Ian Nicholls

Ian Nicholls
General manager, Zip World Slate Caverns

I first came to North Wales as a new RAF recruit in 1985 completing my Physical Training Instructor course at the outdoor centre in Llanrwst. My first taste of mountaineering was over the Moelwyn Mountains where I encountered strange gaps in the map contour lines. I soon found out that these were the spoil heaps for the many slate mines in the area.

Coming from the industrial city of Sheffield, I was instantly fascinated with the toils of man extracting rock from underground. Over the next 25 years I have ventured over and underground exploring the vastness of the mighty North Wales legacy for the world as part of my military life training servicemen in leadership and mountaineering.

In 2017, I was appointed as the General Manger of Zip World Slate Caverns. One of three adventure destinations in North Wales, the other two are at Penrhyn Quarry and Fforest near Betws Y Coed. I visited The Slate Caverns back in the 80’s to learn about the history and myths of the local area whilst training as a mountaineering Instructor. Zip World transformed the site in 2014 into the biggest zip zone in the world with Titan, our four-line zip wire experience flying over the quarry and 11 subterranean zip wires on the Caverns course. These new adventures, along with Bounce Below nets suspended high above the chamber floors, have brought new life back to these underground cathedrals.

People can now marvel at the exploits of the miners who have hewn the rock out of the ground here for over 175 years. Zip World bring over 160,000 a year to the former slate caverns. I am still in awe every day seeing the size and magnificence of the place. I try to explain to our young customers how life would have been for them back in those times and the work that went into roofing the world. I often wonder what the old miners would say if they could see what we have done with all their hard work and if they would come and play.

Visit http://zipworld.co.uk or call 01248 601 444 to book your extraordinary adventure.