PEAKS AND VALLEYS OF COLORADO.
Out of 96 “fourteeners”, mountains with more than 14,000 ft (4267 m above sea level) in the US, in the State of Colorado you can find 53 of them. Even valleys with famous ski resorts such as Aspen, Vail or Telluride are elevated up to 6,000 ft (2000 m). Colorado's Rocky Mountains offer extremely challenging conditions and aviators from all around the US come there to brush skills of high-altitude navigation, canyon flying and mountain ranges passing.
Rocky Mountains are difficult to drive through - making it from one valley to another can take easily 5-6 hours. With an aircraft, however, one can visit the most beautiful sites of Colorado, often in deserted and isolated areas within a couple of hours. After three hours drive from Denver International Airport we started our tour out of Eagle County Regional Airport in Vail valley, which is the best starting point for exploring the wild nature of the State of Colorado.
For a pilot, Leadville is a very special landing awarded not only with beautiful mountain nature of central Colorado Plateau, but also with a certificate confirming that he lands on the highest airport in North America (9934 ft / 3,026 m.).
For getting anywhere from Vail valley an explorer must first pass through high altitude passes which offer incredible views on mountain ranges. We departed to the South, flew over famous Aspen area whose airport was full of private jets of billionaires from all around the world and made stop over on empty airport (or just a concrete strip in wide and poorly inhabited valley) near the town of Gunnison. Second part of our flight was crowned with spectacular lending on Telluride airport on the rock rising above valley.