The Secrets of Our National Parks

We can’t forget why we need these places: our National Parks are how the world remembers itself.

Feature type Story

Read time 5 min read

Published Feb 12, 2021

Save Our Rivers
Callum Muskett on the flank of Y Garn enjoying the views across the Ogwen Valley. At this point we were about 6km from our front doorsteps. © Tom Laws

Callum Muskett on the flank of Y Garn enjoying the views across the Ogwen Valley. At this point we were about 6km from our front doorsteps. © Tom Laws

There’s a huge amount of adventuring to do in our National Parks, but that’s no secret… the secret is how good it is. Snowdonia has long been known for high quality climbing, but the adventures on offer go far beyond the crags. It has some of the best quality whitewater rivers in the UK, with standing waves, scenic floats and waterfall filled gorges; while bike tracks fall through the forests of nearly every village. This winter though, spare time and limited travel has opened up another of Snowdonia’s secrets: skiing. Free heels have been kick turning their way to Snowdonia’s powder stashes.

In the past year people have sought space and connection. Our National Parks hold onto the last bits of our wild country, and remind us of how the water should taste and the air should smell. But they are also under threat. An untapped well, being looked at with greedy eyes.

We can’t forget why we need these places: our National Parks are how the world remembers itself.

15 years ago, when Tom moved to North Wales he heard Banana Gully on Y Garn was skiable. Since then the combination of time, conditions and visibility haven’t aligned, until very recently. Fair to say it was worth the wait. © Callum Muskett

15 years ago, when Tom moved to North Wales he heard Banana Gully on Y Garn was skiable. Since then the combination of time, conditions and visibility haven’t aligned, until very recently. Fair to say it was worth the wait. © Callum Muskett

Our National Parks hold onto the last bits of our wild country, and remind us of how the water should taste and the air should smell

Skinning up through fresh snow above Ffynnon Llugwy. Days like this are a rare treat in Snowdonia. © Tom Laws

Skinning up through fresh snow above Ffynnon Llugwy. Days like this are a rare treat in Snowdonia. © Tom Laws

Milo looking back down the ridge of Pen yr Helgi Du in unbelievable sunshine. Conditions like this truly are once a decade, at best! Through the “season” (week) Milo sent all the lines we did, often with more style! © Dan Yates

Milo looking back down the ridge of Pen yr Helgi Du in unbelievable sunshine. Conditions like this truly are once a decade, at best! Through the “season” (week) Milo sent all the lines we did, often with more style! © Dan Yates

Lou embracing the Dawnie - you don’t need to wait for the sun to come up when the conditions are this good and this rare. The only limitation is how long your legs can hang on for, or how many chocolate bars you can carry to sustain you. © Barny Prees

Lou embracing the Dawnie – you don’t need to wait for the sun to come up when the conditions are this good and this rare. The only limitation is how long your legs can hang on for, or how many chocolate bars you can carry to sustain you. © Barny Prees

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