Have you heard the news? Leonidio is catching up with its well-deserved popularity. It seems that in the passing months scores of climbing rock stars have been there and most of them went home with raving reviews. So, it is coming to pass that Leonidio will take its rightful place in the pantheon of ultra-commercial climbing meccas. It also seems that the much-sought “sustainable development in the years of the Crisis” will finally arrive to the sleepy town in the Parnonas foothills.
And along will come the hordes.
But at the same time, I am really amazed to observe the power of aggressive advertising on collective psychology and the avalanche effect it creates on crag popularity.
Years ago I was under the illusion that climbers are special people, shaped by the contact with nature and thus more resistant to the effects of commercialization. Now I know how naive that belief was. We are all exposed to the same brain hacking as everybody else no matter how entitled we feel by the special activity we engage on. It looks to me as a spin-off of the Dunning -Kruger effect.
I also find it interesting that that the media tend to brand every new hotspot as a “climbing paradise”. Maybe its just me but the way I see it, a paradise must -by definition- carry a notion of remoteness and personal discovery. And yet in modern commercial climbing terms a place becomes a climbing paradise exactly when mass tourism stripes it of these very values.
I have to say, that although I am really looking forward to my next trip in Leonidio, I ‘d rather keep looking for my own personal paradises 🙂 .
Like that paradise we visited last Sunday. You know, one of those that never caught up with the main stream.