Monday, September 25, 2023 Sep 25, 2023
82° F Dallas, TX

Escapes Floating Away

By D Magazine |

Because the Rockies are so close and the balloon ascends so rapidly just after dawn, when the warm light glares from behind a mountain peak, the passenger feels he has risen on the sun. In the category of deluxe vacation packages, the Snowmass Balloon Adventure, which guarantees six such mornings, hovers well above most. It’s a summer getaway of unusual stature.

The seven-day, six-night “adventure” combines heady Colorado ballooning, provided by the Unicorn Balloon Co., with pampered living at the Snowmass Club, the Snow-mass resort’s toniest niche. Like Buddy Bombard’s “Great Balloon Adventures” in France and Austria, the morning balloon flights are punctuated by sterling-silver picnics in scenic mountain spots. Colorado being what it is in the summer (beautiful and blissfully temperate), that should be enough. But the Snowmass Club, in addition to its own fine dining and resorting facilities, arranges horseback riding, rafting, hiking and just about anything else you might want to attempt after your balloon has touched ground and your extensive breakfast has touched bottom. They also arrange dining in some of Snowmass and nearby Aspen’s more delectable restaurants. Everything is covered under the price of the trip, $2,675, based on double occupancy.

The ballooning, of course, is the thing, and it is magnificent, from watching the inflation of the great beast to helping the pilot decide which field or knoll looks right for landing. And as the pilot can only control, with certainty, a balloon’s altitude (the business of left and right is a matter of finding cooperative currents), it really is something of an adventure; you’re never sure where you’ll go each day.

Contact the Snowmass Club, P.O. Drawer G-2, Snowmass Village, CO. 81615. (800) 525-0710.