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Company maintains trails along climbing routes

By Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi

LAST UPDATED: 03:43 p.m. HST, Aug 10, 2011

Mike Richardson and Climb Aloha's 11 instructors, known as Team Climb Aloha, are leading the effort to ensure safe rock climbing in Hawaii. Assisted by numerous community members, they maintain the trails leading to Oahu's climbing areas.

Richardson handles all the route maintenance with the help of a few knowledgeable friends.

This includes installing corrosion-resistant titanium bolts and stainless-steel anchors, checking them regularly and replacing them when needed.

A group of avid climbers began developing and maintaining routes on Oahu in the late 1980s. They were led by Terry Kerby, now director of facilities and submersible operations for the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory.

"I was very impressed by how dedicated and meticulous they were, especially Terry," Richardson said. "As they moved away or drifted out of climbing over the years, I took it upon myself to continue the work. I've spent thousands of dollars out of my own pocket to pay for route maintenance. I'm happy to do it. It's my way of giving back to the community so they can enjoy safe climbing areas and to say mahalo for supporting Climb Aloha for the past 12 years."

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