Olympian joins stone carrying and path maintenance on Mt. Datemonbetsu
Trail maintenance took place on Mt. Datemonbetsu (714 m) in central Hokkaido on July 11, and approximately 90 people from Date, Sapporo and the like that gathered there toiled to protect the mountain they love.
Local residents cooperated in the work, being carried out by Date Cross-country Ski Association, to repair trails where erosion has advanced. Stones used in the repairs were placed at the trailhead and climbers were asked to help with carrying them up. Over a period of approximately one week, over 400 stones were carried to the base of the work at the 7th station (644 m).
Participants gathered at the mountain trailhead at 8:30 a.m. on the 11th. After a stretch session under the guidance Suzuki Yasushi of the Hokkaido All Olympians – a group made up of people with Olympic experience – participants headed up the mountain at their own pace. At the 7th station, participants then loaded the stones into their rucksacks and carried them approximately 400 meters to the base of this year’s repair work. Here, members of the West Iburi Council of Japanese Firefighters and Ambulance Workers filled the eroded sections of the trails with the stones.
Volunteer students from the Date Midorigaoka High School’s green project also participated. “It was the first time I’ve climbed a mountain so I was a little apprehensive at first, but it was good to play my part without any problems,” smiled one student.
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