Maintaining and Taking Care of our most Public Climbing Site
Waimea Bay has been a defining location for the climbing community on O’ahu: many have met other climbers there, experienced their first time climbing outdoors there, and have felt like part of the climbing community after spending an evening with friends there. It has been a central location for the climbing community — both for community-building and as an easily accessible climbing spot for many. Members of the climbing community have taken on the responsibility of stewardship of the area, especially more recently as bouldering has become more locally popularized. From the Volcanic Rock Gym days, when folks would organize group clean-ups, to the annual clean-ups organized by the Arch Project now, climbers have become protectors of Waimea Bay.
In the last few months of 2020 and beginning of 2021, some truly reprehensible vandals decided to desecrate the boulders at Waimea Bay.
These boulders mean many things to many people.
To the surfer, it’s a vantage point to check the surf.
To the artist, it is a beautiful beacon of basalt stone,
To a climber it’s a fun day of projecting with friends,
and to a Hawaiian it’s our ancestor.
But to the graffiti punk, it is a blank canvas.
This graffiti problem is unfortunately going to be an on going issue that members of the O’ahu climbing community will have to regularly clean. It shouldn’t have to be said that this is extremely disappointing and disrespectful to the Hawaiian community. To us the Pōhaku carries the mana of our ancestors. To be able to enjoy that energy and commune with the pōhaku is an honor we want to preserve. Climbers have banded together to clean up the graffiti. Such events have set the standard for how to maintain and take care of our most public climbing site. As such, the members within the climbing community have been exceptional leaders in demonstrating what it means to take care of the ‘Āina, both through organized clean-up events and of their own volition.
If you see someone desecrating Waimea Bay, say something, call someone or video them. Hold them accountable for their actions.
Mahalo to the climbing community members who have helped us scrub the graffiti away over the last few months. Hopefully we don’t need to continue doing this...