Map of ZipWorld, from www.zipworld.co.uk
The red is a short training zip wire, the green is the jeep trail around the quarry
to the launch platform, and the blue is the mother of all zip lines back to the car park.
The longest zip wire in Europe, at just over one mile, has recently opened at ZipWorld in Northern Wales. The hubby and I are booked in for this little adventure, weather permitting, on the bank holiday next Monday. The wire is stretched above a disused portion of the world’s largest slate mine, Penrhyn Quarry, and after the slate rim drops away, riders fly nearly 700 feet above the lake at the bottom. We’re told we will reach speeds up to 100 mph as we descend over 1200 feet–thankfully windsuits, helmets, and goggles are provided! The entire trip down the wire lasts about 55 seconds, which I predict is going to be simultaneously the longest and shortest near-minute of my life. Friends keep asking if I am scared, especially after hearing that I have never zip-lined before. I’m not sure what I should be afraid of, to be honest. I’ve never really been scared of heights, so that part doesn’t bother me, and I’ll just be sailing along a wire, not free-falling, so I’m not bothered by that part either. I have full faith that the company has tested and retested its equipment (customer deaths can’t be good for business) and that the staff do everything in their power to be sure the experience is a safe one. The only thing that worries me slightly is being able to breathe with the wind rushing in my face at 100 mph, but I figure it’s such a short ride that surely I can’t actually pass out before the end.
I also fear that the scenery is going to rush by so quickly that I won’t be able to fully appreciate what’s around me–I’m hoping there is an optional helmet cam to capture the ride so I can play back the DVD in slow motion later! I won’t be taking any photos from the wire, but if I survive Europe’s longest zip wire, you can be sure I’ll write about it Monday evening!