About Time You Tried: Skiing in Aspen This SummerBy Rebecca Fairbrother
Aspen is synonymous with fantastic skiing and the wealthy jet set crowd. Visitors flock there during the winter months for the exceptional ski conditions and cosmopolitan vibe. Often dubbed as the go-to ski resort for the glitterati, Aspen and it’s neighbouring sister town Snowmass is in fact a cultural, gastronomic and fitness mecca all year round.
During the summer months, Aspen transforms into a cultural and wellbeing haven, providing a welcome respite from the hectic pace of modern life. With a unique offering of cultural events, art exhibitions, music festivals, sporting pursuits as well as the coveted Aspen Ideas Festival, this stunning mountain resort is the ultimate destination to reboot the mind, body and spirit.
Set high up in the Rockies, Aspen boasts breathtaking scenery all year round. There are numerous activities on offer so you can soak up the beautiful surroundings.
If walking in the great outdoors is your thing, there are also various hiking routes. Whether you want to climb over large boulders, clamber over rocks, navigate yourself through rivers and streams or simply stick to the flat, manmade paths, there are hiking trails to suit all levels. The Aspen Centre for Environmental Studies (ACES), a local, not-for-profit organisation also offers free hiking tours throughout the summer months, meaning you can learn about the local history and natural habitat whilst also getting the endorphins going.
If you fancy taking in the scenery from above, try mountain top yoga at the top of the famous Aspen Mountain. The stunning, natural scenery and calm, peaceful setting makes it the ideal spot for yoga. Simply don your yoga gear (there’s even a Lululemon in Aspen town centre if you’ve forgotten yours) and head to the top of the mountain via the Silver Queen Gondola. During the summer months, they offer 3 free classes a week which are an hour long hatha class. Class size is limited though and reservations are required, so book your spot early to ensure there is no FOMO.
If you are more a thrill seeker and want to get the blood pumping then Bike Snowmass has a network of downhill biking trails although it’s not as easy or relaxing as it sounds. With more than 50 miles of trail, downhill mountain biking will definitely get your adrenalin-pumping. As you navigate yourself down the mountain through the windy tracks and trails, you’ll be shown in your training session not to slam on your brakes as this will inevitably lead to you lurching over the handlebars and most probably down the mountain. Rather the technique is to move with the bike, leaning into corners, manoeuvring your body back and forward to enable you to move with ease down the mountain. The relaxation part comes at the Elk Camp Gondola as you have to get the Chairlift up the mountain in order to cycle down.
Hot Air Ballooning is another fantastic way to enjoy the enchanting beauty of the Rockies but from a different perspective. Whilst it’s an early start (you have to be ready for pick up from your hotel at 6am), the sunrise and spectacular views make it all worthwhile. Peaceful and calm, Hot Air Ballooning is the perfect way to enjoy all of Aspen’s stunning landscape, savouring the rugged landscape, although the prospect of being held 1000ft off the ground in a wicker basket is slightly unsettling at first!
If you want to immerse yourself in the local traditions then head to Snowmass, Aspen’s nearby sister town for the weekly rodeo. Slightly higher in altitude and a 14km drive from Aspen, Snowmass is by no means living in Aspen’s shadow. The Rodeo is an exciting spectacle which takes place every Wednesday, bringing together people of all ages for an evening of local traditions.
Snowmass is also home to the ultimate in 5* luxury, the Viceroy Hotel. For those who are in some need of some R and R after the long flight, head to the spa at the Viceroy Hotel in Snowmass. This stunning, 7000-square foot spa is designed by Jean-Michel Gathy who is responsible for some of the most enduring hotel designs in the world.
The Spa offers a number of classic treatments including massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. As Aspen and Snowmass are situated at a high altitude, this can wreak havoc on skin, making it dehydrated. Opt for the full body massage with shea butter to help soothe weary limbs whilst also giving the skin an intensive moisturising effect.
Seven nights in Aspen/Snowmass, including three nights at The St Regis Aspen and four nights at The Viceroy Snowmass, with SUV (4×4) hire car and international flights with British Airways starts from £1,820pp based on two people sharing. To find out more call Scott Dunn on 020 8682 5030 or visit www.scottdunn.com
Aspen Chamber Resort Association- www.aspenchamber.org
Snowmass Tourism www.snowmasstourism.com