How New Trails Become Major Fun at Purgatory
As we approach opening day (scheduled for November 18, 2017 – less than one month away!), our mountain teams are making snow, doing lift maintenance, and finishing tree glading for future trails. When it comes to naming new trails, we put a lot of thought into every name (we’re now up to 99 named trails!). As a matter of fact, we just christened a brand new intermediate trail: Major Fun. And while we’re confident this back side run will be a real joyride, the name has a deeper connection:
Major Fun is a nod to Major LeFebvre, an unforgettable staff member who held several positions at Purgatory during his tenure that began in 1970 (just 5 years after the mountain opened). He started as a mechanic then switched to driving snowcats before becoming the trail maintenance foreman. His final position at Purgatory was the mountain operations coordinator.
After serving in the Vietnam War, Major developed a fiery, no-nonsense management style that shaped our resort. He ran his crew like a drill sergeant and he demanded the best out of his employees – especially while trail building. Major was one of the masterminds behind Purgatory’s trail network. His theory was to begin building trails the winter before, and he spent considerable time analyzing, skiing and flagging prospective new trails. Once the spring melt passed, his team would begin glading with the expectation that the new trails were ready to go before the first snowfall (Major’s goal was to create at least two new trails every year).
While Major’s trail building ended several years ago, he still skis over 100 days each year (Major not-so-subtly tells people that he was once an alternate on the U.S. men’s Olympic ski team and was ranked 4th in the world). Although he built many of the trails he skis, he maintains he doesn’t have a favorite: the entire mountain is his playground!
We asked Major what it meant to be considered a legend himself (and to have a run named after him), but his thoughts were simple: he doesn’t consider himself a legend. He’s simply a part of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into creating our beloved mountain.