THE peaks and jagged slopes of the Snowdonia mountain range have trained world-famous climbers and also claimed lives, and they can pose a daunting prospect for beginners to the sport. However learners now have a place to go after a brand-new indoor adventure centre has launched nearby.

At the former aluminium factory site in Dolgarrog which employed generations of workers, the Adventure Parc Snowdonia opened its doors for the first time on Wednesday to hundreds of people wanting to learn the ropes and have fun.

The £16million extension to Surf Snowdonia, the world-first inland surfing hub opened in 2015, includes indoor climbing walls, obstacles courses and slides. It also has an artificial caving adventure experience, the biggest of its kind in Europe.

Justin Everley, Adventure Parc Snowdonia commercial director said that project is "transforming tourism in Snowdonia".

"There are other places in the UK that have outstanding mountains but they do not have adventure facilities like here," he said.

“Climbing has increased in popularity in recent years and indoor climbing has played a big part, but this is somewhere that everyone can come to have a fun experience. It offers a place where children are safe and for time-poor families it is a better option than travelling to the mountain.”

The building project began in late 2018 and employed about 100 people. It is set to be followed by a 106-beedroom lagoon side Hilton Garden Inn next year.

The launch was attended by Richard Parkes, former Welsh international rugby player whose career was cut short due to injury. Despite the setback, Mr Parkes began a new journey through climbing and went on to become the first person to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s continents. He also presented a BBC television series ‘Extreme Wales’ and wrote a book ‘Beyond the Horizon’ about his experiences around the world.

Speaking at the laucnh, Mr Parkes said: “Adventure means different things to different people and I’m very passionate about pushing the boundaries of human performance. But it is simpler than that, it is about pushing yourself beyond your horizons and doing something that you’ve never done before - whether you’re an adult or young person - and reconnecting with the fun of climbing and falling and jumping.

“In the kind of world we live in today I think adventure is critical to children’s development ... and there is no reason why the boys and girls that come to Adventure Parc Snowdonia could not climb Everest too one day.”

Jim Jones, managing director of North Wales Tourism, said that the Adventure Parc Snowdonia site "is a transformational development that has regenerated this part of the Conwy Valley".

Mr Jones added: "It is now one of our top attractions in Wales and has contributed immensely to our dynamic regional and economic tourism profile.”

For information about open times and ticket costs, visit the Adventure Parc Snowdonia website.