Every now and then I like to punish my husband for no reason other than to satisfy my sadistic tendencies. If you’ve read my post, “Jack’s High Ropes Hell”, about our experience on a high ropes course, you’ll know all about his fear of heights.
Last weekend I decided to inflict upon him another form of cruel and unusual punishment and book us for a go on the zip wire recently opened in North Wales, in Bethesda quarry.
The zip wire opened in April this year, and it is officially the longest and fastest zip wire in Europe. Riding the zip wire it’s possible to reach speeds of up to 100mph and will travel 500ft in the air – scary stuff!
Jack and I went with two other couples we’re friends with; great to have a little extra pressure to make sure no-one backs out!
The scenery in and around the quarry the zip wire runs through is simply stunning, so it’s well worth taking at least a full day to explore this mountainous area of North Wales if you’re the outdoorsy type!
The zip wire is run efficiently, and the staff are exceptionally friendly. The experience starts with getting yourself kitted out in the least attractive orange suits ever designed. WARNING: they also need to get you on the scales to check your weight; something about balancing weight and resistance and making sure you don’t stop on the wire half way across. My advice: grin and bear it! It’s a lot better than being stranded 500ft over a lake!
Once you’re kitted out you take a short walk to the practice zip wire – the baby version to the beast you’ll ride later.
In all honesty, it’s not as scary an experience as you may initially think. I dragged Jack to the front of our little party because you go down on two separate lines at the same time, and I love a good competition.
The scariest part is getting into a press-up position and then letting go with your hand, totally trusting your harness will hold you!
The actual zip wire ride itself is amazing – the baby zip wire was good, but the main experience, the longest and fastest zip wire in Europe, is absolutely incredible, like nothing I’ve ever done before. It’s probably one of the closest experiences you’ll have to flying in the open air.
To access the big zip wire you’re driven to the top of the quarry, and that journey itself is an experience with all the crazy bumps and turns. Once strapped in and released on the zip wire you’ll course over the mountainous quarry until it suddenly opens up beneath you to reveal a lake far below; going over the edge of the mountains and having the lake open up below me gave me butterflies.
I’d have liked to have spread my arms like wings to evoke a sense of truly flying, but I was told in no uncertain terms not to do this, as extending your arms provides resistance that can make you slow down or even stop on your journey across the zip wire. If you’re under a certain weight – that’s UNDER A CERTAIN WEIGHT(!) – you have to keep your arms in.
All 6 of us – Jack included – thoroughly enjoyed our zip wire experience, and would certainly do it again! At £50 a pop though it’s not something you can make a weekly event, but for a one-off special treat I would definitely recommend it!