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Rock balancing (or stone stacking, as some may call it) is an art, discipline, or hobby in which rocks are naturally balanced on top of one another in various positions. Adhesives, wires, supports, or rings are not permitted.
Rock balancing can be a performance art, a spectacle, or a devotion, depending upon the interpretation by its audience. Essentially, it involves placing some combination of rock or stone in arrangements which require patience and sensitivity to generate, and which appear to be physically impossible while actually being only highly improbable. The rock balancer may work for free or for pay, as an individual or in a group, and their intents and the audiences' interpretations may vary given the situation or the venue.
Free style balance
The Rock Stacking World Championship is an annual event held in Llano, Texas. Competition events include: Height, Balance, Arches, and Artistic.Grenwelge Park, on the banks of the Llano River, one block from the historic downtown district, is the site of the World Rock Stacking Competition, as part of the Llano Earth Art Fest held in March. (LlanoEarthArtFest.org and Llano Earth Art Fest on Facebook).Rock balancing is also played as game in some parts of Nepal, where players make a balancing tower of flat rocks and adds round at the top.
Some visitors to natural areas who wish to experience nature in its undisturbed state object to this practice, especially when it intrudes on public spaces such as national parks, national forests and state parks. The practice of rock balancing is claimed to be able to be made without changes to nature; reputed environmental artist Lila Higgings defended it as compatible with Leave-no-trace ideals if rocks are used without impacting wildlife and are later returned to their original places, and some styles of rock balancing are claimed to be short lived. However, "Disturbing or collecting natural features (plants, rocks, etc.) is prohibited" in U.S. national parks, as these very acts may harm the flora and fauna dependent on them. In some areas, cairns, which are stacked rocks, are used to mark trails. A large section of the Chilkoot Trail in Skagway, Alaska, uses these exclusively.
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