Perhaps the starkest difference in vision of landscape is between the experience of landscape through dwelling and work and that of leisure, particularly mountaineering, although this has become an important part of the cultural heritage of the area.
Climbing routes

Helyg, a cottage in Nant y Benglog, became a bothy for the Climber’s Club in 1925 and was the base for an innovative generation of climbers in the early to mid-twentieth who established new climbing routes in the area (particularly the Glyderau) and trained for major expeditions in the Alps and Himalaya.

Pen Yr Ole Wen overlooking Glyderau mountain range and Cwm Idwal nature reserve
Local climbers

From the mid-twentieth century more local people have become involved in climbing and mountaineering. Use of the mountains has increased and a number of people born and brought up in the area have established new routes at the uppermost standard and gone on to become international mountaineers.

Llyn Ogwen in the background with Montane-heath in the foreground
Copaon Cymru

Recently, Clwb Mynydda Cymru has reclaimed the genre of mountain-writing, with its beautifully produced volume Copaon Cymru (2016) which includes six walks in the Carneddau and blends route descriptions with narratives of landscape, culture and heritage.

Red-Billed Chough in a meadow - Carneddau
Wildlife

For many people, the hardy and independent semi-feral Carneddau ponies are a fine icon of the area and its qualities. The chough is also recognised as emblematic. In the 1950s there was a category for Chough in the Dyffryn Ogwen agricultural show and that they were kept by quarrymen in the area. Childhood memories of Bilberry picking are common and there was near universal appreciation of the area’s qualities of space, nature and in the high uplands, solitude and peace.