I am trying to figure out the best way to build steps that lead down to our dock. I have built timber/brick and anchorstone steps before but never on a shoreline that freezes in the winter. Our lot has about a 4 ft drop from the lawn down to the water level. The rest of the shoreline is supported by a boulder wall. Currently there are timber steps that are in shambles. What I am most concerned about is the heaving that is caused by ice in the winter. I don't want to build something this season only to have to re-do it next. First things first: should I use timber, anchorstone or large stone steppers? second, how can I keep the class 5 (base gravel) from being washed out from under the lowest step/ affected by heaving ice - Should I run the boulder wall across the front of that lowest step? Does anyone have any suggestions?