OUR STORY CONTINUES....
The publication of the municipality’s guidebook creates an atmosphere of unhealthy competition, instead of putting this energy into things that are really needed. To be clear, it is not our goal to work against any other initiatives. On the contrary, we are convinced that the broader the community of contributors, the more knowledge and experience is brought to the area, which is ultimately better for Leonidio. But we want to do this in a cooperative, not a competitive way. So far, every time the municipality has asked us for “cooperation”, they wanted us to work for them and not with them*.
The same goes for any rules around climbing in Leonidio. We don’t want Leonidio to become a standardized climbing area governed by rules created by just one “expert”. There should be room for all climbing and bolting styles to create a place for every climber with its own unique character.
The publication of the municipality's guidebook creates an atmosphere of unhealthy competition.
In 2016 the municipality suggested we “cooperate” in order to make a guidebook for the area. They suggested that we work as employees of Aris T. for a guidebook that would be the way they wanted it to be and signed by Aris T. The book would be created mainly for promotion. We suggested that we work together with Aris T. and publish a more complete book signed by all the distributors (Aris T., Panjika Cooperative, and the Municipality). They rejected our proposal!
We don’t want Leonidio to become a standardized climbing area governed by rules!
to close this letter...
Panjika is a substantial part of the climbing scene in Leonidio. We have poured our hearts and souls into this place with the support of the broader climbing community.
The Panjika Cooperative already offers a high-quality guidebook, with a new and updated version coming very soon.
Why did the municipality support the publication of a new guidebook, when there is already a complete, accurate guide available from the local community?
How long can the municipality follow its own interests instead of cooperating with local residents, cooperatives, and initiatives on matters that concern them in the first place?
This letter is intended to become the beginning of a big open discussion.
We ask for your support to spread the word by sharing this letter and helping us keep Leonidio a unique world-class climbing destination.
We are also happy to answer any of your additional questions!
With warm wishes,
Your Panjika Team
Some basic numbers and notes:
Panjika and friends have bolted around 700 routes
All in all the cooperative paid for around €53,000 of hangars and bolts and other equipment (excluding labour), with more than €10,000 offered privately by its members.
We have put endless volunteer hours into bolting, re-bolting, maintenance, correct grading, collecting information etc.
-Members of the cooperative are also members of the local Mountaineering and Climbing Club(AOSL).
Panjika has created 7 full-time and 4 part-time jobs for locals and long-term residents at the climbing shop, the bar/restaurant, climbing courses, and the creation of the guidebook.
-On 26 Nov 2019 Panjika organized a weekend for climbing for local primary school children in cooperation with the Parents’ Club.
Participation was free of charge.
It has also supported a circle of climbing lessons for refugees from ClimbAID in Athens.
Arts & Culture
Since 2015, Panjika remains an open space for interaction and exploration. The cooperative has supported independent painters, musicians, performers, to present their work in intercultural exchange and organized several artistic workshops for kids.
Panjika initiated a project for building ecological toilets in the most crowded climbing sectors. The project is in progress and is happening in collaboration with the municipality and the Association of business owners of Leonidio.
The 1st Panjika Climbing School is set to open soon, offering regular climbing courses for locals and visitors.