Purgatory Resort Uphill Traffic Policy Remains In Effect
Purgatory Resort asks that guests refrain from all uphill access while the ski area is closed.
Purgatory suspended all mountain operations on March 15 due to an executive order from Colorado Governor Jared Polis. The order requires that all ski areas in the state of Colorado remain closed through April 6.
Purgatory leases the land from the United States Forest Service (USFS) through a Special Use Permit. In accordance with the USFS approved operating plan, backcountry activities are only allowed on the backside of the mountain. The Hermosa Park USFS road must be used to access this area. Backcountry skiers and snowboarders, snowmobiles or other over-the-snow motorized vehicles are not allowed on the front side of Purgatory Resort. In addition, no sledding or tubing is allowed on ski trails.
During the closure, Purgatory is not maintaining the ski area terrain.
“If folks are skiing in a closed resort area, conditions are more like backcountry skiing,” said James Simino, Columbine District Ranger for the San Juan National Forest Service. “The emergency services people are accustomed to when the resort is open are not readily available.”
Purgatory Ski Patrol is currently not on duty, and the Mercy Medical Clinic located in the Columbine Beginner Area is closed.
Along with natural hazards, those accessing the mountain during the closure are moving hazards for the Purgatory employees still working.
“Crews are still on the mountain operating heavy equipment, breaking down terrain parks and removing safety markings, 7-days a week,” said Dave Rathbun, general manager of Purgatory Resort.
Purgatory Resort announced on March 19 that due to an extension of Governor Polis’ order, resort operations are suspended until April 6.
“We encourage the public to get out and enjoy some fresh air, but to also follow the rules and use good judgment around snow conditions and safety,” said Rathbun.