53° North. A circle of latitude that passes through some of the Northern hemisphere’s wildest and harshest frontiers. Heading East from the unforgiving North Sea it passes through Western Europe before entering Russia. Taking in lake Baikal and the Siberian freeze it travels through vast China and inner Mongolia before stretching out over the Pacific and onto the harsh Alaskan coast. After passing over the treacherous Bering Sea and across the entire width of wild Canada, it spans the Atlantic and completes its circumference right here in North Wales.
Granted, the conditions here are a tad warmer in comparison with some of the places mentioned above, with the Welsh weather usually arriving heavily watered-down courtesy of the Atlantic winds. However, when it comes to natural beauty; Snowdonia and North Wales can trade blows, toe-to-toe, with the big boys. After all, prior to the first successful summiting of Everest, it was Snowdon and the jagged slopes of the Glyderau that Sir Edmund Hilary and his team seen fit to replicate the Himalaya during their preparation back in 1953.
In an age of pizza delivery, two cars on driveways, TV talent shows, DVD box sets and unsociable working hours, its clear to see how, as a nation, we’ve become lazy. Shackled by modern life we’ve forgotten what’s important for our soul. Somewhere along the line, we have edged the great outdoors from our busy, daily lives and replaced it with things so insignificant that in years to come we wont even recall.
I once overheard a teenager explaining to his mum that he “…couldn’t think of anything worse!” when she suggested he go camping with his friends. In his short time on this planet, at what point did he decide he didn’t like it anymore?
53° North is set up to reverse this evolution of habit by showcasing every-day adventures, by every-day people and in turn inspiring and encouraging others to get outside and explore their natural surroundings. The UK and North Wales in particular are steeped with thousands of years of history and many of its relics are out there waiting to be discovered.
So have a read, get inspired and get out there to see what you can find. And remember it doesn’t matter how small the adventure is, you’re still lapping everyone who’s sat on the couch!