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June 29, 2014 2:28 PM   Subscribe

A Giant Network of Trampolines Suspended in an Abandoned Welsh Slate Mine Open to the public July 4th, 2014
posted by telstar (61 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Uh, this looks actually dangerous. How are they going to mitigate the risk of someone breaking an ankle or falling an even greater distance?
posted by Gable Oak at 2:34 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]


I want to go to there.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:35 PM on June 29 [9 favorites]


holy crap, this looks awesome! mefi fieldtrip, please.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:36 PM on June 29 [2 favorites]


Hm, Dante was wrong -- there are actually 10 circles of Hell.
posted by jamjam at 2:40 PM on June 29 [2 favorites]


It's all fun and games until someone plummets into the Abyss.
posted by sneebler at 2:41 PM on June 29 [35 favorites]


The very nope-iest of all nopes. I don't think any amount of intellectual assurance in the construction would be sufficient to overcome my psychological aversion to jumping around on a thin flexible membrane over a yawning chasm of death. I'm not fond of walking across large sidewalk drainage grates, and those are made of metal.
posted by Wandering Idiot at 2:42 PM on June 29 [16 favorites]


Viral for Portal 3?
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:53 PM on June 29 [4 favorites]


Video
posted by Bwithh at 2:54 PM on June 29 [4 favorites]


This could never happen.
posted by goethean at 3:13 PM on June 29


What could go wrAaaargh
posted by boo_radley at 3:18 PM on June 29 [9 favorites]


Mind the chasm.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:25 PM on June 29 [15 favorites]


Hah!

Work brought me to the UK and France this week. I've got some friends who recently moved to Northern Wales, so after all the meetings are done on Wednesday, I'm taking the train out to visit them.

I've already got tickets for Bounce Below on Sunday. It's just on the other side of Snowdonia from their home. I'll report back after then, unless I'm prevented by some medical emergency. The way this trip is going so far, I'm much more likely to require hospitalization for cheese-related reasons than from anything to do with trampolines though.
posted by aubilenon at 3:35 PM on June 29 [30 favorites]


I'm pretty sure it's no big deal if you fall into the gaping void below. You just lose half a heart and reappear by the entrance.
posted by sysinfo at 3:38 PM on June 29 [35 favorites]


If I lived anywhere near wales, or even if it were easily accessible, I would take my 11 year old there in a heartbeat.
posted by dejah420 at 4:36 PM on June 29



If I lived anywhere near wales, or even if it were easily accessible, I would
BECOME AN 11 year old there in a heartbeat.


There. I fixed it for you.
posted by chasles at 4:41 PM on June 29 [7 favorites]


a small Welsh town has the perfect subterranean adventure for you: the world’s largest underground trampoline.

I had no idea that there was such a category of things as underground trampolines. Now I am visualizing the next Step Up style movie, where they must dance, dance, dance to save their neighbourhood/school/whathaveyou...ON AN UNDERGROUND TRAMPOLINE NETWORK.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 4:45 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


The Descent 2: The Trampolining.

"They're coming straight for uuuuuussssssAAAAHHHHHHAAaaaaaaaaaahhhhh#sproing#aaAAAAAAAHHHHHHaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh#sproing#aaaAAAAAHHHHaaa.....
posted by litleozy at 4:45 PM on June 29 [2 favorites]


Man, trampolines were really anxiety inducing for me as a kid. There was that game you'd play -- "crack the egg"? -- where you'd curl up in a fetal position while the other kids jumped and you tried not only to keep your knees to your chest but also try not to get bounced off into the yard. And then there was that thing where occasionally you'd mis-bounce and one leg would go down into the void between two springs, and you'd look really stupid, and you'd be trying to get on your feet again while maintaining your dignity while all the other kids laughed at you.

No fucking way I'd go through all of that in the backyard again, much less over the gaping maw of a 180-foot-deep mine shaft.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:54 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]


WARNING: When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss may rebound back into you
posted by litleozy at 5:02 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


This would be amusing with a couple of friends, but not with a horde of paying customers.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:08 PM on June 29


The Welsh must not be that litigious.
posted by cropshy at 5:12 PM on June 29 [4 favorites]


For some reason I saw "Network of underground trampolines Found In abandoned slate mine", and I was looking forward to some mysterious archaeology or Cold War revelations.

Still, this certainly is a thing.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 5:16 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


Amazing that this actually made it from concept to reality before common sense kicked in.
posted by davebush at 5:41 PM on June 29 [5 favorites]


Literally the stuff of nightmares.
posted by odinsdream at 5:49 PM on June 29


Can't wait to collapse in gibbering useless terror and be violently sick right down the middle of this.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:52 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]


If I lived anywhere near wales, or even if it were easily accessible, I would takelose my 11 year old there in a heartbeat.

It does seem like a wonderful place to go and, y'know, die.

I mean, looking at it ... is it really possible? Has Action Park finally been tipped from its throne?
posted by kafziel at 5:52 PM on June 29 [2 favorites]


TRAMAPOLINE! TRABOPOLINE!
posted by Mchelly at 6:10 PM on June 29 [5 favorites]


Life sized Doodle Jump!
posted by spitbull at 7:35 PM on June 29


Count me among the spoil sports... Someone is going to be peer pressured on to this thing and then have a panic attack part way down. It doesn't look like it has emergency off-ramps.
posted by Skwirl at 7:45 PM on June 29


>look

You are in a maze of twisty trampolines, all alike.

>take all

You can't take that.

>drop torch

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:06 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]


How Green Was My Valleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:16 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]


eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:18 PM on June 29 [8 favorites]


I want to go to the Bouncy Funtime Death Terror Cave!
posted by louche mustachio at 8:23 PM on June 29 [6 favorites]


I am -so- stealing this for when I'm running a D&D game where the PCs descend into a Drow area in the underdark.... bouncy spider webs! Weird faerie fire lighting! Sudden horrible death!
posted by The otter lady at 8:30 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


... well, if you suffer from anxiety/panic - adventures in caves should not be on your bucket list anyways...

... this looks like good clean fun - for now... I would want to go right away - well - maybe give it a month for the initial shakedown - but definitely sometime within this year, before maintenance starts to get shoddy and the humidity in the cave starts to deteriorate the infrastructure...

(Sheeze, am I really this old and cynical?)
posted by jkaczor at 8:43 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


I had no idea that there was such a category of things as underground trampolines. Now I am visualizing the next Step Up style movie, where they must dance, dance, dance to save their neighbourhood/school/whathaveyou...ON AN UNDERGROUND TRAMPOLINE NETWORK.

Imagine The Prisoner's Kosho on an underground trampoline network...
posted by bassooner at 8:49 PM on June 29 [2 favorites]


Amazing that this actually made it from concept to reality before common sense kicked in.

Yes! This is the comment that I couldn't put into words on my own.
posted by salvia at 9:25 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


definitely sometime within this year, before maintenance starts to get shoddy and the humidity in the cave starts to deteriorate the infrastructure...

(Sheeze, am I really this old and cynical?)


Right there with you. I was over here creating footwear restrictions (no high heels, no sharp toenails...).
posted by salvia at 9:29 PM on June 29


With these kinds of things, you're never sure if you want to go early in the day or late. Early means you die from the "oops, we didn't actually test this" kind of surprise. Late means you die from the gradual weakening that can't be tested. So, maybe 1:00 is best?
posted by michaelh at 10:07 PM on June 29 [2 favorites]


With these kinds of things, you're never sure if you want to go early in the day or late. Early means you die from the "oops, we didn't actually test this" kind of surprise. Late means you die from the gradual weakening that can't be tested. So, maybe 1:00 is best?

What you’re describing is a bathtub curve of failure.
posted by Fongotskilernie at 10:27 PM on June 29 [5 favorites]


Man this looks awesome. Do you think three is too young?
posted by goo at 12:49 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


No, goo, not at all. That'll give the kid many many years to dream up his revenge.
posted by jrochest at 2:44 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Do you think three is too young?

Unfortunately there is an age limit of 7. I was looking for my kids yesterday, and thankfully they are too young.
posted by couch at 3:41 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


whoa
posted by Mister_A at 6:55 AM on June 30


WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SPIRAL.

do want now badly much.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:45 AM on June 30


Boo! Partner's reaction was a firm nope, no way so he can hold the kid and the handbags while I wheeeeeeeeeee!
posted by goo at 7:46 AM on June 30


he can hold the kid and the handbags while I wheeeeeeeeeee!

I thought that was just condensation!
posted by yoink at 8:04 AM on June 30


This thread really proves the old adage, "There are two kinds of people..."

...the "I WANT TO GO TO THERE" people and the "HOLY MOTHER OF NOPE"s.

(i want to go to there)
posted by none of these will bring disaster at 9:07 AM on June 30


Would.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 9:30 AM on June 30


I would love to do that!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:01 PM on June 30


When you go to the website,the first paragraph entices you with a mention of.."Bounce Below... The World's largest underground trampoline, bounce and slide underground, in what we think is the most fun place to be in the world, on giant record-breaking trampolines!"

Breaking and trampolines should never ever be joined.I'll pass.
posted by montrealfilmguy at 8:21 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I want to go there..
I also find this completely terrifying and don't see any safety features that would prevent one from plummeting to one's doom.
posted by TheKM at 12:47 AM on July 1


This looks really awesome.
posted by Mitheral at 12:54 PM on July 5


I was there Sunday, but didn't have a chance to write about it until now, since I was busy visiting with friends and then traveling.

Short version:

Very fun; next time you're in Blaenau Ffestiniog, check it out.

Very-Long version:

First of all Northern Wales, at least at this time of year, is very green, very hilly/mountainous, and pretty sparsely populated. There are a lot of farms, but not much is going on in the cities around there. My friends are recent transplants, and live on Anglesey Island, which is the kind of place where they feel comfortable leaving their house unlocked when they leave it for the day. It is normally about an hour away from Bounce Below. There was a road closure from a rockslide, and some construction, but it didn't slow us down tooo much and we had given it plenty of extra time.

The drive up was gorgeous, if somewhat rainy. Before we got there we passed through the actual town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, which was mostly row houses which had once been inhabited by the slate miners. Also, according to my phone's map, the Ffestiniog railway did a loop and crossed over itself, which is kind of cool, though I couldn't actually see it through all the trees.

Anyway, Bounce Below is operated by ZipWorld who were one of the already established zip-line companies in the area. And I think they've had some slate mine exhibits or something for a while. I saw a flyer advertising some "haunted mine" thing in the autumn where they were going to have some medium come and talk about how ghosts were making weird noises and throwing pieces of slate around and whatever. So trampolines isn't their only business. We got there a bit early and had a light snack while waiting.

Our tickets were for 2:00pm, so when that came around, we locked all the contents of our pockets in the car, let them hold on to the keys, and put on some jumpsuits and helmets. Our group was full, with 25 people. My name was the first on their list which I think means I was the first to register for it. Most of the other people there seemed to be from England (as opposed to Wales). They gave us a few safety instructions (no back-flips or somersaults, you can bounce against the walls but don't climb them, and absolutely no smoking), and didn't try to get us to act all excited (I hate that so much). Then they loaded us onto a small battery-powered electric train (apparently named Derek), which took us down some narrow-gauge tracks into the mine - tracks once used by mine carts. It went a ways, and stopped in a living-room-sized cave where they went over the the safety stuff once more, then sent us down a short passage and into the main attraction!

I think you can see from the picture, there's three layers of trampolines. The trampolines are all nylon mesh, attached to anchors in the wall with bungies. They felt very strong, although obviously quite bouncy. Connecting the three levels were some nylon slightly trampoliney ramps, with handholds (ladders?) to climb up to higher levels, and sloped nylon tubes (chutes/snakes?) you slide down to descend to a lower level. When you go down the chutes, they advised covering your face to avoid ropeburn on your nose, which is a problem nobody has ever talked to me about before, but I appreciated. One fun side effect is that when people jumped into these holes in the ground it looked like they were holding their nose as though they were jumping into a lake.

There were two groups there at any one time, each staying for an hour. So, we overlapped with the 1:30 group and the 2:30 group. Which I guess is 50 people? But it was a lot of space and it didn't seem that crowded. It never felt like we had the whole place to ourselves, but my friends and I were able to find somewhere to bounce on our own without being too much affected by other people's bouncing when we wanted.

On the bottom level there was a trampoline-walkway up to a trampoline spiral which goes up to the middle layer if you don't want to climb the laddery-ramp thing instead. However the laddery-ramp thing was pretty steep and had a rope with loops to hold on to, which let me pretend to be Adam West's Batman, so it was kind of a toss-up as to which was funner between the ramp and the spiral.

They had some color-shifting lights, and in the shadows you could see the people, but you couldn't really see the ropes or trampoline mesh, so it was super fun to watch people's shadows bouncing around.

Also, there was water dripping from some parts of the ceiling. Never on people though. Not sure how they managed that. Anyway: full marks for ambiance!

As to people's concerns:

Claustrophobia: The train was small and the tunnel was not much larger than the train. But after that, all of the caverns we were in were pretty big - larger than any rooms in my apartment anyway.

Heights: I usually get a little squiggly feeling when I look over the edges of cliffs or walls or whatever, but didn't feel any of this here. The lowest level was probably 15' above the bottom of the chamber. The top was much higher, but there were walls and everything felt so stable that I didn't feel even a little fear of heights.

What's to keep you from plummeting to your death: There are walls made of the same stuff as the floor. You would have to deliberately climb over them to plummet to your death. I suppose it could break, but that really didn't seem like a realistic concern.

Motion sickness: The whole damn structure is moving the entire time, so I did get slightly queasy once or twice. Focusing my eyes on the walls of the cavern (the only things that weren't moving) sorting that out pretty quickly though, and I was back to bouncing! But if you get motion sick really easily this would probably not be fun. Also don't eat a huge meal right ahead of time. In this regard it's about on par with a medium-intensity roller coaster.

I hadn't ever spent more than 10 minutes in a row on a trampoline before, so the other thing is that it's pretty tiring, both physically and cognitively.

When we finally left the rain had let up, and I don't know how Wales does it, but something about the fluffy clouds blue sky and high-latitude sunlight just makes colors seem so intense and gorgeous. And it's all the more striking when you've just emerged from a place made of slate with monochromatic lighting.

By the time we were leaving the rockslide had been cleared so we could return via the most direct route, though we were temporarily diverted when we came to a sign for a castle (where we also happened to see a kestrel). Then we ate some rarebit, and went back to Anglesey, and now I'm back home in California.

So anyway the whole experience was great fun, and weird and different. They did a pretty good job with everything. And for those of you who don't already live in Wales, it's a pretty fantastic place to visit even without the trampolines, with lots of awesome hikes all over the place.
posted by aubilenon at 7:31 AM on July 8 [79 favorites]


When we finally left the rain had let up, and I don't know how Wales does it, but something about the fluffy clouds blue sky and high-latitude sunlight just makes colors seem so intense and gorgeous.

That's pretty unusual for North Wales. The default setting is generally a uniform grey - over everything.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:07 AM on July 9


(where we also happened to see a kestrel)

That's so awesome! (Seriously!))

The bouncy thing sounds pretty fun, too.
posted by rtha at 11:45 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]


Oh man, the kestrel wasn't even the best raptor sighting of the trip!

At the risk of offtopicness: Another day a friend and I hiked form Llangoed to Puffin Island. We didn't see any puffins, but while walking up a hill trying to figure out if we were still on the trail to get back, we heard a noise that sounded like a freaking jet engine. We turned to see a raptor just tearing through the air, chasing a small terrified bird. They passed within 15' of us (!), there was a bit of aerial gymnastics, and the little bird escaped into to some bushes. When we got back we checked our Olsen's Standard Book of British Birds* and our best guess is that it was a peregrine. Whatever it was though, it was freaking awesome.

* not its real title
posted by aubilenon at 1:32 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Is that the one without the Gannet?
posted by Ickster at 2:38 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


No, that's the expurgated version you're thinking of.
posted by axiom at 11:18 AM on July 12


next time you're in Blaenau Ffestiniog, check it out.

As someone who rarely crosses oceans, I’m surprised that I have been to Blaenau Ffestiniog. 23 years ago, though; there probably never will be a next time. (It was quite sunny and nice when we were there, too, in early September.)

p.s. For those fascinated by the Welsh language, a small book I bought in Pontneddfechan says that Blaenau Ffestiniog means “valley heads of the land of Ffestin (personal name).” The local district of the Ysgol (School) y Moelwyn, according to Wikipedia, covers "Blaenau, Manod, Tanygrisiau, Llan Ffestiniog, Trawsfynydd, Gellilydan, Maentwrog and even stretch[es] into the Vale of Ffestiniog and Dolwyddelan."
posted by LeLiLo at 12:13 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


and didn't try to get us to act all excited (I hate that so much).

That sentence makes me miss the UK more than anything in the last year. It makes my teeth grate with all the fake hype and "YEAH, WOOH! YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE THIS OH YEAH" attitude in North America. I much prefer the "Here is something cool. I hope you like it" style of my homeland.

something about the fluffy clouds blue sky and high-latitude sunlight just makes colors seem so intense and gorgeous.

I've always understood that is related to the lack of airborne dust - the place isn't dry enough to make too much, but after the rain is the most dust free/clear air time. It is something I see occasionally in Canada, but nowhere near as much as back home (England).

our best guess is that it was a peregrine.

Very likely - my favourite raptor. Kestrels are very common in the UK, Peregrines not at all, but Wales is where I have seen the most. They are REALLY FAST when they are diving and chasing after things. And really pretty, too.
posted by Brockles at 5:27 AM on July 15


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