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Rock balancing

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.

Balanced stacking

Free style balance

Pure 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. ( 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.

  • Balanced stacking – rocks laid flat upon each other to great height
  • Counterbalance – lower rocks depend on the weight of upper rocks to maintain balance
  • Free style – mixture of the two above; may include arches and sandstone
  • Pure balance – each rock in near-point balance
  • Adrian Gray, UK artist specialising in stone balancing sculptures and photography.
  • Andy Goldsworthy, an influential artist working in the field, for whom rock balancing is a minor subset of his "Collaborations With Nature".
  • Bill Dan, an American artist.
  • Dave Gorman, British TV and radio comedian took up rock balancing after meeting Bill Dan in San Francisco. On BBC Radio 4, on December 10, 2016, Dave stated that he is aware that a certain German rock balancer is displeased about Gorman's inclusion in this list, because he does not regard Dave as a true rock balancing artist.
  • Michael Grab, balance artist + photographer, born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and presently based in Boulder, Colorado, U.S.
  • Richard Roy, Indian artist based in Fort collins, Colorado who is famous for balancing rocks at the Horsetooth reservoir.


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