Zip World Velocity at Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda, North Wales – we finally did it!
Was it exciting? Of course it was – it was exactly how you thought it would be, an exhilarating whizz down “the fastest zip line in the world” and at 1 mile long, the longest in Europe. You must book in advance and get there before your allotted time to sign in etc. We were a group of 6 – 4 “zippers”, 1 observer plus 1 who was just 2lb over the weight limit of 19 stone (remember this is with all your clothes and boots on) so couldn’t take part. We were kitted up in red boiler suit, hard hat, goggles and harness. As you can see from the photograph, I managed to get the Silver Travel bag included in the trip though safely stowed away before zipping.
I expected the boiler suit to be padded, but it is thin nylon so you must wear warm gear underneath. The staff fit you into the harness to make sure everything is safe, then we walked up a bit of a slope to the little zipper, the first shorter zip wire across to the truck which takes you up the steep quarry to the BIG zip wire!
Basically, you lie down on the platform, they attach your harness to zip wire carrier, adjust your straps and you stretch out with your feet on the metal bar. The worst bit then is “let go of the platform now..” which leaves you just suspended while they check straps again. 3-2-1 and off you go! What a fantastic buzz!
The difficult bit is when you stop at the end and they bring the platform up to support you (still lying flat out) as they release the carrier. We were all a bit wobbly as we tried to stand up and you can see why there are weight restrictions. They record your weight on your wrist band so that they can adjust the carrier – add a small ‘sail’ to slow you down a fraction or add weights if you are very light. The heavier you are, the faster you go – on average 1 mile in around 1 minute.
We checked with the doctor before booking for my husband, explaining that there is actually no physical lifting which is what sets off his angina, so he had the go ahead and he has had no ill-effects at all, not even in the days following. If we two oldies can do it, it must be worth a try! Our friend is on a diet so we are all going again when he has lost a few pound – mind you, they are planning the same zip wire attraction in the Bahamas next year. Mmmm…