Rockclimbing at Meteora - one of the areas of Greece that has gained an international reputation for its outstanding rockclimbing routes in a magnificent setting - is now under threat. The national archaeological service, with the support of the church, is pushing for a law banning climbing in the area.
Thousands of climbers, both Greek and foreign visit the area every year. Aware that the area, with monasteries dating back to the Byzantine period, constitutes a crucial part of the cultural heritage of Greece, the approach of climbers is one of respect both for religious significance of the area and also for the sensitive local ecosystem.
Having heard that a presidential decree is being discussed which would lead to the partial or total banning of climbing in Meteora, we, the climbing community, want to make it clear that we will not accept any attempt to impose such a ban.
Not only is this the desire of climbers here in Greece but it is also the wish of the majority of interested parties in the local town of Kalabaka and in the area of Meteora generally, not least because the influx of climbers plays an important part in the local economy.
For these reasons we insist that rockclimbing be allowed to continue as it has done up till now. The rocks that don't lead up to monasteries in use should remain open for the sort of respectful climbing that has taken place there since the first routes were put up.
We call upon climbers both in Greece and internationally to help in the opposition to the ban by sending e-mails of protest to the following addresses: