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03.2001

36

IMAGE durango010301.gif

LOGBOOK

Deep snow, blue sky, near zero tempera-
turesandvariablewindsallmixedto-
gether intoa recipe for a great time at the
2001 Snowdown.
Durangocelebratesthe Winter sea-
son each year with a variety of activities at
venuesthroughoutthe area. Theballoon
launch site is north in an areaslowly being
filledinbyhomes.Bummersaysome?
Butno. The property developer is soex-
cited by the beautiful bubbles floatingon
the morning breezes, he is writing into the
homeowner covenantsthat they must al-

Snowdown
Durango, Colorado

by Stephen Blucher

lowballoonstolaunchfromtheiryards
every year duringSnowdown.
A footof new snow made excellent
launchsitesforthisyear’sparticipants.
Of course it meant careful flight to: a. stay
inthevalleyasroadseastarefew,far
betweenandsnowcoveredandtothe
west, whilethe next valley is close...if you
are a crow...it is a long drive for the chase
crewtomaketheendrunaroundthe
ridge...andb. findalandingspotwhere
thecrew hadaccess.Inmanycasesthat
meanton plowed roads or walking aero-

statsout of fieldsto roads.
AnotherpopularSnowdownevent
(anupandcomingsport)isskijouring.
Puttogether a horse andrider, jumps, an
obstacle orslalom course and a skier at the
endof a rope...well, you get the idea.
Pilots could not have asked for better
Winterflyingconditions.Thesurface
winds were light and variable while aloft
aerostatsweremovingatagoodclip.
Reminiscent of Albuquerque, there was a
boxthatsomepilotsflewmakingfinal
landings within feetof launchsites.

IMAGE durango010302.gif

Snow and 7º F
temperatu re
greeted pilots
at the 2001
Durango,
Colorado
Snowdown.

Return to Checklist March 2001


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