This PhD combines geomorphologic and engineering geological approaches to gain a better understanding of rock slopes and associated hazards posing a risk to life and key infrastructure. New insights are expected by integrating material mechanics, in particular stress corrosion, in the assessment of fracture propagation and, thus, instability of rock slopes. We assess conditioning processes in the field, the laboratory, and in mechanical models to quantify fracturing rates driven by relatively minor in situ stress changes in naturally weathering rock slopes. By quantifying a principal factor driving the degradation of rock slopes we will gain a greater understanding of pre-failure slope conditions, and therefore improve our ability to interpret the spatial and temporal evolution of future rock instability.