All of the UKC readers that support ‘local’ guidebooks and area activists, read this and have a think about which guide you buy on your next trip to Greece.
If the link doesn't work, try this one and read the comments below.
Or have a dig around on Climb Greece or Google Leonidio guide.
Goody, another "local climbers" guide book spat!
Interesting that the "local" is an Austriam that's lived there for 5 years whereas the interloper was born and grew up about 50 miles away and did the first routes there over 25 years ago.
Could someone summarise the Kalymnos spat? I remember the arguing and ridiculous deliberate changing of route names and grades to invalidate a new guidebook. Was that Aris vs. Rockfax?
The post from Bernd sounds like he has a legitimate greivance, and the Panjika guidebook is undoubtably written by 'proper' locals and the income from it reinvested. It's a shame like so many other european guides, it is hard to follow and seems to be style over substance in terms of actually conveying useful information - looking at the locally produced Siurana and Chulilla books on my shelf for example. Very attractive books, but very hard to use if you're new to the area.
I don"t think Austrian or non-Austrian is the main question. The main question is who earns what money, reinvests or does not reinvest, and what is content of communication. And remembering the Kaly episode, and Aris' and Claude Idoux's arguments there, the storyline is not really consistent.
I hope the locals refrain from the further nonsense that developed in Kaly.
As someone who has visited Leonidio, I for one will be supporting Panjika's third edition and boycotting Aris' book.
> Could someone summarise the Kalymnos spat? I remember the arguing and ridiculous deliberate changing of route names and grades to invalidate a new guidebook. Was that Aris vs. Rockfax?
There have been numerous spats in Kalymnos but I assume you are referring to the one which resulted in the route name changes in 2018. This came about after we turned our long-standing digital information to the island, which we had started documenting way back in 2002, into a print format. A campaign was run by some locals against our book and small number of routes which had recently been put up, and were only included in our book, had their names painted on the rock changed to deliberately make our book wrong. This was made more dangerous by some of the names being re-used on the same bit of crag and there were a couple of places where 'routeX' (25m long) was suddenly four routes to the right and 30m long which has obvious lowering-off dangers.
Apart from that it was a lot of nonsense about nothing since both books are good, the area is very popular and benefits greatly from having more than one guidebook and both books have supported local bolting.
Good points Jim. I have climbed some of his (and your own) routes from 25 years ago!
In an ideal world they would have worked together for the greater good, alas, not to be, and its a pity to see the slick machine go against the small cooperative in true David v Goliath style.
There’s no doubt Aris produces top quality, very usable guides, but I also really like the Panjika guides and they have been instrumental in bringing the area forward and taking the lessons learned from Kalymnos and improving on them. All the proceeds from the Panjika guides go back into bolts and anchors too.
I would also say that Aris’s excellent Climbing Greece guide has done the same and really introduced many climbers to the fabulous climbing available throughout Greece.
For me, the best solution is to buy both guides and see it as a good contribution to the upkeep, re-bolting, and development of new routes in the area. I’ve always found using both guides in tandem works quite well and little gems of info can be found in both. Great if you’re prepared to carry 2 guides ;)
Peace - out. Merry Xmas all.
Some of the arguments trotted out in this are very weak.
Benefitting the leonidio community?
Both guides fund bolting both guides draw in climbers, it could be argued that 2 guides will draw in more as an alternative is available if one goes out of print.
This is criticised overtly in Bern's comment. The reality however is that we'll or over bolted (you decide) routes draw people in benefitting further the community cited above.
The community benefit from the panjika book is that the profits are more likely to be spent in leonidio.
An interesting spat none the less
I can understand that there are concerns that some areas have not been developed in an ideal way (e.g. relatively mundane single pitch sectors preventing multi-pitch routes being established on very suitable big cliffs because of rockfall dangers). However, I didn't like the rather sneering tone in Bernd's comments. He seems to despise middle grade routes and, by implication, most climbing visitors (like me). His diatribe reads as though we are all just commercial fodder for Aris whilst his mates, the strong climbers, are the real pure heroes because they produce bolder, harder routes for the braver and better and really only these climbers should be encouraged to visit. In terms of commercial benefit, the many will bring more to the area than the few and so favouring mid grade popularity can be decried as "commercial" but is this necessarily bad for the area? Conversely excessive grid bolting is a turn off so surely there is a balance to be struck. Dialogue between the interested parties must be better than this animosity and sniping.
Excellent post. Totally agree re dialogue. Demonising people is rarely helpful. If you disagree, fair enough but the more you look for it, the more likely you are to find common ground.
Full and concise reply to ‘critics’ from the man himself.
Thank you for putting this on. It's unsigned - but I'm guessing who wrote it! As you say, it's a comprehensive reply to critics. It's not dialogue though. Unhappily things seem to have progressed beyond productive dialogue - if there ever was any in the first place. That makes me uneasy.
At the beginning, he notes:
'Guidebook writing is competitive.'
Further down, he notes:
'We may not officially belong to any group or collective, but cooperation is at the core of everything we do.'
Surely there comes a point where these principles clash? And it seems this is what has happened.
I haven't climbed at Leonido and don't know the protagonists. Have heard a bit about the 'numerous spats in Kalymnos' (as Alan puts it). Maybe such conflict is inevitable in world-class venues? It's sad, though.
Sigh, I guess someone has to say it and it has fallen to me.
Have the Germans been annexing again?
> Full and concise reply to ‘critics’ from the man himself.
My jaw is on the floor.
"Leonidio will have two guidebooks for climbers to choose from, therefore two guidebooks generating proceeds for local climbing. If our guidebook inspires new climbers to visit the area and support local businesses, everybody in the area will benefit, including the individuals who claim to eschew money and climbing tourism."
Nice to see a complete about-turn on that one then since 2018! As the party who were in this position with regard to Kalymnos forgive me for being a little cynical seeing our positive arguments from 2 years ago trotted out in his favour this time.
This could and should be a positive outcome since the basic message of the quoted paragraph is a good one. A shame that the rest of the response is laced with vilification and defensiveness.
Well that is plagiarism on the rockfax argument in Kaly😉. It would have been nice then as well (and I have not been in favour of a Kaly Rockfax. Aris made me hoping cor anotber addition now).
Panjika's reply to mr Thievadopolos
OPEN LETTER TO THE CLIMBING COMMUNITY, Dec. 2020
Why we feel we need to explain a few things at this moment:
Last summer the municipality of South Kynouria announced plans to create a set of rules for climbing in Leonidio in collaboration with Aris T, including the publication of a new guidebook. In light of these events we, the Panjika Cooperative, would like to take this opportunity to share some insight into this situation.
Since we started being active in the area in 2013, it has been our purpose to create an infrastructure for climbing and other activities that allows locals and people from all over the world to enjoy the exceptional rock in Leonidio, while also respecting the local community, preserving nature, and promoting an open and honest conversation between climbers, bolters and the local people. We have made every effort to keep the area safe, to develop crags to a high standard, and to reduce the danger of accidents.
Ever since we started developing Leonidio as a climbing destination, communication with the municipality has not been easy, mainly because the approach and the values they pursue are very different from those at the heart of the Panjika Cooperative. The main aim of the municipality and the developers they support is to drive tourism. When it comes to bolting this means favouring quantity over quality, which includes bolting an entire sector without testing or properly cleaning the routes, over-grading, grid bolting, chipping holds, etc. However, while we share the wish to make Leonidio more accessible to visitors, this approach fails to take into account any concerns about sustainability, our impact on nature, and climbing tradition. Leonidio is already such an attractive climbing destination, with so much incredible quality rock. There is space for all types of climbers to enjoy what it has to offer and no need to grid bolt and over-grade to make it more appealing.
Why we publish our guidebooks in the first place:
We never received financial support from the municipality, so publishing a guidebook would provide us with the financial independence to continue developing Leonidio in accordance with our values and ethics. Our vision was to create a climbing destination that did not follow the model of commercial tourism.
All the profits from our first Panjika guidebook were used to pay for the local infrastructure, bolting, and maintenance. Panjika and friends have contributed to the bolting of some 700 routes, financing around €53,000 worth of equipment. Much of this has been generated through the sales of our two guidebooks and some €10,000 came out of our own members’ pockets.** Not to mention the endless volunteer hours we have committed to bolting, cleaning routes, collecting information, and supporting the local community via social projects.
At no point in the process of the publication of their new guidebook has the municipality approached us, sought cooperation or communication. Instead, they took the information that we have provided, meaning our time and our labour, in an unethical way and used this information in the production of their own book.
It is not our intention to claim ownership. We have always been open with the information we have because we believe it should be shared, and ultimately it will only benefit climbing in Leonidio. However, the municipality took advantage of this to benefit just one person, not the wider community. Aris’s guidebook promises to provide just €20,000 of funding, despite having all the financial support from the municipality and a large part of the information already collected by us. We, therefore, ask all climbers coming to Leonidio to be aware of this situation before making a choice to support the new guidebook.
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 in order to create a place for every climber with its own unique character.
One characteristic example: In 2016 the municipality suggested us to “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!
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, Pnajika 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 at 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.
> Goody, another "local climbers" guide book spat!
The 'locals' versus 'foreigners' framing of the argument has always been irrelevant. The fundamental issue at stake is whether the guidebook publishers invest appropriately in the climbing resource they use to generate income, and whether competition from a purely commercial venture diverts funds from one used to maintain the crags.
Historically the projects that invest the least have been the foreign ones, such as Rockfax or Jingo Wobbly. In this case, however, both sides seem to be competing to invest the most. Interesting development!
> Panjika's reply to mr Thievadopolos
Thanks for that. Now I've read both sides it seems this is quite simply a turf war for control of the resource. One side seems to represent 'proper climbers' with an ethical slant, the other seems to represent the wider local community with support from a few visiting climbers. The preferred weapon is the drill and the propoganda outlet is the guidebook.
I have no idea who I should be supporting! Might go out and start a trad scene just to f*ck things up even more!
Buy them both. We were in Leonidos last year. We had allready bought the Climbgreece book beforehand. Nice book and it also has topo's for other area's in main land Greece and the Peleponesos. But it is not very complete for Leonidio, so while there we also bought the Panjika book.
> Buy them both. We were in Leonidos last year. We had allready bought the Climbgreece book beforehand. Nice book and it also has topo's for other area's in main land Greece and the Peleponesos. But it is not very complete for Leonidio, so while there we also bought the Panjika book.
Isn't the hoo-har about a new AT book specifically focussing on Leonidio/Kyperassi? I would have thought buy one book and donate the amount (at least) you would have spent on the second book to a local bolt fund (I assume such a beast exists).
I agree. Buying both topos would be a complete waste of a book and resources. Much better to buy one of them and then also participate in some way to the equipping effort.
I am really surprised that this is the reaction from some UKC posters. Aris has stolen topos from a non-profit climber centric organisation that's been in Leonidio for years. I've personally seen the Panjika people cleaning up crags and sorting out access, they also run the climbing shops in the local area and even in lockdown have continued to ensure supplies are made available to climbers through message and collect.
Where is Aris? What has he done?
I sincerely recommend anyone who is yet to make up his/her mind to support Panjika's effort in Leonidio and boycott Aris.
The question of what is 'local' and then deducing claims from that seems a bit far stretched in this topic... If someone choose to move to Leonidio, it's probably because it 's a cooler place to live than rainy Germany/Austria and has tons of good climbing. If then you try to make a living there by opening a cafe, making guidebooks..all good. But why should these guys have any priority to market their products over others, who also opened routes there ( way earlier..), seems totally nonsense. They didn't equip the majority of routes in the area and have done so because they somehow wanted to do that, not because by doing so they got the right to make money out of it. Usually, a guy who is heavily involved in new routing knows an area best and can produce a good guidebook, which will sell better than a guidebook from 'outsiders'. In this case , we have two competing groups of insiders, and Aris guidebook is definitely not a 'copy' of their guidebook. If you take their logic further, should climbers also just eat and drink in their cafe because they equipped routes and the 'local' restaurants didn't.....? Both guidebooks are legit, have a look at both and buy the best one;)
> Aris has stolen topos from a non-profit climber centric organisation
Perhaps you need to clarify exactly what you mean by "stolen" and "non-profit".
This is a really interesting argument with lots of different slants on it.
The panjika guys moved in for their own reasons, whatever they may be; better climate, great climbing, chance to make a living whilst not really working. This is dressed up as a community benefit to sell it. Not for profit but they all make a living out of it, beats an office 9 to 5.
With or without panjika, leonidio would have grown as a climbing area albeit maybe a little slower. The community may have actually benefitted more without panjika input. Local guys see the opportunity and open climbers bars, climbing shops etc,keeping more of the money in the community.
> > Aris has stolen topos from a non-profit climber centric organisation
> Perhaps you need to clarify exactly what you mean by "stolen" and "non-profit".
Both of these terms are regularly used when it comes to guidebooks, indeed Aris is very free with accusations of copying on Kalymnos without ever producing any evidence. In reality blatant copying is rare in guidebook writing and it does climbers no great service by being bandied around so loosely.
Similarly, ‘non-profit’ is another frequently mis-used term where what constitutes profit varies dramatically from situation to situation and is rarely (in climbing-sized businesses) a bad thing. It is what you do with it that counts and if you really are ‘non-profit’ (ie. your costs are greater than your sales) then there is no profit to do anything with.
The nonsense goes further than the guidebook wars. As in Kaly, it seems that Aris tries to monopolize new routing by a select few, that have to go through his control. In some regards, this is the behaviour of a land owner. AT, king of greek rock. It is also based on the assumption that you can market "safe" and contolled climbing areas... I am waiting for the first insurance company to put an end to this by suing the "controlling person" for bolt or rock failure.
Otherwise - you can not negate Aris is doing good and inspiring guidebooks, and has done a lot of good things to a variety of destinations. It is the self-love and kind of absolute control of climbing he seems to aim for that is disgusting.
>if you really are ‘non-profit’ (ie. your costs are greater than your sales) then there is no profit to do anything with.
Where guidebooks are used to raise funds for bolting, the equipment necessary is considered a 'cost'. So 'non-profit' takes into account the material expense of equipping and maintaining the crags.
However, in these cases the work is generally done free of charge, very often by the people who are instrumental in producing the guidebook.
Edit to add: not talking about Aris's projects here (which I know little about), but more generally in Europe
I have a second edition of the Panjika guide. It divides the equippers into 4 categories. A and B (>1000 routes) are funded by the EU and the municipality respectively and include the Remys and Aris. The Remys are the most prolific contributors in both of these categories so I have lumped A and B together. C is Panjika (>400 routes) and D is independent foreign climbers (>300 routes). I thought it would be instructive to see how many of the routes I have done were equipped by the people in each category.
The breakdown was A/B: 57, C: 4 (there are also 8 routes by equippers with Germanic names that are not listed in any of the categories. If these are linked to Panjika this number would rise to 12), D: 0. If I was to choose between the guidebooks based on which supports the main equippers of the routes that I do, these figures make it clear which book I should buy.
Despite this I thought the 2nd Ed Panjika guide (2018) was very good and included useful and interesting background. Their recent intemperate outburst has put me off a bit. I would still look at the new edition if I were to pay another visit but if they insist on making it all about who funds what there is only one way I could go.
> Where guidebooks are used to raise funds for bolting, the equipment necessary is considered a 'cost'. So 'non-profit' takes into account the material expense of equipping and maintaining the crags.
So what counts as 'profit' and what expense is 'non-profit' in your book?
Author's commission, photographer fees, designer/layout person fees, the cut taken by the local shop when it sells the book, the full-time editor salary of the business publishing the book, the money paid back from book sales to repair the huts for the club, the cost of the web site maintained to sell the books, the greater costs for the bigger web site with news and updates, the money paid to the people who put the bolts in new routes before the book was published, the funding of new routes not in the guidebook, the maintaining of old routes that are in the guidebook, the development of the digital version of the guidebook.
Which of these counts as a non-profit use of guidebook funds and which is profit? Or put another way, which is a bad thing that we shouldn't do?
> So what counts as 'profit' and what expense is 'non-profit' in your book?
As a commercial guidebook publisher, you must know better than anyone what costs can be deducted before declaring a profit to the tax office. I guess you will deduct all the examples you gave in your post (substitute 'club hut' with 'business premises'!) and then give the remainder to the business owners.
Most guidebooks published by local bolting collectives will also deduct money they have had to pay for goods and services, but will do much of the actual graft on a voluntary basis using the skills they have in the team. Those skills might well include writing, layout, design, photography, translation, website design etc.
Equipment such as drills, bolts and glue will obviously be considered as costs (that's the whole point!), as will services that must be outsourced, such as printing and distribution. Anything remaining should be used to buy equipment to develop or maintain the crags.
However multiple variations exist around this general framework.
> which is a bad thing that we shouldn't do?
As a commercial publisher, I would say the only bad thing you shouldn't do is not contribute fairly to an area in which the crags are equipped and maintained by a group of volunteers through sales of their guidebook.
> As a commercial guidebook publisher, you must know better than anyone what costs can be deducted before declaring a profit to the tax office. I guess you will deduct all the examples you gave in your post (substitute 'club hut' with 'business premises'!) and then give the remainder to the business owners.
In every case I know the business owner(s) is/are the person/people doing the work. They pay themselves then retain the rest in the business to invest in the future (and pay corporation tax on it which supports the wider economy). No-one is buying Ferraris from guidebooks!
To go back to your definition ....
What expenditure is it that switches a guidebook from 'non-profit' to 'purely commercial' in your opinion? Is there any middle ground between these?
> What expenditure is it that switches a guidebook from 'non-profit' to 'purely commercial' in your opinion? Is there any middle ground between these?
I don't think there is a simple answer to that question. As I said in my previous answer: "multiple variations exist around this general framework". Every case should be considered on its individual merits and then perhaps you could come up with a sliding-scale of non-profitness!
However, I think you're too fixated on profit. The important issue is how much a guidebook contributes to the equipping and maintenance effort. If the one that generates most profit also generates most money for bolting then I can't see how anyone could have a problem with that.
I guess the most obvious thing a commercial publisher should look at when considering whether an area is fair game for competition is the relationship between the equippers and the producers of the existing guidebook. If they are working together to raise funds for bolting then I would expect the commercial venture to contribute on a similar level. If doing so would make the competing guidebook commercially unviable then I would suggest they look elsewhere.
Deciding to contribute less than the local guidebook in order to generate more profit would be highly unethical in my view.
Edit to add: A lot of these guidebook/bolting collectives are registered as non-profit organisations and as such their accounts are open to public scrutiny. So it's easy to find out how they operate and the degree to which they contribute to the bolting effort.
> However, I think you're too fixated on profit.
Actually, you are the one who is too fixated on profit as illustrated by your unnecessary use of the word 'purely' to emphasize the commercial aspect without having much idea of what you mean by that.
What I am trying to illustrate by getting you to define 'purely commercial' is that virtually all guidebooks have commercial aspects to them and the majority operate with a certain level of self-interest. The two in this thread being classic examples of such - they would both qualify on a number of the expense criteria I listed.
Where, for example, does the latest Climbers' Club guide South Wales Rock fit into your 'purely commercial' or 'non-profit' definition? A traditional club guide but they have stated that they won't be giving any funds to local bolting despite the book covering predominantly bolted routes. This could take sales away from the Rockfax South Wales Sport Climbs book which does contribute to local bolting. (I am using this to make a point, I don't actually have any worries about the level of support Rockfax will be able to offer to the area).
The vast majority of guidebooks make a positive contribution to the area they cover. This can be increased promotion, better access information, promotion of local initiatives, promotion of local businesses, sustainable historical record, using technology to good effect, great climbing inspiration and also a contribution, where appropriate, to the costs involved in equipping the local routes and maintaining access. These are all good things.
To split guidebooks into two categories as you do - non-profit and purely commercial - you oversimplify a complex situation. Additionally, you don't seem prepared to define these categories which supports my suggestion that they don't really exist anyway.
Actually we got onto the subject of profit because you said if guidebooks don't make a profit "then there is no profit to do anything with".
I explained that bolting equipment is incorporated into costs before profit.
There are plenty of non-profit making collectives in Europe which do a sterling job of equipping sport climbing venues on a voluntary basis. Many use guidebooks to raise funds. It is obviously in the interest of commercial guidebook publishers to try to discredit these initiatives.
> It is obviously in the interest of commercial guidebook publishers to try to discredit these initiatives.
Utter nonsense and totally at odds to everything I have said here and many times in the past. No-one is trying to discredit anyone. People who complete a guidebook deserve admiration and I applaud all efforts. We never discredit or try and stop anyone else making guidebooks. What a ridiculous thing to suggest!
I notice you still don't make any attempt to actually answer any of my questions which is a shame since I am genuinely interested in your thoughts.
You did say in one reply, "Every case should be considered on its individual merits and then perhaps you could come up with a sliding-scale of non-profitness!" So it appears that you do agree that there is a spectrum of commerciality amongst guidebook producers.
I'll ask one final time..
What makes a guidebook 'purely commercial'?
What do you think about the situation in South Wales with regard to the CC guide?
I agree totaly with your viewpoint. Apparently you are now sealioning, a term that i only learnt today.
> I agree totaly with your viewpoint. Apparently you are now sealioning, a term that i only learnt today.
Ha, that is interesting. I hadn't heard of that either. I wish some of the reporters on the BBC and other places would do a bit more sealioning then!
And is there an equivalent term for repeatedly side-stepping questions?
Edit - Having just read the Wikipedia page, I don't think I was actually sealioning - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealioning
> And is there an equivalent term for repeatedly side-stepping questions?
That's called being a politician.
> Apparently you are now sealioning, a term that i only learnt today.
I'm glad that's a recognised behaviour as I can now disengage! It's not like I know anything about the CC guide to South Wales anyway!!
It is obvious that you disengage because you cannot answer Alan James' questions.
In fact; I think your comments make zero sense. There is absolutely no discrediting from the new guidebook.
Sorry but it seems you have nothing to say!
and interestingly Qisheng Xie disappears... Ok..I get it. He/she throws out words without any substance or any evidence.
'Where is Aris? What has he done?'
Well....Aris& his team have opened lots of routes in Leonidio & Kyparissi.
They also contribute to bolting & rebolting.
Aris' Greece guidebook (containing 131 pages on Leo&Kyparissi - pages 228-359) was out before Panjika's first guidebook.
Aris and other greek climbers have equipped routes in Leonidio way before Panjika was around.
Kyparissi is predominantly equipped by Aris' team and Remy's.
Aris' statement is here and it is detailed (unlike Panjika's that provides no examples of their accusations):
How exactly did Aris steal topos? I think 'Qisheng Xie' means route names?
But they are publicly available in 8a.nu, thecrag.com AND also Aris and the municipality have employed a climber to go out and climb routes and collect information.
So how is that stealing?
> Sorry but it seems you have nothing to say!
You're right, I have nothing to say about the CC guide to South Wales because I know nothing about it. However, I agree that wouldn't stop a lot of people from posting something anyway!
It is strange indeed. I think it boils down to money and power. Both parties want to profit from their guides, both want a controlling interest in the climbing. These interests differ, Panjika tending towards making Leo a high grade venue for the superstars, Aris towards a mid grade venue for the masses. Not mutually exclusive though.
Aris's objective would appear to benefit the community more, as it will attract more tourists in.
Its not mutually exclusive and they should coexist. I totally respect the work Panjika has done, and I like their guidebook, but I feel exactly the same for Aris.
I am not really sure what Panjika asks in their open letter. Do they want to be the only ones that can publish a guidebook? I would definitely not agree with that.
Do they want people to boycott Aris' (and municipality's) book? I wouldn't agree with that either. Totally unsubstantiated!
Like everything in life, sometimes competition appears and there is nothing unethical that I can see in Aris+municipality work here. Unless Panjika is prepared to give very specific examples/cases of bad practices from Aris, in which case I will be very interested to look into!
> I am not really sure what Panjika asks in their open letter. Do they want to be the only ones that can publish a guidebook? I would definitely not agree with that.
Although that is exactly what Aris demands in Kalymnos.
I didn't want to reply anymore and everything seems to boil down to "you are speculating". Since my name has been called out I will provide some more information - this is based on what I've learned from speaking to Panjika people directly, and to a few locals here in Leonidio.
I will say that first of all I've never met Aris. I have some inherent animosity towards him given years ago when I was a frequent visitor to Kalymnos a few locals had some bad things to say about him, some themes of which are repeated by Panjika. The name has been stuck with me ever since. I recognise that is perhaps a rumour reinforcing an opinion. In meeting people who run Panijka my personal view is that they may not be all Greek (not that I see climbing nationalism being an argument one way or another), they are genuine people who are passionate about climbing and sustainable development.
So on some of what I've said:
-Stealing topos, I understand that Panjika did reach out to work with Aris initially, but was told that unless Aris had absolute control over route development, local grants, accreditation and publication rights, he is unwilling to work with others. Sometime later Panjika reached out to Aris again to see if he was working on a guidebook for Leonidio and was told no. Then when Aris' Leonidio guidebook came out it seemed that development information (new routes, sectors) held by Panjika in anticipation for their new version of the guidebook was lifted straight into Aris' guidebook. Panjika suspects Aris had planted a friend in the co-operative to steal this information.
-Non-profit, of course all non-profit groups including charity has to pay their own staff. Non-profit in my mind doesn't equate to non-revenue. Panjika is a local co-operative with founding members who are local Leonidians, the aim as I understand and is stated in their publication is to re-direct all profit back to the sustainable development of the local area. I am a newbie to Leonidio but I see the benefit of their work, and I invite you to visit Leonidio to see for yourself. From everything to how the sectors are developed, to local attitudes toward climbers. It is not overly commercialised (a point made in their own publication), it is safe, and most of all it is sustainable (e.g. again raised by Panjika, that increased traffic of climbers in recent years is making local people homeless as rents increase).
-Who is Aris and what has he done, even Aris' own post on ClimbGreece suggests he bolted 100 routes in Leonidio with a team (which per ClimbGreece's own post was done in 2020, read from that what you will). Not that I care particularly about how many routes people have bolted as an indicator of their involvement in the community. To be clear I don't hold that against him nor Panjika. What I did learn is that Aris is unwilling to work with the co-operative, even though they are based here locally, why? Perhaps they aren't Greek. Aris also disagreed with Panjika's approach? Why? Seems like it isn't commercial enough. Both points are stated in ClimbGreece's post. What's more is that Aris lobbied specific individuals in the business club (he didn't get the endorsement of the local business club) and the municipality, to be given the development grant, so he alone can use those funds for bolting, on the promise that he will develop climbs that will accelerate tourism because Panjika has been too slow producing the tourists and associated income. If you agree with this approach then let's get Aris to come and bolt Stanage.
Finally my view, as a newbie to Leonidio I shouldn't be jumping in so eagerly to this argument. But having been to different crags in different parts of the world I've found Leonidio to be wonderful, everything a climber could wish for. Not that it has the best climbs, or the best facility, but the best community. I credit this to Panjika, again not because they are Greek, not because they bolted all of the 1,000+ routes here, but because they care about Leonidio, and if you speak to them or pick up their guidebook you see that passion. I don't care about exclusivity, but I dislike underhanded tactics and care about sustainability.
I am always open to the other side of any discussion, and I've PM'd people on this specific topic to understand Aris' point of view. So far I've learned that this is exactly why Aris feels that he has the right to publish this guidebook, because Panjika's work is not translating into enough profit. I disagree with this approach and this is why I am boycotting Aris.
I think the case Panjika-Aris & Aris-Rockfax have similarities but also differences.
In the case of Kalymnos; the area has been developed predominantly by Aris and hence I understand his case more (feeling unhappy and that his guide has been copied to some degree).
However; I do think we live in a free world and that Rockfax is free to collect info and create a guide and hopefully this promotes healthy competition! I also think the 2 guides are of similar quality. For the case of Leonidio, my personal opinion is that Aris' guide is way better. But that's my opinion of course and I do not think that Panjika's guide is rubbish. It has a different philosophy (which is great!) but has very interior photos and panoramas.
I read above about the 'changing names or routes' topic in Kalymnos. That is an antic I do not endorse!
Regarding what Aris is demanding in Kalymnos though; I have not read any 'open letter' or statement from Aris demanding a boycott of Rockfax. Of course, there might exist one (I do not know) - can you please post it here if such a thing exists?
The ironic thing with this whole issue is that Aris has seemingly done to pankia, what Rockfax was called out for doing to him in Kalymnos. It’s hard to have sympathy for Aris when this is almost a repeat of what happened before, except this time Aris was calling rockfax our for stealing information. Its a repeat story even down to route names being changed (Theos). One thing I did recently learn that surprises me is that a lot of the bolting Aris has done in leonidio has been payed for, not only in terms of the bolts but paying him for a days work.
Thanks for taking the time to respond! However; you are laying out a lot of inaccurate information as well as vague and illogical claims. I will take it one by one. As a small side note I would like to add that I am happy that Panjika exists and is one out of many functions that are responsible for developing Leonidio and I do not care what nationality the people are. Happy with all nationalities
You say that Panjika has developed ALL of the 1000+ routes. Untrue.
A few numbers on routes:
Remy brothers ~550 routes, AOS project (from Athens) ~320 routes, visiting climbers non related to Panjika ~500routes, Aris& his team ~400 routes (Leo&Kyparissi), Panjika and team ~420-700 routes (number varies on the source)
As far as I understand the project 'new guidebook' was run to some degree by the municipality (see climb Leonidio page on FB = municipality). They appointed Aris for the guidebook and as Panjika is saying when asked to work together, it became apparent that they were asked to work 'for' Aris instead of 'with' Aris.
All I have to say for this is that it NEVER works to work together. Simple rules of project management and life. Of course, I totally understand Panjika not wanting to work for Aris! I may have felt the same in their shoes. The municipality chose Aris for better or worse, but his guidebook is just better. Fullstop.
Non-profit. Great! But the people are doing their climbing holidays developing Leonidio, so they are funding their life there. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it needs to be taken into account. Why are we demonizing 'profit'? Should people not get paid fairly for their work? Why is the Aris&municipality guidebook not promoting sustainability? Why is it a commercial approach? And why is Panjika the opposite? All these words have been thrown but what examples? I really don't understand! Have you read Aris' statement? It is very specific with numbers and examples. Unlike Panjika's that throws nice buzzwords like sustainability.
Stealing topos: 'Aris said he was not working on a guidebook, when he actually was'. That sounds a bit funny. First of all, you say that Panjika didn't want to work for Aris on the new guidebook (so already that proves that he works on a guidebook and he does not need to deny or acknowledge) but even if he did - he has no obligation to give info to anyone about the progress of his book!
'Then when Aris' Leonidio guidebook came out it seemed that development information (new routes, sectors) held by Panjika in anticipation for their new version of the guidebook was lifted straight into Aris' guidebook. Panjika suspects Aris had planted a friend in the co-operative to steal this information.': Hmmm...suspects..have you read Panjika's statement? 'it is not our intention to claim ownership'..but they do??
Let's put some things straight: New sectors / routes (as long as they are on public land - which is the case for all of Leonidio crags) can stay private/closed ONLY for a couple of weeks and only while they are been developed and not finished and so unsafe to be climbed. As long as they are completed anyone can go. Are you suggesting that Panjika has the right to keep these private for the one year or more that it will take to have their new guidebook out?
That is nonsense!
The municipality has employed a climber to go out and try out new lines, and collect information for the new guide. Are you suggesting this is wrong? If yes, how so?
'Aris feels that he has the right to publish this guidebook because Panjika's work is not translating into enough profit': That's the funniest thing I have heard...no sane person would ever say that. Why would Aris care about Panjika's profitability? If you have any proof that this has been stated, please share it.
In the end, I have seen defaming comments and swearing towards Aris on various online platforms by members of Panjika. I have also been told about members of the new guidebook-team that were harassed verbally and by messages. I have seen these messages with my eyes (some messages have now been deleted out of fear that Aris will sue them for defamation but screenshots exist). Aris also posted very very inappropriate language comments he received on facebook 'like: die you facist etc etc..'
I have to say I have nothing against Panjika and I used to like their work! But after seeing the swearing, harassment, and failure to provide specific examples as to why Aris is the 'demon' here, they have fallen really low in my eyes.
What happened in Theos?
And why is it wrong to get paid for one's work? (provided it is a reasonable amount)
Reads just as though behind the scenes both have suffered shortfalls in guidebook sales as a result of Covid impacting on overseas visitsors which drive the sales.
Hi Adam, can I just clarify. I didn't say Panjika bolted all of the routes, I said I don't care how many routes people have bolted, and I credit the community to Panjika not because of their nationality or whether they did bolt or not bolt all of the routes.
On guidebook, my personal take is that Panjika did not want to work with Aris mostly because of his attitude and their disagreement over sustainable development. I don't mind working for Aris to develop a guidebook either, but what if he is asking for money from Derbyshire council to bolt Stanage, and he has the support of the council as this will bring in money? I am not trying to be uppity about who can or cannot come to climb so if you think this is the right course of action then we can respectfully agree to disagree.
On stealing topos, let me be clear about what I learned. Aris originally wanted to work on a Leonidio guidebook, following a disagreement with Panjika and others he dropped the project. Panjika later learned from other sources that Aris is restarting this work and checked in with him again, was told no he is not doing it. Then the book came out and it became clear he lifted information from Panjika. I agree that topos information should be available for all, but I dislike this underhanded tactic and I do think there is some value to the collation work Panjika has done. This also reinforces my perception of Aris' commercial-minded climbing philosophy, which I fundamentally disagree with.
On profitability, I am referring to the profit the municipality makes from tourism. I fully agree with you on open information and open access for climbing, what I don't agree with is the way Aris is going about this. How can he claim to be supporting the local cause, when the local climbers' collective disagrees with his approach and what he is doing has divided the locals between the camp of wanting a sustainable development versus the money-grabbers? So what if the municipality is paying him, do we as climbers agree with everything the government has to say out how access is developed? Isn't this why we have the BMC in the UK?
Panjika people are angry, hell I am not even a local here and I am angry. Why? Because of how great Leonidio is, because I don't want capitalism to taint this community, I don't want climbing to be a profit making game, I don't want the locals to see us climbers as ATMs rather than people to be welcomed. Maybe this is the utopian in me and if you disagree then let's just leave it there.
> In the case of Kalymnos; the area has been developed predominantly by Aris and hence I understand his case more (feeling unhappy and that his guide has been copied to some degree).
This is where we most object though. No evidence of copying has ever been produced despite requests. Furthermore, our guidebook work to Kalymnos began in 2002 with a PDF guidebook, before Aris' first book, and we updated it regularly ever since. It was in fact just a convenient rumour/untruth that Aris spread so effectively that people believe it without question. In fact, the differences in the information between the books are numerous and distinct with ours being much closer to the route information gained from UKC Logbook - a public resource, available for everyone, used by many and yet it only exists because of Rockfax.
> Regarding what Aris is demanding in Kalymnos though; I have not read any 'open letter' or statement from Aris demanding a boycott of Rockfax. Of course, there might exist one (I do not know) - can you please post it here if such a thing exists?
I have only heard this anecdotally and can't recall seeing one. There might be a buried Facebook comment or something on the ClimbGreece web site.
We have had very positive feedback from a number of locals running businesses and we have been able to support the bolting through the Glaros Bar bolt fund run by Steve McDonnell.
> Reads just as though behind the scenes both have suffered shortfalls in guidebook sales as a result of Covid impacting on overseas visitsors which drive the sales.
In the grand scheme of things, guidebook sales are small beer for all parties here. There will definitely have been a shortfall in visitors in 2020, but sales of guidebooks are probably the least of their worries since the stock is still there to sell another day unlike the other visiting-climber money that was missed.
Yes you DID say that Panjika bolted ALL the routes. Here I paste your words 'I credit this to Panjika, again not because they are Greek, not because they bolted all of the 1,000+ routes here, but because they care about Leonidio,'
You are just not replying to the questions!
I have to keep repeating myself...What SPECIFIC things has Aris done that are not promoting sustainability? What makes Panjika's views sustainable?
I need specific examples! Otherwise these are just vague buzzwords!
I do not disagree with you on sustainability. I want sustainability too! Aris probably likes sustainability too. Can you elaborate why his ideas are unsustainable? Just saying they are, isn't enough sorry!
'Then the book came out and it became clear he lifted information from Panjika.': How? What information? Information is available on 8a.nu, thecrag.com, also they employed an experienced climber to climb routes for 6 months and collect info. So how exactly information was lifted?
'On profitability, I am referring to the profit the municipality makes from tourism. ' What's wrong with that? If climbers come, someone will benefit. Restaurants, climbing shops, PANJIKA (cough, cough) airbnbs.. Nothing wrong with that.
As you are saying this I have heard rumours that members of Panjika are making a lot of money from renting out aribnbs to friends. I don't see you mentioning that. Whihc btw I see nothing wrong with. Also Panjika received 32,000 Euros of initial money from governmental funds. They also pay salaries to their members. Isn't that the same as Aris being paid for his work? I see nothing wrong with either..
I hear you are angry, but you FAIL to demonstrate even a single of your points with any concrete example. Very poor arguments Qisheng Xie. It's not that we disagree - it's that you cannot substantiate anything you say.
Ok - let me make it clear: I think Rockfax has every right to make a guidebook about Kalymnos and I do not know (or have any reason to believe) they copied anything.
I think it creates healthy competition and it's totally fine.
I am happy about the positive feedback about rebolting.
Regarding though spreading rumours, what I have to say is that there is a difference 'feeling unhappy & say to your friends: they copied my book' and actually making written public statements to multiple digital platforms. I don't really know how much rumour Aris was able to spread but I am surely against spreading such rumours as well as the 'changing names to routes' which is a dangerous game.
And one final thing that you seem to ignore.
One of Panjika's members and 2 other (supporters) have used very very bad swear words and harassed Aris and the other climber employee of the municipality, and they even implied that they would beat them up if it was in their home countries and not Greece.
Even if there is some right to Panjika's claims (which there isn't!) I have zero sympathy and tolerance for such aggressive and harassing behaviour. Unacceptable!
Let me be clear, what I meant was I don't care whether Panjika is Greek or not, or whether they bolted any routes or not. I care because they care about Leonidio. Hopefully that's clear enough and we can put this one to bed.
A few specific examples, again based on what I've been told:
-Aris is using the funding he received to deliberately bolt lines with non-erosion resistant bolts, the plan is that in a few years time when these need to be rebolted he can then secure more funding for rebolting. This is despite Panjika reaching out to him to ask that he bolt using better quality equipment.
-Aris is using the money to grid bolt, this is not something I understood previously either, but what I learned is simply spraying bolts (this is also the same complaint I heard at Kalymnos against Aris) in a tight line by line fashion at a sector encourages faster erosion of the rock and the base. This is also thoughtless from a simple climbing perspective, but the latter is of course a more aethestic discussion.
-Aris is using the money to purely develop easy sectors. The goal is to make Leonidio more of a destination for a bigger audience. This seems to be a point that you don't care about either way as more money more profit more climbers more of everything. My view is this is not sustainable and in Panjika's publication, they highlighted the need to slow down development so local infrastructure can catch up.
So what is Panjika doing? For one thing, since I visited I noticed they are running a climbing school for locals, including children. I think this is one of the reasons why the locals are not suspicious of climbers but are friendly towards us.
On lifting information, I understand Aris straight took topo that's not available anywhere in the public domain into his guidebook. There is a lasting memorial of this in Theo's Cave.
To be honest, your response is why I didn't want to post anymore on this topic. Because everything either side is saying can simply be overturned as "but that's just a rumour". I have no way of verifying whether your claims on Panjika is true, and you can't mine. This discussion is descending quickly into a citation needed inquisition.
I stated openly that the reason I have an inherent animosity towards Aris is because of similar accusations around accreditation, badly thought out bolting, lack of local engagement, even naming and grading routes without having climbed them, from locals in Kalymnos. I also PM'd people who said they knew Aris and conversed with them privately, and they flagged similar things in the conversation, that Aris' team's bolting at certain sectors in Leonidio is highly questionable.
David Hume said extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I recognise the deficiency in my opinion, but equally I don't think I can substantiate it more without becoming a private detective.
Last word and I will bow out, because I think there is a fundamental philosophical viewpoint on climbing that is one of the root cause of this disagreement, between Aris and Panjika, and between the two camps on this forum. And that is commercialisation of climbing. I don't want climbers to be the products, and to some that is me being a snob.
I love climbing, but I don't want everyone in the world to be converted and descend on places like Leonidio. To those that wish that in the name of more climbers = more money = more of everything, I respectfully disagree with your view.
Do you not find it interesting that "Adam1990" just registered on ukc on 11/01/2021 with a very blank profile.
One other thing is that I have found a lot of Aris’s crags to be pretty poor in terms of bolting. For example the hideout/balogeri right by the sea (literally 100m) which is bolted the season before last (?) is already showing signs of corrosion. Corrosion due to harsh environments is now a mainstream concept because of the anchor failures in Thailand 10 years ago. In 99% sure they are not marine grade bolts and despite the fact the routes are brand new the bolts are already looking rusty. This cheap short term bolting is such a problem here in Greece that we have met some people who had been climbing near Patras at the crag near the sea there, and despite it being fairly recently rebolted with 10mm expansion bolts, they managed to shear a bolt with not much more than body weight! What’s even scarier is the bolt looked absolutely fine from the outside.
when panjika talk about unsustainable tourism or ethics and mass market climbing appeal, they are not being elitist, they are specifically talking about this problem of grid bolting (love ledge perfect example!!!) and the use of poor materials. I don’t know if the municipality pay Aris per route or per day, but it seems like either way the objective is to throw up as many lines as possible because unsurprisingly the council probably think quantity is the most important aspect.
Whilst many of the remys routes are really good, there is definitely a trend towards grid bolting, over grading, and using materials. Whilst panjika may not have bolted half as many lines as aris/municipality (they are not getting payed whatsoever) all of the routes are good and thoughtful, and I haven’t noticed the use of poor quality steel.
This entire debate is basically a non starter, because in 6 months time no one is going to be talking about this. Because in all likeliness, panjika will release their new guide in the 2021 season, and because this will be the most up to date and comprehensive guidebook for the area. This will undoubtedly be what everybody will buy as it doesn’t matter who they support, everyone wants the newest guide!
whilst the current panjika guide is not perfect in my opinion, they do do a lot for the area. When we arrived we went to the shop with 40 euros just in case, and were shocked to find the book was only 20 buck! Absolute bargain!
If you look on Panjika's FB page you will see more discussion of this. I was also extremely put off by the abusive tone of one of the panjikas (not even self identified as a panjika) in response to the announcement of Aris's guidebook. Anyway, ignoring that, I posed several questions to them which they have promised answers to. In particular, since they brought it up, and if they want to continue talking about finances, I think they should be more transparent. Statements above like "All the proceeds from the Panjika guides go back into bolts and anchors too" are obviously false, but are being repeated as if they are true. Since they brought up employing people, they should say who and how they selected these positions. I'm sure a lot of people would want those positions -- are these spoils of guidebook sales just for their friends? As mentioned above: the new guide goes above and beyond route names (which can be found in any number of places ... including painted on the rock in some places). Panjika made the decision not to include ratings or descriptions which some people might prefer, but I don't think they can complain about someone who has added them.
What is kinda new in this thread though is the discussion of bolting quality, bolt material quality and the motivation for opening routes. I don't see how anyone here can pretend to know Aris' motivations. Furthermore, I think that it is extremely uncharitable to assume the worst of someone who has found so many new crags and bolted so many nice lines. You brought up Kalymnos -- look through your ticklist, and then look up who was involved in finding the crag, building the trails and cleaning/bolting the routes. I think you will see Aris's name there more than a few times, and on routes that you and many others have enjoyed.
Bolt quality: my understanding is that in the past, sourcing bolts has been problematic -- maybe because of import duties? Recently, though, I saw a post about using Greek made (Lappas) 316L, Ti glue ins and now Ti expansions, so I think there is hope for that. I also seem to remember seeing a post about using some UK sourced Ti glue ins for Sikati.
First of all reproducing rumours that you have not verified is fake news - sorry!
I am not Aris' friend! As soon as I have specific examples from Panjika (or whoever) that are proving the claims, I will be very happy to form an appropriate opinion (against the practices of Aris' if this is proven). And it can be easily proven. But until then I need examples.
Once again you fail to provide examples. I'll respond one last time to one by one fo your claims.
1) '-Aris is using the funding he received to deliberately bolt lines with non-erosion resistant bolts' - Not true - I inquired Aris today about this (and this is the first time I talk to him) and he said he uses on Raumer marine botls in all Leonidio & Kyparissi.
On the contrary (and I have seen this numerous times) Panjika has used FIXE bolts that are known to be some of the worst. In Kalymnos, Simon told me they last 1 year. One!
Yes in Kalymnos there have been some bolts that have been used that proved to not be ideal, and this has now changed! Aris has already started also using titanium bolts by Peter Lappas that are probably the best for the purpose.
2) 'Aris is using the money to grid bolt' - WHERE??? I would like to go check it. I have climbed over 300 routes in Leonidio and the places that come close to grid bolting are Mars, Elona, maybe Theos. They are all developed/equipped by Panjika and others. Not Aris! So can you give examples please?
Kalymnos is sprayed bolted. Nonsense. I have spent 3 summers there and I have seen how more and more lines are put up. Its the nature of things. Its not a 'home' crag - these are places that with years there will be more lines once all sectors are exhausted and when they become very popular more lines are needed. I personally don't like too many lines close to each other but this is something that after many years of development naturally happens.
Has Panjika not grid bolted in Elona, Mars??
3) 'Aris is using the money to purely develop easy sectors'. Maybe he has done this Kalymnos yes. But if there are hard routes only, why is it bad to bolt easier routes too?
Don't get me wrong I am by no means a strong climber - I climb 8a - and I am also highly introverted and I prefer to be alone with my partner or a couple of more people in a crag. But I do not feel entitled to 'keep the crag secret' or to be against easier routes (so weak climbers don't come)!
It seems that Panjika (Berndt) on their 8a.nu post (now deleted because of inappropriate language) phrased that he wants Leonidio to be bolted in an 'airy way' and hard routes to avoid tourism. Why? Why do we have to keep it for the strong dudes?
Something like that can be ok in a 'home' crag but not in an international climbing place. Sorry I disagree with this. Its elitist!
4) 'climbing school for locals' - great! I like that. I think they did it once. Nothing spectacular, but good. The municipality also does lessons.
Again - I like that Panjika has done a lot of good work in Leonidio. What I don't like is that they are not providing any specifics for their accusations and that they are using swearwords, harassment and inappropriate words and their elitist approach as to how things 'should be done'.
I also think their guidebook is good but worse than the new one. Jim Thornburg, Klemen Becan and other international climbing forces have endorsed Aris' guidebook after reading about everything.
And last but not least; I have all the screenshots of inappropriate language. Do you want them on your email? I guess not, because you are wearing a t-shirt and you are not interested in real facts. Just buzzwords without evidence.
What's interesting about it? I am not a UKC member, but I wanted to comment to put some things straight and stop the 'fake news' spreading.
How many years do I need to be a UKC member to have the right to post?
Please let me know!
Rachel, Aris used Raumer Marine in Balogeri / hideout. These are the best bolts except titanium. If some show signs or corrosion it will be taken into account and (in alight also of the upcoming UIAA guidelines) sectors close to the sea may be bolted with titanium only - perhaps titanium cut by laser.
Its easy to criticize when you don't have to manage a complex project of securing funds, managing budgets, finding appropriate people to bolt etc. But I can assure you Aris has no intention to go back to bolt these lines.
I have spent 3 seasons in Kalymnos and the first crag that comes to mind that has bolt corrosion issues is secret garden. I friend of mine mentioned to Aris and he gave us a few bolts and we did some maintenance on our own time. He also mentioned that they will be putting also titanium bolts going forward. I really doubt that its in Aris' interest to have a bad reputation with corroded bolts and accidents! Really.
Re: grid bolting I do not know 'love ledge' but I will check it out. The places I saw something looking like grid bolting is Mars, and Elona. Both of which have been developed mainly by Panjika.
Re; Remy's routes. Remy's work neither 'for' nor 'with' Aris. In fact they work completely on their own and have different ideas about how things should be done. They are a standalone developing team.
Great that you like Panjika's book! I like it too. People should buy whatever they like!
I also posted these questions below to Panjika both in emails and comments.
I haven't received any answers...they have said they will reply in the future. Let's see. Don't you think these questions are important?
I have read both your post as well as Aris’. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.
First of all, I would like to say that I agree with the values that you mention about a sustainable and healthy climbing development of a place.
Reading your post/statement though I find it very generic and leaves the reader with a number of questions:
1. You mentioned grid bolting, chipping, grade inflation, non-quality bolting etc. Has Aris’ team done any of that? If so, can you please provide some specific examples? I would like to go climb those routes and check them out in the future.
2. Aris claims in his statement on his website: “…The cooperative is small group of mostly climbers. Only a few of its members are local; the rest are mainly climbers from Germany and Austria who moved to Leonidio around 2014/2015. These individuals created a Limited Liability Civil Cooperative in 2015, which received € 32,064.98 from government funds, or public money, according to public records from the Ministry of Rural Development and Food…”
Is this true? Did Panjika receive 32,000 euros of funding?
3. Aris also claims in his statement that he and his team have bolted ~400 routes, Remy brothers have bolted 550 routes, AOS 320 routes, random international climbers 500 routes, Panjika & team 420 routes.
Are these numbers reasonably accurate?
4. You also mention that Aris has promised only 20,000 euros in investment to the routes despite the financial support he received from the municipality. Can you elaborate on what financial support he received from the municipality and also if he promised only 20,000?
I have read before in his guidebooks that a percentage of the proceeds goes to re-bolting, and a ‘percentage’ is a variable amount. It would be good to know exactly what has been promised.
5. I am also not clear on who owns the new guidebook by Aris. Is a percentage owned by the municipality and a percentage by Aris? Or is it owned by Aris in its entirety?
6. I read that you have had trouble communicating with the municipality and that you do not share the same values. This comes as no surprise because I know that municipalities and ‘public sector functions’ in Greece are very inefficient and old-fashioned, to say the least.
However; and aside from the difference in opinions on who should lead the new guidebook (you work ‘with’ Aris or ‘for’ Aris); can you give some specific examples of what the municipality has done that constitutes bad practices/ethics for a sustainable climbing development?
Also, do you think that there could be a language barrier with the municipality and it may be easier for them to work with Greeks?
7. Finally; you say that the new guidebook ‘creates an atmosphere of unhealthy competition’. Why is that unhealthy? (As I understand the two guidebooks have a different style. Panjika’s has the philosophy of ‘no ratings’, ‘no descriptions’ of routes – so the climber discovers everything; while Aris’/Municipality’s book gives a lot of descriptions and ratings which is perhaps more fitting to a family that comes climbing with their kids or just a more novice/other types of climbers)
Thank you for your time and I really hope all the issues are resolved in a good way that benefits the good development of Leonidio, while the community stays versatile and happy.
Mars elona and Theos In my opinion are up there with the best crags in leonidio. The routes follow logical lines up pockets and tufas, granted there’s not much space between the lines. But that’s because every one to two metres you’ve got independent tufa and a potenial line. The left end of mars is nowhere near a packed in, because it isn’t as featured and there aren’t so many logical lines there.
the worst: sabaton, love ledge, red rock rock, and that whole area near red rock and hospital (orama, ? These are all Aris crags, and if you go to these crags you’re within clipping distance of routes next to you, and sometimes even the chains are in touching distance! Grid bolting is getting a bolt in every 2m up and 2m across, they don’t follow logical lines. There’s so much fantastic rock in leonidio that you don’t need to bolt something that’s isn’t great, exceptional or outstanding!
. I really doubt that its in Aris' interest to have a bad reputation with corroded bolts and accidents! Really.
I absolutely agree with you here, it would only take one accident for it to cripple climbing in Greece !
Sabaton is just fine and is definitely not grid bolted!
Red rock is boring because its just very very easy lines, yes. I see the point of the lines been too many - agreed on that one!
But I know lots of beginners that enjoy it. There is nothing wrong to have some easy sectors and lines.
There is no need to be elitist!
Love ledge I really don't know - I will have a look
And yeah Mars is nice, but there are too many lines next to each other. It doesn't matter if the tufas are great, there is no way this would have happened to my local crag. Same for Elona. I like the lines but there are too many - sorry.
And by the way no - there isn't much more rock left to bolt in Leonidio. Most (if not all) accessible crags have been bolted. Most of the unbolted rock is 1hr+ approach time.
I have seen what happens to such crags in Kalymnos. They are never visited..
We will have to agree to disagree on elona and mars. Elona is maybe the best crag in leonidio, and it’s fortunate that it is packed with quality routes!
Maybe the Raumers are marine grade in which case i apologise, I’m not familiar with these bolts and I couldn’t see marine or 316 stamped on them anywhere.
ive got nothing against Aris, I had a lot of sympathy for him when Rockfax released their book although I lost a lot of respect for him when he changed all the route names, and now releasing a book for leonidio seems massively two faced to me when there is already a good, complete, local guidebook coming in to its third edition.
This isn’t really my argument. I don’t have an axe to grind or a side to pick. I can see why panjika are a bit upset though. Like I said I’m sure they’ll get over it when their new guide comes out. I think Leonidio is an amazing place and luckily the so called politics that seem to be lurking beneath the surface here are basically only to do with panjika and Aris, and now his guide is out everyone can put it behind them.
leonidio might be bolted out (there is A LOT of rock there?!) but the gorge at balogeri looks like a lifetime of untouched climbing! I agree theres no use bolting crags that aren’t accessible (unless you want to do the routes) because they just won’t see any traffic. Mega place though.
Elona is indeed the best crag.
It’s borderline ok in terms of density - all i am saying is that I can’t say it’s ok to have x density here but it isn’t ok at another crag because the lines are 5c’s.
For me Mars is a bit too packed in the tufas area. I wouldn’t want that in my home crag, but as a visitor in Leonidio (and given the crowds of Mars) I enjoy it.
So yeah I agree they are both great.
In Theos, Panjika actually swapped route names to render Aris’ book wrong! I know this will evoke comments about Kaly. But just saying.
Agreed on all points!
yeah Leonidio is amazing! The rock is a bit soft but it has it all! Conglomerate, tufas, pockets. Awesome!
I hope this ‘war’ stops, the parties (municipality, Panj, Aris) all talk with each other and find a way to coexist and cooperate! 🤞
Yeah I saw that. Shame. Like I said, I can see why they’re upset. I also think they should have taken the higher road and let it go but there you are. I think they did it to highlight the fact Aris had taken the names from the panjika book. They weren’t on the rock. Now they are, and one is something like ‘stolen guidebook name’ or similar. Ah well
Names of routes surely aren’t private info! Are they?
Pictures, descriptions are subject to copyright yes, but names aren’t. Panjika state ‘it is not our intention to claim ownership’ but then they say ‘information taken unethically’. I think that’s conflicting and misleading.
Adam (whoever you are), that is utterly wrong.
I have no wish to get involved here, having been through all of the Kalymnos saga, but I just want to reply to the comment re route name changes at Theos.
Names of routes bolted (by Panjika) were written up as new routes in the Panjika guide book in the cafe. Nowhere else, and not at the crag until very recently.
Changing route names at published crags is so dangerous, so stupid, and so utterly counterproductive, it makes you wonder why anyone would do it...
> Maybe the Raumers are marine grade ...
They sure are
> Re Theos.
> Nowhere else, and not at the crag until very recently.
Rocky Ericksen (sp?): one of the new 7b's to the left of Zeus was on 8a.nu at least a year ago. https://www.8a.nu/crags/sportclimbing/greece/leonidio/sectors/theos-cave/routes/roky-erickson
Rainmen too. I think it's safe to say that as soon as a route is finished and climbed, someone is going to log it on thecrag, on 8a or post a photo with name and maybe grade on IG. I don't think route names can (or should) be kept secret.
> I don't think route names can (or should) be kept secret.
There is no copyright over route names. There is a popular misconception amongst some guidebook writers that routes with spelling mistakes appearing in other publications, which is evidence of copying, is not a breach of copyright.
There is database copyright which could have some impact here although it is extremely unlikely since, as you say, as soon as it is logged somewhere else then the original database becomes a non-exclusive source.
OK. To be fair, anybody could have put them on line after checking the book in the cafe. For clarity, nobody from Panjika had written the names up at the crag until the last few days (AFAIK).
I myself am regularly climbing other peoples new routes and adding them to the UKC database, just so I can get the tick on my log book So I guess any climber could add them to 8a, or wherever.
exactly! That's what I'm saying. Route names do not and IMO should not stay secret, so accusations of subterfuge in obtaining them are unjustified.
Alan: I wasn't specifically talking about Copyright -- just about the (lack of) secrecy of route names. It makes sense that route names are not copyrightable though, but descriptions are, as per your earlier comments.
That's right! It's dangerous and stupid. I agree.
This time Panjika did what Rockfax is saying about Claude Idoux and Aris in Kaly 2018 (for which I do not know the specifics, but I read some in this thread by Alan)
Both cases are wrong by the same token.
In Theos case - names were swapped around by Panjika after the new guidebook was out as I understand it.
And there is a bunch of 2020 bolted routes that Panjika intentionally did not give any name so the new guidebook isn't 'complete'. In Aris' guidebook these are displayed as 'No name 24', 'No Name 25', etc. I climbed some of these routes and it's childish that they have no name as I can not log them to my diary and to 8a.nu, unlike any other new route.
And NO, route names do not carry any copyright! Absolutely no!
Statements like 'they copied our route names' are nothing more than a joke.
OK, last post on this from me.... We go round and round in circles!
A friend of mine told me that Erickson and Rainman are still at Theos, they have not been changed!
The new route names there have only just been added to the crag and those names have 'somehow' found their way into print.
Adam, I think you're a fake. So let us know who you really are. It's very easy to say what you like when you hide under a false name on a forum. Coward.
Manou, I hope this helps clear things up a little. Enjoy Leo
OK, that's it. Again, I have no allegiance to any guide, I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers or piss anybody off in particular, had enough of that 2 years ago in Kalymnos. I just wanted to point out the massive irony and double standards in play here.
Mike - Out.
Mike - what we have here is a failure to communicate! I never said there was any changing of names. I was pointing out that route names can be determined without too much difficulty and that their appearance in a guide does not imply they were stolen. No more, no less. I haven't heard anything about changing names in Leonidio and I agree that no matter where it happens, that it is outrageous and unacceptable.
As far as Adam's identity goes; it's perhaps easy for me to say, since we seem to have similar positions, but whether that's a pseudonym or not isn't really relevant, is it? Are his points and questions valid?
p.s I'm in rainy Grenoble, not sunny leo, unfortunately!
I am a fake because? my opinion (based on facts) does not please you?
Nobody is going round and round in circles besides perhaps you, in your head.
What double standards? Nonsense!
I said that I condemn changing names of routes in Kalymnos (Claude Idoux+Aris) and by the same token I condemn changing names of routes in Theos cave (Panjika).
I didn't say that Erickson and Rainman are not in Theos. I said that names were put in different places within the same crag to confuse things. This is swapping around. For example: 'Xibalba' was originally on the right (next to 'Secret pink flamingos soc.') and in the newly released PDF, it is placed on the left of the crag (next to 'mise en place'). And honestly, when I went to Theos (around Xmas days) I was very confused with a lot of lines and left early. Of course, I would be very confused if I had a Rockfax guide in Kalymnos at a similar instance.
What double standards exactly are you talking about?
Yes! I am a coward and I am ok with it, Mike! When Panjika people/friends threaten to beat up people, use highly abusive language && I have heard stories of people been criticized at crags for carrying Aris' guidebook, it leaves me without a choice!
Did I use any abusive language?
I am just stating the obvious. I have proof for whatever I say (unlike other people in this thread) - happy to share it in emails if you wish. Would you be interested in that or is it cowardly behavior?
When Panjika people/friends threaten to beat up people, use highly abusive language && I have heard stories of people been criticized at crags for carrying Aris' guidebook, it leaves me without a choice!
Come on?! You can’t honestly be serious. Since I’ve only met a few of ‘them’ I can’t speak for the whole cooperative + all of their friends but I don’t believe for a second that any of them go around threatening to beat anyone up, especially not for having Aris’ book (which plenty of people have, either the 2017 Greece or the new leonidio book). I just don’t see it.
Maybe if someone had done something personally to antagonise a someone specifically, you could upset each other but that’s a totally separate (personal?) issue that would have nothing to do with the climbing scene in leonidio. If for example I went mental at one of them at the crag, shouting abuse etc You could probably expect some sort of retaliation.
Like mike said, this thread should be laid to rest
Adam offered proof of threats (via email) above; if you don't believe it, why not take him up on his offer?
I think he was saying that people were getting criticized at the crag for having the new guide book, not threatened.
Unlike yours 'Adam', my contact email is clearly visible in my profile.
"Diversion: a technique used to distract focus or divert attention away from key issues, usually by intensifying unrelated issues, or trivial factors. Diversion techniques include attacks on the personality and past of opposition figures rather than their relevant policies, appealing to the emotions – fears, hopes, desires – of the public rather than their reason, directing attention to the short-comings of the opposition rather than to one’s own weaknesses, evasion of difficult topics, emphasis on superficialities or details rather than substance, and finally, jokes or other entertainment to distract attention."
It seems that UKC IT system auto-banned me. Maybe thanks to Mike Reed calling me fake.
Thanks to Paul from UKC for restoring my access.
I also would like to thank @AlanJames from Rockfax for sharing a lot of valuable info with me regarding Kalymnos. It surely reinforces my view on Kalymnos and that I am completely against the changing of route names there, among other things.
Thanks @mnanao for stating the obvious again. I did not say that anyone was threatened at a crag. I said criticized. There have been threats/abusive language all over the place in social media only, which is disturbing.
I am not sure why you avoid to address any of the things I say, while attacking me and calling me coward.
I repeatedly explained to you that I hold my standards and I think both cases of route name changes are dangerous and wrong. I also gave you examples about Theos cave. Did you check them?
I said that Statements like 'they copied our route names' are nothing more than a joke. That one seem to annoy you? Why? Did I offend your Panjika religion?
Secondly; I have every right to protect my privacy when there is abusive/threatening language around. I absolutely do not owe you any my personal information.
It would be very different if I used abusive language hiding behind an unidentifiable profile. But this is clearly not the case.
I speak out of logic and evidence/proof.
My email is also available in my profile since the beginning. You just have to click ‘email user’ – Duh?!
There are a number of other users that I had very informative private exchanges with, via email, and I have already shared the evidence I am referring to with some of them.
I have higher priorities in my life Mike. I am not in any need to persuade you either way. You are entitled to your own opinion. I said that I am happy to share evidence should you wish and you email me and the offer is still available, but all you do is ignoring to address my points and try to steer the conversation in irrelevant directions.
> It seems that UKC IT system auto-banned me
Is that a thing? (more a question for UKC than you)
> My email is also available in my profile since the beginning. You just have to click ‘email user’ – Duh?!
Well, not really. In the first instance you go through a UKC proxy, which isn't the same thing as having your email address in your profile, which is what your text above seems to suggest.
If you tell us who you are and share your email address, then maybe we can chat in private.
Ok ok - so much for nothing. My email is accessible I should have said.
It's interesting that 4 users have emailed me and we have had very good and healthy offline/private exchanges but some people are still complaining about my email address!
Here it is: email@example.com
Do you fear after all my contribution to this thread that I am a robot or something??
@Mike Reed: Yes I have read every single message from Alan and Rachel. If you read too, you will see that I responded multiple times to Rachel and although we do not agree on everything, we had a healthy dialogue. With Alan, we have had a long and healthy dialogue offline as well. I thanked him for enlightening me about a number of issues in Kalymnos (which is not the topic of this thread, but important nevertheless) and I also shared some info with him re: Leonidio guide.
It is good and constructive that all opinions are heard. No doubt. I never understood why the attack from you and the so much fuss about the email address, when you can email me at a click of a button (like a number of people have done).
Well, mostly because I couldn't be arsed really. You seem super antagonistic, still publicly getting stuck in when you have my offer of an email. That's it from me fella.
> It seems that UKC IT system auto-banned me
> Is that a thing? (more a question for UKC than you)
We have several different systems to prevent spam on the site. Sometimes these are leaky and sometimes they throw up false positives. Andy got caught by one of the more ambiguous systems based on IP addresses. No-one's fault and easy to sort.
> Do you fear after all my contribution to this thread that I am a robot or something??
Never occurred to me that you might be. Just being an annoying pendant. You need a hobby in this climate, and with climbing effectively banned to me, pedantry appears to be mine these days ;-)
> Do you not find it interesting that "Adam1990" just registered on ukc on 11/01/2021 with a very blank profile.
I was wondering if he was Aris or just a veryclose friend.
The saga in Australia's Grampians continues as Parks Victoria have released a draft of their management plan for the area. If the plan is adopted, it would mean that access to roughly 80% of the existing climbing would be banned.