About Caving Snowdonia Wales

Mine Exploration Information With Go Below Underground Adventures

Frequently Asked Questions

Picture of a caver giving information

What are your opening times?

We run underground adventure trips all year round and our phone lines are open 7 days a week, apart from Christmas Day. Office hours are usually between 9am and 5pm. Please check the Online Calendar to see scheduled trip times. You DO need to book in advance.

What is an Underground Adventure Trip?

We guide people on exciting half and full day underground trips through abandoned mines located in the heart of Snowdonia. Our adventure trips are a fun sporting experience which involves participating in a series of exhilarating underground challenges such as abseiling, zip lining, scrambling, traversing, boating and climbing. Our adventurous journey through the mines also encounters forgotten deep blue lakes, lofty caverns and ancient mining machinery.

Our passionate instructors can also tell you about the slate mining industry and its history and show you fascinating artefacts within the mine.

What is the Mine to Mountain experience?

This involves a 14 hour trip to the deepest publicly accessible point underground up to the top of Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales. It is perfect for fundraising or that bucket list challenge! This trip starts from the same place as the Xtreme trips and will be known as an ‘Xtreme trip’ for the purpose of these FAQ’s.

Do you have a minimum and maximum age for your trips?

The minimum age for the Challenge trip is 10 years old due to the challenging nature of the obstacles and environment. Persons under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

The minimum age for the Hero Xtreme trip is 14 years old. Those under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult on a one-to-one basis.

The minimum age for the Ultimate Xtreme trip is 18 years old.

The minimum age for the Mine to Mountain trip is 14 years old.

There are no maximum age limits for our trips but participants do need to be relatively fit and able.

Is there a maximum weight for your trips?

No, apart from the Freefall machine on the Ultimate Xtreme trip where the maximum weight handling is 19 stones. (Persons in excess of this weight will need to omit this activity). There is no weight restriction on the rest of this trip or on our other trips, however, participants do still need to be relatively fit and need to fit properly into a safety harness. You're welcome to come try one on at our kit room or contact us to request harness fitment ranges.

Is there a maximum height for your trips?

No, Mine exploring is different from caving or potholing in that 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, more so if you are very tall. Participants shorter than the average height of the minimum ages for each trip might struggle to reach some foot or handholds.

How do I book?

You can book your trip through our website or over the phone on 01690 710108. If you have vouchers, are eligible for a discount, or are booking for a large group you will need to call or email us on ask@go-below.co.uk

Do you cater for groups?

Yes. We cater for School groups, Scouts, Guides and Cadets, Youth groups, 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 35 people on one Challenge trip, up to 10 people on our Hero Xtreme trip and up to 12 people on our Ultimate Xtreme trip. With larger numbers than these, we will split groups over different trips setting off within an hour of each other. We can also take large groups on our Mine to Mountain trip, get in touch for more info.

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 trips are 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! Our trips are also adventurous and led by an experienced Instructor which makes the experience all the more personal, exciting and unique.

Are you affected by the weather?

No, we run trips in the mine 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. Storms and severe flooding on local roads can affect our ability to reach the mine in very rare circumstances.

Will we do everything on the trip itinerary?

The purpose of the trip is to deliver a fun, challenging and memorable day and the mine with its 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.

Do I have to do all the activities on the trip?

The activities on our underground adventure trips are the means by which we adventure through the mine. Therefore it is not really possible to bypass activities on our Mine to Mountain, Hero Xtreme and Ultimate Xtreme trips apart from the Freefall jump on the Ultimate Xtreme trip. Our Challenge trip takes place in a different mine and it is possible to walk around some of the more challenging activities on this trip should you need to.

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 qualified, experienced and are trained in emergency first aid. We are accredited by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority, part of the HSE.

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 there is more demand for the trip then there will be two instructors, which allows up to 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 if we can.

On our Hero Xtreme trip, the group is led by two instructors and we take up to 8 participants.

On our Ultimate Xtreme trip, the group is led by two instructors and we take up to 10 participants.

On our Mine to Mountain trip, the group is led by a single instructor and we take up to 10 participants. We can take larger groups and will add additional instructors depending on the group size and ablilty.

Trip capacity is different from private groups – please see “Do you Cater for Groups”

Are you anything to do with "Bounce Below"?

No. Bounce Below is a different company in a different mine 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.

I’m claustrophobic!

Mine exploring is different from caving or potholing in that 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 some heights involved in 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.

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.

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.

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. On our Challenge trip, the drive to the mine is around 10 minutes long on a normal B road. All of the walks involve a reasonable amount of steep ascent and descent on uneven terrain.

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 it can be up to 25 mins and usually up a very 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 photos 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 underground. 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-proof tops and bottoms for your 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.

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.

We recommend wearing comfortable outdoor clothing as if you were going hill walking for the day. Leggings, tracksuit bottoms, combats or technical outdoor trousers are suitable. Jeans are not recommended as they become heavy and uncomfortable when wet, and shorts are not acceptable as they do not offer adequate leg protection. Layers are advised for the torso topped with a warm fleece, jumper or coat. Please bear in mind that you will get damp and dirty underground so a waterproof jacket and over trousers are recommended. Waterproofs are also advised due to the outdoor walking we do between the mine and the vehicle(s). Close fitting gloves are required, a gardening type is sufficient. We sell gloves for £3 a pair if you don’t have your own. Bring an extra pair of thick socks over thin socks for Welly comfort. In case of very wet weather bring a complete dry change of clothes to leave in your vehicle for when you get back.

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 cannot be held responsible for loses or damage.

We will provide you will the safety kit you will need for your adventure such as helmet, head torch and harness etc

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 rubber soled and good at gripping on wet slippery rocks and be watertight enough to let you walk though calf-deep puddles.

On our Xtreme trips you will also need stout footwear to walk between your vehicle and our kit room next to the mine entrance. Walking boots or trainers are sufficient but not sandals, flip-flops, crocs or smart shoes.

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. We can’t affix mounts to our helmets but you can bring a head strap or a chest mount, the latter of which seems to work best. The best results are obtained if you also bring a powerful hand-torch for lighting.

What about food and drink?

You will need to bring you own food and drink with you, there will be opportunities in the trip to have a snack or packed lunch. 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.

You may wish to fill up first with a big breakfast from the Conwy Falls Café (on site Challenge trip) or Lakeside Café (nearby Xtreme trips). The Conwy Falls Café can also do takeaway packed lunches if you pre-order on 01690 710336 or manager@conwyfalls.com

What if I need the toilet?

Toilets are available at the Conwy Falls Café (Challenge trip) and the Lakeside Café (Xtreme trips) but there are no toilets on the trip. If you do need to go while walking outside, it’s a case of finding a rock, tree or bush as you would while hill walking. If you are underground, its number 1’s only please and your leader will advise as to where you can go.

Is the trip suitable for me?

There are some medical conditions that may impact your trip or, unfortunately, make the Go Below trips potentially unsuitable for you. Please speak to the office staff before booking if you think you may have a condition or impediment that will be an issue for our trips. In all cases, please speak to us before booking if you have any of the following:

Epilepsy, vertigo, mobility issues, issues holding your own weight on arms or legs, amputations or limb function disabilities, deafness, sight impediment or heart problems.

We are experienced in offering inclusive trips, so please do speak to us as we might be able to accommodate you, despite of something mentioned above.

You will need to be reasonably fit to participate on our trips. Our experiences involve a substantial amount of walking at the very least, including steep up and downhill gradients on uneven terrain and you will be physically active for the best part of a day.

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!

Please see our Terms and Conditions for further information.

FAQ’s Covid-19 specific
How will you keep us safe?

We are doing everything we can to look after the safety and well-being of our staff and customers as well as ensuring a safe environment for the local community. We have successfully acquired 'We're Good to Go Industry Standard' award which confirms we are operating in line with the Government guidelines as well as Public Health Wales.

We are also following guidelines set by WATO (Wales Activity Tourism Organisation) and the BCA (British Caving Association) as well as the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) to ensure that we have taken the necessary steps to manage risks effectively.

What should I do if I am experiencing Covid-19 symptoms?

You must not arrive for one of our trips if you or anyone in your household is displaying any symptoms of Coronavirus. In this case you will be asked to leave with any participating members of your household and advised to follow Government advice regarding booking a test and self isolating.

Symptoms to watch out for include a new persistent dry cough, a raised temperature, a loss of taste or smell, a sore throat or vomiting and diahorrea.

What should I expect on arrival?

We request that you follow social distancing guidance on arrival and stay the recommended distance from others outside of your household. We have introduced signage to guide through your arrival process to make it easier for you to stay apart from others. In the case of the Challenge trip, This includes directing you to the kit room and not the Go Below office, showing you the entrance and exit of the Café and instructions on the use of our toilets. Your trip leader will explain any further procedures to you in person.

What will be different to normal?

What will not be different is the amazing, fun and energetic experience we want to provide you with on your underground adventure!

We have made some temporary changes to our operations such as our trips will have smaller numbers on them than are outlined in our normal FAQ’s for the time being.

We will request that you follow social distancing guidance and our staff will be doing the same. Please be aware that there will be moments where a trip leader will need to be within 1 meter of you to ensure your safety.

We ask you to be extra vigilant about hygiene, especially by frequently washing your hands or using hand sanitiser. Please bring your own hand gel and face mask, and make use of our various sanitising stations around the site.

Our café (The Conwy Falls Café) is currently operating as a takeaway service but you’re welcome to sit outside with your order. The café is still providing packed lunches if you order in advance by calling 01690 710336 or emailing manager@conwyfalls,com

When you take part in one of our trips, you are asked to fill out a disclaimer form. This will also now ask for your consent for us to provide your contact details to the relevant Contact Tracing departments should we/they discover that you have been inadvertently exposed to Coronavirus.

Please bring a face mask to wear during the times when trip staff need to be at less than 2m from you.

I still have questions!

Upon booking you will receive a confirmation email which will provide you with further information about our virus control procedures and you can also find out more in our Terms and Conditions.

In the meantime please feel free to get in touch with the Go Below office with any further questions about our Coronavirus control policies or any other queries you may have on 01690 710108 or ask@go-below.co.uk

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