My leaving gift from my colleagues at Welsh Cycling was a ticket to the Zip Wire Velocity at Bethesda. It coins itself as being the fastest zip wire in the world and the longest one in Europe. This was a great present – way better then a bunch a flowers – so I was very much looking forward to giving it a go!
As we were up in North Wales on a family holiday and the weather was being unbelievably kind, I decided to take the opportunity to book in.
There’s a viewing area for your family and friends to watch, plus an open air cafe. You sign in and wait for your time to be called. You get suited up, have the obligatory safety talk and then get escorted up to the smaller of the two zip wires. I assume to spread out your experience (after all it’s not cheap!) and to get you used to the idea.
Here you will have your first experience of being dangled prone, released and experience the sensation of hurtling across the trees at speed to the landing zone. It’s a surreal experience as you feel like you are picking up speed towards the end and find it hard to believe that you are going to stop! It is made all the more surreal by the goggles that are compulsory to wear as they distort your vision.
Once everyone in the group had completed the small zip wire, it’s a bone-shaking truck journey up to the main zip wire, which takes about 15 minutes. At the top, it was at least 10°c colder than down at the base, so even on a fine day the wind was whipping through the issued jumpsuit as I queued on the bench for my turn. ( Be warned: if you are like me – with a sparrow-sized bladder – then stay dehydrated, as trying to have a wee in the portaloo at the top, whilst holding your harness, jumpsuit and clothes off the floor is no easy task!)
So once again, you get dangled in a prone position – staring over the edge waiting for the 1-2-3, then Z-I-P! It was a much noisier and slower feeling than I was expecting and those ridiculous goggles trying its hardest to press against the eyeballs. Within a minute and 85mph later it’s all over.
Whilst it’s a great activity to try, I personally preferred the smaller zip wire as it was closer
to the ground and so seemingly faster. If I was going to try something like this again, then I would prefer to choose one that is a really, really fast low-flying one – just to make sure that I am properly scared!
Be warned – there is a lot of waiting around – which is okay on a seasonally hot May day but I can imagine it can be pretty brutal on a less forgiving one, so choose your day well!
Logistical ease:– Book and go
Adventure rating:- *, fully packaged activity – fun but at the cost of a cheap flight to Iceland, I know what I would spend my money on!!