just because we claim special pleading.

No, what I mean is that we don't want places to have to be roped off and signposted to death in order to preserve them. I'm saying Carnac and Stonehenge are surviving, but at a price I think is very high - i.e the loss of being able to properly see the stones up close. One of the main reasons I've never been to Stonehenge is because of the comments made by many others about the lack of atmosphere and sense of place since the inner circle was closed off. And in fact your post highlights the fact that at Carnca the idiots who will climb on the stones will do so regardless of the amount of signs and barriers.

Re: upland cairns. I would hope that anyone who has read my previous comments on ther subject of walker damage to these would know that I would NEVER "create my own access". The comment about climbing "into" them was a recognition of the terrible damage that has been caused by walkers reconfiguring them for shelters, etc. These are not "chambers", they're wrecks. Take the cairn on Moel Siabod, you can't really do anything but go "into" it, as the centre has been completely removed by walkers.

Generally the purpose of climbing "onto" the cairns, rather than being "look at me" as you suggest is both to see how well-preserved or otherwise they are, usually to take some pictures, which itself acts as a record of the current state of preservation. See for example the pictures of the cairns on Western Beacon in Dartmoor, some of the ones that Lubin's previous post is referring to - restored then soon wrecked again by thoughtless walkers. You will note that the most vocal of us on this forum about the damage to upland cairns are generally the ones who actually go and visit them regularly (and report back on here), like myself, Gladman, Postman, Drew, etc. None of us are doing any wrecking by doing so, as far as I can tell, nor are we claiming "special pleading".
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