Rock Erosion are we helping? : LUSENET : Introductory Geology, Oswego State : One Thread

I am an avid hiker and a controversy has recently surfaced as to our impact on rocky areas such as the local adirondack High peaks area. It appears that with the onslaught of people using trekking/hiking poles to explore these areas the bare rock faces are becoming scarred and chipped as a result of the hardened steel and carbon steel tips found on these poles. Do you think this is a serious problem? And how long before and what effects do you see these poles causing?

-- Ian Craig (, May 03, 2001


I'm not quite sure on the legitamacy of this answer, seeings as its my own opinion, but here goes:

As compared to the physical and chemical weathering nature does on its own, I don't think this is a very serious threat. However, in the long term look at things, I can guarantee that the chips and sratches in the rocks that come from hiking equipment will definitely speed up the process of erosion and weathering of the mountains that are hiked. Fractures and chips make it easier for the rock to break apart and easier for water to seep into cracks to bring about things like freeze-thaw and other weathering processes.

-- Joel Bouchard (, May 04, 2001.

I don't think this is a serious problem at all, it would take hundreds of years to do any real damage. however for the avid hiker your seenery maybe a little tarnished due to this erosion.

-- james clark (, May 04, 2001.


-- Andy (02dennisa@bshwalsh.bham.sch), May 18, 2004.

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