About Caving Snowdonia Wales

Mine Exploration Information With Go Below Underground Adventures

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Frequently Asked Questions
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What are your opening times?

We run underground adventure trips all year round and our phone lines are open 7 days a week, 364 days a year. You do need to book in advance. Please phone us to find out the scheduled trip times or check the Online Calendar.

What is an Underground Adventure Trip?

We take people underground to explore the abandoned mines of Snowdonia resting silently in the darkness just as the miners left them. We go on an adventurous journey through the mine encountering forgotten deep blue lakes, lofty caverns and ancient mining machinery.

Our adventure trips are a fun sporting experience which involve participating in a series of exciting underground challenges such as abseiling, zip lining, scrambling, traversing, boating and climbing. There is no squeezing through small gaps involved, no experience necessary, activities can be bypassed if preferred and all equipment including Wellies is provided.

Do you have a minimum age for your trips?

For our half-day Challenge Trip, 10 years old is the minimum age due to the challenging nature of the obstacles and environment. Persons under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Our full day Xtreme trips are strictly adults only (18+).

Do you cater for groups?

Yes. We cater for School groups, Scouts, Guides and Cadets, Military, Stag and Hen parties, Corporate Team Building, Celebrations, groups of friends and/or family etc. If your group consists of 10 or more participants we can offer you a private trip in most circumstances and from this number upwards we also offer an attractive tiered discount system. We can take groups of up to 40 people if necessary.

Is it like Potholing and will I have to squeeze through tiny holes?

No. Mines were built for people to get around in (unlike caves) so you will not have to squeeze through small gaps. There may be the odd duck under a low obstacle and some stooping in the tunnels but that's it. Most of the time you are moving through tunnels you can walk upright in which are connected by huge cavernous spaces.

Is it like Caving?

In many respects our adventure trip is very similar to Caving, apart from the fact that we explore old disused Mines instead and it’s generally less wet with no squeezing through tight spaces.

Is it like going around a show mine?

No. The mines we lead trips around are just as the miners left them. There are no mains lights, safety barriers or smooth concrete floors. They are true abandoned mines where the only light will come from the lamp on your helmet! Instructor led trips makes the experience all the more personal, exciting and unique.

Are you affected by the weather?

No, our trips run in all weathers. Mines are man-made to be self draining and are not affected by flooding in the same way caves can be which makes this a great all weather activity.

If you cancel my trip will I get a refund?

Yes absolutely - should we be unable to run your trip we will refund your booking fee entirely (see the Booking Terms for more information). Fortunately, cancelling a trip is an extremely rare occurrence.

Will we do everything on the trip itinerary?

The purpose of the trip is to deliver a fun, challenging and memorable day to the group, and the mine with it's various features is the vehicle used to deliver that experience.

The route that is chosen by the trip leaders on the day will encompass a range of activities suitable for the abilities of the group - and all groups are different. If the level of ability is generally very high and the group moves quickly, it is probable that all the activities in the mine will be undertaken. However, this is not always the case, and if some members of the group are struggling then the trip leaders will adjust the nature of the route to suit. This might mean that some of the more challenging sections will need to be bypassed.

Above all, the trip on the day has to suit the nature and ability of all of the participants within the group, and the decision on what is appropriate on the day resides with the trip leader.

In very rare circumstances, specific activities within the mine may have developed a fault or sustained damage that needs resolving before it is again deemed appropriate to use. This is an extremely rare occurrence but bypassing a certain feature may become necessary.

Is it safe?

There is an element of risk involved in all outdoor adventure activities, but rest assured that all the mines we use are inspected for safety, our kit and equipment is regularly checked and our guides are fully qualified and hold emergency first aid certificates. Please read our Safety Factsheet for further information.

How many people will be in my group?

On the Challenge Trip, the group will be led by a single instructor who will take up to 10 participants. If we're very busy then the trip will have two instructors, which allows up to a maximum of 16 participants. Industry guidelines for adventure activities suggest a good instructor-to-participant ratio is 1 to 12, but we work with a 1 to 10 ratio or less, as we feel this works better.

Are you anything to do with "Bounce Below"?

No. Bounce Below is a completely different company who have regrettably chosen a very similar name to ours. This has caused a degree of confusion to the general public especially as they are geographically close by.

Are you anything to do with "Zip World Caverns"?

No. Zip World Caverns is an underground high-ropes course located next to Bounce Below at Llechwedd Slate Caverns. We aren't associated with them and our trip is very different.

I’m claustrophobic!

Mine exploring is different from caving or potholing as there is no squeezing through small gaps involved. Most of the mines have huge cavernous spaces but all mines have tunnels which you usually walk upright in but can require some stooping.

I'm scared of heights!

The Challenge trip has an abseil, some traversing and a zip line (The water fall climb is not vertical). You are welcome to observe others taking part and decide on the spot whether or not you wish to give it a go. You are able to bypass these activities if you want to, as there is always another way around.

In the case of our full-day Xtreme trips, there will be many heights involved with lots of zip lines, traverses and vertical drops, many of which you cannot bypass. They are therefore not suitable for persons with a fear of heights.

I'm still not sure!

Our experienced guides will give you all the support and encouragement you need if you feel uncomfortable underground. You won’t be forced to do anything you don’t want to.

What is the drive/walk to the mine like?

Stunning! The opportunity to appreciate Snowdonia’s natural beauty; forests, lakes, rivers and quite often far reaching views, is a bonus to our trips. All of the walks involve a reasonable amount of steep ascent.

Is there much walking involved?

Once we've parked up, we need to walk outdoors to the actual mine entrance. The length of the walk depends on which mine we are visiting but they can be up to 25 mins and usually up a steep and rugged path. Be assured that there will be plenty of fantastic Snowdonia natural beauty and quite often far reaching views to appreciate along the way. There is a fair amount of walking in the mine too, but there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for a break, to take photo's or to eat and drink. Our walking pace throughout the day is relaxed.

How wet will I get?

This depends on the weather. Unless we’ve had pro-longed heavy rain you shouldn't get that wet. Unlike caves, mines are designed to drain themselves of water. We do recommend you use our Wellies however as there will be calf-deep water in some places. We also recommend water-proofs for your extra comfort as sitting down might be damp. If there has been recent heavy rain you are more likely to get splashed and will probably get wet legs when walking up the waterfalls. If getting wet is your preference, it can be arranged!

As we walk outside to and from the mine you will need to be dressed appropriately for whatever the weather’s doing that day

What clothes should I wear?

You should dress appropriately for the weather conditions as there may be up to a 1/2 hour outdoor walk each way getting to and from the mine. Once underground, the air is cool but still and dry and around 10 degrees centigrade all year round. You might get your clothes dirty and/or wet so please bear this is mind and jeans can get uncomfortable so are not recommended. Jogging bottoms, leggings, walking/activity trousers are best with layers on top; sweatshirt, fleece, activity tops etc. If you have waterproofs including waterproof trousers please bring them. Comfy socks can be a bonus.

Tough gloves are recommended for the half-day Challenge trips and are essential for the full-day Xtreme trips. You can buy a cheap pair from our office if you don't have any.

We suggest that you also bring a complete dry change of clothes to leave in your vehicle for your return just in case. If you are bringing personal items, please make sure that they fit into a small backpack so that both your hands can be free. We can not be held responsible for loses or damage.

What about Footwear?

We provide Wellington boots in sizes 1-12 for your use. You do not have to wear these and can wear your own wellington boots if you like but they will need to be good at gripping on wet slippery rocks and be watertight enough to let you walk though calf-deep puddles.

Can I take photographs?

Yes. By all means snap your friends/family having a whale of a time! There are also many fascinating sights in the mines to photograph.

I've got a GoPro!

You are welcome to bring personal video recorders at your own risk. Some of our helmets have GoPro mounts, but we suggest you bring your own just in case. The best results are obtained if you also bring a powerful hand-torch for lighting.

What else should I bring?

Ideally you should bring yourself a drink and a snack or packed meal as we'll stop for an underground picnic at some point. Anything you do bring needs to fit into a small backpack as you'll need to keep your hands free. Please don't bring too much as it will weigh you down and also please be aware that we do not take responsibility for any loss or damage of personal items. There are no toilet facilities in the mines.

Anything else?

We are passionate about Mine Exploring and can't wait to show you Snowdonia's secret subterranean world in the most fun and action packed way possible! Remember your guide is there to help you and to answer any questions you may have and to ensure that you have a thoroughly enjoyable experience. So hold onto your hard hats and go and enjoy your Go Below Underground Adventure!

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