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Mountain Blog

Purgatory Begins Snowmaking – earliest in resort history!

With the recent round of cold weather, our Slopes Manager, Josh Hamill launched snowmaking operations at Purgatory on Oct. 6 — the earliest snowmaking start in the history of the resort. We ran just over 20 snow guns and carefully piled our machine made snow into a handful of shaded spots on the mountain where it will hold until we’re ready to start pushing snow around with snowcats to build trails. We will continue snowmaking operations whenever temperatures permit until Mother Nature takes over.

Trail work on the backside of Purgatory continues.  The re-grading of the Legends Bypass was completed as ...

Improvements to Legends Bypass Underway!

Work is underway on the Legends Bypass trail. We are moving ahead with our project to improve the trail to the bottom of the Legends Express Lift 8. Our goal is to make this trail considerably more user friendly by widening it and re-grading the terrain to create a more gentle and consistent slope. The lower switchback has been lengthened to remove the steeper drop that was in place here last winter. We anticipate having this trail re-contoured and ready for snow by the middle of October.

When Fall Meets Winter!

We had our first snow of the season at ...

Work Begins on New Lift!

As you know, Purgatory is installing a new surface lift, T-3, which will open this winter.  It will take skiers heading west on the backside of the mountain over to the Legends Express high-speed quad.

Work has begun on installing T-3, the new Swiss Cord rope tow.  Today, we surveyed, and completed the geotechnical analysis of the T-3 lift alignments. The survey and geotechnical analysis are part of the preparation for excavating the four terminal locations. We anticipate starting excavation at the site by the end of September.

And, we’ll be ready for ski season!  Only 67 days and counting!  See you ...

Improvements to the Legends Bypass!

As part of the capital improvement projects for this coming winter, Purgatory announced that we would enhance access from the previous midway loading station to the bottom of the Legends Express Lift 8 high-speed quad for intermediate skiers and snowboarders.   The Forest Service recently approved our plan to improve the Legends Bypass to be more user friendly for intermediate skiers.

The changes we’re making to the Bypass will be a vast improvement.  We are re-grading it with the goal of making it a 16% grade overall, which will be more gradual than what exists currently.  We are altering the steep drop ...

Go with the Flow on Sept. 10th!

Hi, I’m Matthew, Events Manager at Purgatory Resort.  We’re all really excited about the upcoming Mountain Bike Festival and Flow Trail Race on September 10th.  If you have never participated in a downhill race before, I’ll share a couple thoughts that might be helpful.

Purgatory Flow Trail

So, let’s talk gravity.  One of the coolest things about the Divinity Flow Trail is that it is truly meant to be ridden without pedaling at all.  It was designed and built with a lot of thought and attention to making it truly “gravity powered.”  So, think of it not so much as a ...

New Lift, New Trail & More Mountain Improvements!

Hi!  My name is Ed Youmans, and I’m the new VP of Mountain Operations at Purgatory.  I come to Durango from the Mt. Hood area, and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of this great community!  My passion is skiing, and I’ve had the privilege of focusing my entire career on just that! I feel very fortunate that my career path has taken me through almost every area of ski resort operations and management, learning about every detail of the mountain recreation business.  My philosophy  — it’s never a bad day when you’re out skiing!

New Lift, Added Terrain ...

Legends Express – Now Open!

Thanks to everyone for coming out to the Grand Opening of the new Legends Express high-speed quad on the 19th.  It was a fantastic day with great skiing on the backside.

I’d like to thank the mountain operations team for all their hard work with the new lift construction.  We cut 3 new trails and added snowmaking to lower Ray’s and lower Blackburn’s in addition to the lift project.  Everyone worked extremely hard to get it ready for the grand opening, and all their efforts are very much appreciated.

Here’s a video of the grand opening, thanks to Durango Government TV for ...

Load Test Completed – Next Stop – Grand Opening!

We’ve completed the load test and mock lift evacuation exercise, which are mandatory requirements before the new Legends Express (Lift 8) is opened.  Everything went well and now we’re just finishing up a few items on the punch list.

Loading Chairs on the new Legends Express Lift 8








Loading Chairs on Legends Express

This season, we added snowmaking on Lower Blackburn’s Bash and Lower Ray’s Ridge.  Our crews are using the winch cat to get the snow spread around for the grand opening of new Legends Express.

With Mother Nature’s help of 25 inches between Saturday & Tuesday, we plan to have a fantastic ...

Fresh Snow & Progress Made on Drive Terminals

With fresh snow on the mountain from yesterday’s storm, our lift crew is working hard to make more progress on the new Legends Lift 8 terminals.  As you can imagine, it’s essential that the terminal roofs are in place because winter storms are becoming more frequent.

Image taken Sun., Nov. 8 at the bottom of the new Legends Lift 8.

We continue to burn slash piles and are grading the bottom of Lift 8.  Access to the backside of the mountain has switched to snowmobiles as Mother Nature continues to bring us more snow.  Next up, the rigging crew will head over ...

Lift Terminals Installed & Winter is Here!

The New High-Speed Lift is Coming Together!

The new high speed quad, Legends Lift 8, is coming together!  Crews installed the top drive terminal of the lift just before the latest storm moved in.  There’s still a lot of assembly work to be done, but the big process of setting the top terminal with the crane was completed yesterday, as well as setting the lift house at the top.  Crews are now taking the crane down to the bottom of the lift to install the bottom terminal later this week.

Winter is Here!

Winter is at Purgatory once again, and the latest storm ...

Snow – Coming Soon!

SNOW – Coming Soon!

Purgatory is opening earlier this year than in recent history.  Our planned opening day is Saturday, Nov. 21 to kick off Purgatory’s 50th ski season.  Our winter supervising staff is returning to the resort, putting together operating plans and preparing for employee training.

As for our mountain operations, the snowmaking equipment is already in place on Demon and the crew is ready to start making snow as soon as the temperatures drop, which could be later this week.  If Mother Nature cooperates, we will make snow earlier this season than in approximately 20 years.  However, the current system ...

Prepping for Winter!

Fan guns and snow making equipment are ready on the frontside.  Just waiting for the temperatures to drop!   Winter is coming!

New Towers & Cross Arms


We’ve been busy on the backside of the mountain!  Here are some recent images when the K-MAX helicopter returned to Purgatory to set the new towers and cross arms.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Go with the Flow!


Purgatory hosted the grand opening of the Divinity Flow Trail – Durango’s only lift-served downhill mountain bike flow trail on Sunday, Sept. 13.  We celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony with our partners, the Forest Service, Trails 2000, and AJ Construction– who provided equipment and manpower.  Our trails manager, Josh Hamill, had the honors of cutting the ribbon as he and fellow crew member Grady James (who was not there due to a scheduling conflict) were lead on building the trail.   Hundreds of mountain bikers were at the resort that day conquering Divinity and our other mountain bike trails.  We ...

A Little Help from Above!

I’ve been involved with the installation of 7 lifts at Purgatory, and what I love most is how the entire  mountain operations team really comes together and works hard to get a project like this done.

Late last week, a K-MAX helicopter flew in a total of 95 yards of concrete, and it was all hands on deck.  Each bucket contained 1 yard, totaling 95 trips from the concrete trucks to the tower foundations.  Last Saturday, the helicopter & crew removed the old lift towers and cross arms with 43 trips to the old Legends Lift line.  21 lift towers in ...