What is this metal wire for?
June 26, 2010 9:16 PM   Subscribe

What is this metal wire for? I found it while hiking an animal trail in the mountians in Utah. It was stretched across a canyon going up the the rocks on either side was at chest height when I ran into it.

I was hiking away from a public road so my first thought was that maybe indicated a property line.
posted by cabbages to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
I've seen wires like that used in parks to deter people from using bicycles and motorcycles on the paths.
posted by amyms at 9:22 PM on June 26, 2010

If that were stretched about chest height across a path that could potentially be used by a bicycle or motorcycle, it could discourage people all right - permanently. If it is across such a path, and unless something is posted that makes it clear that it's there and why it's there, or it's not obviously part of a fence system, I'd take it down or mark it clearly and notify park authorities.
posted by randomkeystrike at 10:11 PM on June 26, 2010

Did you see any other old debris around? While hiking 14ers in the Colorado Rockies, I've seen all kinds of junk, including metal cabling ranging from thin wire to arm thick, collapsing wooden outhouses at 13,000 feet, antique and often inscrutable hulks of machinery, etc. It's left over from mining operations, many of which I believe date from the 1800s. Is there any reason to believe this wire is the result of recent activities?
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 10:22 PM on June 26, 2010

That's an old, old piece of wire, it's probably old mining debris like derive said. If the canyon you were hiking up runs wet in the winter it might have been washed down or across and gotten hung up.
posted by fshgrl at 10:29 PM on June 26, 2010

I pulled on it and it seemed pretty sturdily attached on either ends so I don't think it's there by accident and canyon is barely navigable by foot, much less by any vehicle. I'm liking the old mine idea, next time I head up there I'll check out the surrounding area for other signs. Thanks!
posted by cabbages at 1:03 AM on June 27, 2010

You specifically identified it as an animal trail. I wonder if it is intended to keep larger animals away - deer, bear, etc.
posted by megatherium at 1:31 AM on June 27, 2010

Something like this, I wouldn't assume it's legitimate -- could be some kids on a camping trip found this old wire and stretched it across the trail. As randomkeystrike, it could be really dangerous.
posted by Rash at 3:43 PM on June 27, 2010

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