Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort announced today that it plans to open Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 25, to be precise, and has a lot of new offerings this winter to check out on its 1,360 acres of terrain, 88 trails and five terrain parks.
Plunge the Zipline
While the Purgatory Plunge Zipline debuted this summer, it’s going to be an entirely new experience this winter as “Plungers” zip over skiers hanging out on Purgatory Beach and Purgy’s patio. Thrill seekers soar for more than a football field at 35 mph, and will enjoy a unique après ski experience. The Purgatory Plunge is one of only a handful of ziplines open in the winter at a ski resort.
High Angle Grooming
After the past few years of expanding expert terrain offerings, such as gladed tree-skiing on the front and backside of the mountain, Purgatory will now add High Angle Grooming for those who want to experience the steeps but prefer the sweetness of vertical corduroy.
Added to the mix of Purg’s grooming fleet is the Prinoth Bison X with Sherpa Winch that will allow grooming on steeper terrain: Experience Styx, Lower Hades, Catharsis and other trails will be groomed at different times throughout the season.
Lovers of the ungroomed need not fret, as Purg’s crew will only be grooming half of the designated expert runs – keeping the other half still in its natural, non-manicured state. Experts will now find groomed snow, powder and moguls all on the same run.
Rocker Technology for Beginners
Purgatory is offering enhancements to the beginners’ experience that allows them to progress more rapidly, making it easier than ever before to learn to ski. Lessons at Purgatory are structured around a new program, which includes using specialized Volkl skis rented at Purgatory Rentals that are engineered with “rocker tip” technology. These special skis lower the propensity to cross ski tips and improve turn radius.
Ski school lessons also incorporate a teaching progression methodology with the use of graduated lengths of skis as a beginner improves. This gives newbies the ability to learn turns with more stability and instills more confidence on the slopes. The bottom line with this new program is that beginner skiers will be able to advance more quickly and learn at a greater pace than ever before, making it a better experience all around.
January is “Learn to Ski/Ride Month” and Purgatory will feature special offers and great packages for those who want to learn a new winter sport. Packages will include lift tickets, lessons and ski/snowboard rentals, providing the first timer with everything they need to get started. Ski and Ride School is offering special lessons geared toward those who have never ever skied.
Keeping the Parks Fresh
Following up on Purgatory’s commitment to keeping its Terrain Parks fresh, Durango Mountain Resort is adding a new park to its mix of Terrain Park offerings. Last year, Purgatory started constructing its half pipe and other features out of dirt in order to provide more consistent conditions, which allowed it to open earlier than ever before as it needed less snow to form.
This year, Purgatory is adding the Pinkerton Starter Park to the mix, which will have small features that are perfect for skiers and riders who are new to the terrain park world and want to try out their skills before hitting the big league. Also being enhanced this year is the Animas City Adventure Park, an area featuring store fronts from the old west designed for kids of all ages to ski and ride through it.
New Snow Adventure Camp for Kids
Snow PACK (Purgatory Adventure Camp for Kids) is a new day camp for children ages 7-12 who love outdoor winter adventures. Kids will make new friends and participate in exciting activities, such as tubing, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, scavenger hunts, building snow sculptures, forts and igloos, and more.
Other programs include learning winter skills and safety and doing arts and crafts projects. Kids will have time to be kids, be creative, socialize and have fun! Included is a daily hot lunch, daily bus transportation to/from Durango/Purgatory, winter program gear rentals (such as tubes, snowshoes, etc.), arts & craft supplies and a free Snow PACK t-shirt. Snow PACK dates are February 20-24, 2012.
Master the Mountain
Purgatory is featuring some new clinics this season, including two weekend camps. The Women’s Weekend Camp on Feb. 11and12 provides two fun-filled days of opportunities to meet other women with similar skiing and riding abilities and improve their skiing and riding skills in a small group environment. Taught by Purgatory’s top women instructors, this clinic will help women gain more confidence on the slopes and achieve the next level.
OnFeb. 25and26 the Mogul Busters Weekend Camp will help improve participants’ bump skiing abilities. With two full days of coaching by Purgatory’s top professionals, participants will be bumping with the best of them in no time, from blue bump trails to double diamond bump terrain.
Other new clinics include the Early Season Tune Up Clinic on Dec. 17 to get a jump start on the season. The Mogul Masters Clinic will help novice to zipper line skiers find the best lines and perfect their skills on the bumps, offered Jan. 28, Feb. 18 and March 11. All ability levels will learn progressive techniques of Tele skiing at the Purgatory Tele Daze Clinic on Dec. 18, Jan. 14 and Feb. 7.
Other Additions and Improvements
• Debuting this winter is Alpine Chic, a new ladies clothing, footwear and accessories store in Purgatory Village Plaza that will help elevate a woman’s mountain style. Whether she’s looking for a stylish memento of her trip or wanting a fresh style for après ski, Alpine Chic is the hub for ladies’ mountain apparel
• Kendall Mountain Liquors moved locations in Purgatory Village Plaza and expanded its selection of fine wine, domestic and craft beer, spirits and souvenirs
• New seasonal family locker rooms have been added to Purgatory Village Center, making it more convenient to store items while out on the mountain
• The new Winter Adventure Center in Purgatory Village Plaza provides one-stop shopping for winter enthusiasts to make their reservations for horse-drawn sleigh rides, guided snowshoe tours, snowmobile adventures and more
• Headquartered inside Backcountry Experience’s Purgatory Village Plaza location, Kling Mountain Guides provides guided backcountry skiing, mountaineering and ice climbing for those looking for winter adventures with a seasoned guide
• Operating out of Durango Mountain Resort, the San Juan Ski Company, Colorado’s largest backcountry snowcat skiing/snowboarding operator, is adding new specialty trips to its traditional snowcat skiing/riding tours. Family PowderCats lets the entire clan experience intermediate backcountry terrain; Learn-to-Ski Powder Snowcat provides a full-day lesson in the backcountry; and go big or go home with the Steep Skiing Clinics that take cliff huckers and big mountain rippers on the trip of their dreams. With more than 35,000 acres of terrain, SJSC is a sure bet for epic skiing and snowboarding. Visit www.SanJuanSki.com for more details.
Calendar of Events
Dec. 17-18: BrewSki Demofest brings winter sports and local craft beer together for one exciting weekend. Try out new winter sports equipment like snowshoes, backcountry packs and avalanche gear, demo alpine skis and snowboards, then savor delicious samples of local award-winning craft beers. Durango Mountain Resort will also host avalanche clinics throughout the weekend.
Jan. 14-16: Winterfest is an event that gives snow enthusiasts of all ages opportunities to experience new winter activities, such as ice climbing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing and more. Events are hosted at Durango Mountain Resort and sponsored by Backcountry Experience.
Feb. 1-5: Snowdown Winter Festival dates back to 1979 and brings together the entire Durango community to celebrate winter. The theme changes annually, and there are more than 60 different events, with new activities being added every year. Events include an evening parade, Ski Softball Tournament, Snowdown Balloon Rally, wine tasting, beard growing contest, Snowdown Follies, Bed Race, a fireworks show and more. The festival’s events have become favorites of locals and visitors alike.
This winter it will be easier than ever to get from Dallas to Durango with new daily direct flights on American Airlines’ regional jets. The airline’s arrival schedule allows ski enthusiasts to fly direct from Dallas/Fort Worth to the Durango airport and hit the slopes before noon.