Summer outdoor challenges still hot in Aspen area | AspenTimes.com

Summer outdoor challenges still hot in Aspen area

With summer winding down and the Labor Day weekend marking the unofficial close of the season, what better time to squeeze in outdoor activities you’ve yet to cross off that summer bucket list?

Take a break from the tunes this weekend and get your blood flowing with some of these warm-weather activities while you still can.

SKYDIVING

At this rate, Roaring Fork Skydivers owner Jeremy Pivan has no idea how many times he’s been skydiving.

The adrenaline junkie jumps too frequently — as in, multiple times a day, depending what business looks like — to keep count.

Given that Pivan runs Roaring Fork Skydivers five days a week and takes clients on jumps all day, it’s safe to assume he has a few more jumps under his belt in a year’s time.

Roaring Fork Skydivers takes people above Mount Sopris and at level with Capitol Peak, about 8,000 feet above ground and 14,000 feet above sea level.

And then — boom.

You’re falling through the crisp Colorado air at about 120 miles per hour.

So just how dangerous is it to jump out of a plane?

According to Divan, people are five times more likely to die consuming peanuts, which kills about 100 individuals each year, than from a skydiving accident, which results in roughly 20 casualties per year.

Located at Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport, Roaring Fork Skydivers is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To jump out of a perfectly good airplane in the valley, call 970-364-3737 or email info@roaringforkskydivers.com.

MOUNTAIN AND ROAD BIKING

Biking is arguably Aspen’s most popular summer sport, with countless local trails that cater to riders of all experiences and abilities.

For a more thrilling ride, cycling enthusiast Erik Skarvan will direct you toward Government Trail and Sunnyside Trail.

“They always get the adrenaline pumping with their rocky and rooty technical sections, fast straightaways and drop-offs,” Skarvan said.

To scope the latest buzz in the local bike scene, hit Sky Mountain Park, which not only offers “super fun and unique” machine built cross-country trails but also boasts the Deadline Trail, a downhill free ride that opened a few seasons ago, Skarvan said.

Road biking also presents its share of thrills, as riders are able to whiz through windy mountain roads at more than twice the speed than on a mountain bike.

Descending Maroon Bells and Castle Creek Road, Skarvan said he and his fellow road bikers can hit as fast as 50 miles per hour.

“The sheer speed rush is one of the appealing things about spending time on a skinny-tired bike,” he said. “Carving a high speed turn on a road bike is almost as good as the sensation felt on skis.”

For more information on biking in the area, call Sun Dog Athletics at 970-925-1069 or visit any one of Aspen’s many cycling shops.

PARAGLIDING

The key to paragliding in the mountains is to catch thermals — or warm air pockets of air — that allow fliers to soar higher, according to Aspen Paragliding owner Alex Palmaz.

Catching these warm air currents not only maximizes the duration of one’s time in the air, which typically lasts around 15 to 30 minutes, but also makes for the best paragliding conditions.

In other words, a “thermal day” in the world of paragliding is equivalent to a powder day in skiing or snowboarding, Palmaz said.

On a solid summer day, paragliders may reach as high as 14,000 feet.

“You’re just floating through the air and the pilot is taking care of all the flying,” Palmaz said, adding that paragliding is not only a thrilling experience but also a very freeing one for many.

Aspen Paragliding takes off at Walsh’s run on Aspen Mountain and runs as many as three paragliding trips at 6:45, 8:15 and 10:15 a.m. each morning.

The office is located above the Butcher’s Block at 426 S. Spring St.

To book your airtime adventure, call Aspen Paragliding at 970-379-6975 or email fly@aspenparagliding.com.

erobbie@aspentimes.com


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