Independent Skydive Company allows thrill seekers to see the Rocky Mountains from an entirely new perspective: from the top-down. Flights leave from the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport, ferrying licensed solo jumpers and first-time thrill seekers alike up into the sky's blue expanse.
Beginners make the jump safely secured to one of the company's highly experienced instructors, reaching speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. When the time is right, the instructor will deploy the chute, giving his or her attached jumper plenty of time to admire the breathtaking view or write "wash me" on low-flying UFOs as they gently drift to the ground.
After ten years of surfing and sailing around the world, Anton Rainold finally became a record-setter in an entirely different sport. In 2003, he transferred his skills to a cooler climate and became the first man in the US to open a snowkite-specific shop and school, as Summit Daily News reported. In the Colorado Kite Force shop, Rainold's team outfits shoppers for applications such as backcountry kiting, park and freestyle riding, or kiteboarding on the water in the summer. In the snow, they lead lessons for children and families, sharing techniques on how to stay safe, secure, and ready to lasso an adorable baby zephyr at any moment. After several hours, students are ready to strap into skis or snowboards, grab the control bar, and speed across the snow under the power of a majestic four-line kite.
Whitewater rapids can seem as menacing as great white sharks, but Whitewater Rafting owners Erik and Phoebe Larsson are out to dispel these unfounded fears. Since the company's first raft hit the waters of the Colorado River in 1974, it has maintained an impeccable safety record thanks to its experienced tour guides, each fully certified at the state and federal level in CPR, first aid, and on-river maneuvers. Many of the guides have been navigating these same rapids for more than a decade, learning intimate details about the river, from its twists and turns to its crippling phobia of alligators. First-time rafters can earn their whitewater bona fides on half-day treks, conquering the Class III and IV rapids of the Shoshone Rapids. More experienced adventurers can rent out boats, kayaks, paddles, and safety gear to embark on their own trips through the rapids.
The experts who lead Aspen Walking Tours blend history, research, and cultural anthropology in a trio of informative strolls, nourishing the minds of tour-takers with local factoids. These guides quarterback small groups during each trek through time, imparting stories and tidbits that they've researched themselves. The Aspen's DarkSide tour unearths the area's ghastly past, rife with ghosts, murder, and mayhem, and the Aspen's Past to Present tour details Aspen's evolution from a modest mining camp to world-famous resort. In the fall, rather than wearing shoes whittled from dry ice, visitors can experience real chills with a spooky saunter through the Ute Cemetery—Aspen's first burial ground—during the Walking with the Dead tour.
The Pines Lodge is tucked comfortably into the snow bed that is Colorado ski country. Guests can enjoy nearby access to superior slopes, as well as eclectic dining, shopping, entertainment, and recreation options. Each room offers rustic charm and modern conveniences, putting guests squarely into the middle of a Venn diagram of comfort. Skiers can suit up for a full day in the cold outdoors by using the in-room boot warmer and iPod charging dock. Those preferring to stay indoors can snuggle into a fuzzy robe and strap on cyber skis to slalom through a high-speed Internet connection. For a happy medium, guests can enjoy the great outdoors without risking frost-nipped fingers in the resort's heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.
Inner tubes zip down the groomed, 1,200-foot tubing lanes at Frisco Adventure Park, offering passengers an adrenaline-filled ride and scenic views of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. Connected to the mountain’s ski slopes, the hill invites snow-sliders to glide down its snowy expanses without the trouble of balancing atop skis or ending up in slapstick montages involving low-hanging branches. Ski lifts return patrons to the snowy peaks after a trip down the hill, ensuring 60-minute sessions are efficiently filled with riotous fun.