Increased snowmaking and strategic investments will improve the customer experience for 2022/23. Courtesy picture
DURANGO, Colo. – Purgatory is pleased to announce that the 2022/23 ski season is set to begin Nov. 19, with snowmaking upgrades and other infrastructure and operational improvements.
Purgatory will expand snowmaking coverage for the 2022/23 ski season to include the lower Paradise to the midway loading of Needles Triple (Lift 6), allowing the resort to open more early terrain. high altitude season if temperatures do not permit high altitude. cross-country skiing. The $1.25 million snowmaking upgrades will improve snowmaking capacity, quality and reliability through a completely rebuilt water pumping and air compression plant incorporating low-power automated solutions. energy and state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment.
“We are dedicated to the long-term success of Purgatory and our mission to give people the freedom to ski,” said Purgatory General Manager Dave Rathbun. “The significant investment in snowmaking will allow us to open as soon as possible, with better snow conditions early in the season, and help us build a deep base to ensure a long season.”
Purgatory’s long-term growth and capital improvement plans include expanding terrain, lodging, dining and ski services, as well as continued lift upgrades and expansions, snowmaking, parking and improving the station’s transport services. The following capital improvement projects are nearing completion for the 22/23 ski season:
Modernization of the snowmaking system
Snowmaking will be more reliable and efficient, consume less energy, save staff time and utilize every snowmaking temperature window. Upgrades include nine rebuilt primary and booster water pumps; the replacement of five obsolete and inefficient air compressors with a single new energy-efficient Ingersol Rand NX-5000 compressor; and upgrades to automated control systems housed in a new computerized snowmaking control room. Snowmaking operations for the 22/23 season should begin in mid-October, weather permitting.
“We expect these improvements to increase snow production by 25% or more,” noted Josh Hamill, slope maintenance manager for Purgatory Resort. “This not only improves the early-season experience, but also reduces the time it takes to cover our artificial snow trails with high-quality snow, allowing us to open the field faster than in the past if Mother Nature takes its time to provide natural snowfall.”
Purgatory has increased parking capacity to improve traffic flow, accessibility and safety. Purgatory has completed adding 50 parking spaces to the Lower Columbine lot for winter 22/23, and pending permit approvals will add 125-150 new parking spaces to the Gelande lot before this season. To encourage carpooling, the Main Village parking lot will continue to offer free parking on weekends and holidays for vehicles carrying four or more people.
Slope grooming and maintenance
Purgatory completed the removal of hazardous trees in 2022 to reduce forest fuels and help prevent wildfires. Removal of other beetle-killed trees will continue next spring, allowing staff to skid trees over snow, reduce ground disturbance and control erosion. A Prinoth Leitwolf X winch cat, due for delivery in November, will complement the rotation of Purgatory’s snow groomer fleet, enhancing trail and park maintenance capabilities.
Over the past 3 years, Purgatory has made significant investments to replace its entire fleet of grooming machines. Prinoth Leitwolf is known as the most powerful snow groomer in the world and is the benchmark for ski resorts. The station now has one of the most modern and technologically advanced grooming fleets in the industry.
Food and drink
Dante’s Café and Backside Bistro will receive dining experience enhancements to the resort, including new design elements combined with a reimagined dining experience for both locations.
Skiers will benefit from a new high-performance rental fleet from Völkl. Demo skis and boards will also be available for the first time through online reservations.
Upgraded Wi-Fi hotspots in the base area, on the beach and inside the Powderhouse and Dante mountain lodges will provide more bandwidth and improved connectivity. The improved system will make it easier for customers to access Purgatory’s online dining experience for a more convenient, contactless ordering process.
Digital radio system
The move from analog radio systems to digital mountain radio systems for ski patrollers will provide greater coverage and advanced location services throughout the resort, improving visitor and patroller safety. The extension of the digital system to cover the entire station will be completed until 2024.
This summer, Purgatory installed the latest 14 Deason Built mountain bike racks for increased climbing capacity and efficiency in transporting riders and their gear to Durango’s only lift-served downhill mountain bike park. Purgatory also completed Shangri-La, the resort’s beginner-friendly 11km downhill trail from the top of the Purgatory Express (lift 1) to the top of the Twilight Double (lift 4).
This winter, Purgatory Resort will be open daily from November 19 to April 9, 2023 and weekends only until April 23 (conditions permitting). Stay tuned as Purgatory continues to unveil its plans for Winter 2022/23, purgatory.ski.
Purgatory is nestled between Durango and Silverton along the San Juan Skyway at the southern end of the San Juan Mountains. One of Colorado’s most family-friendly ski resorts, Purgatory’s Power Kids Season Pass offers free unlimited access to ski, horseback and mountain biking serviced by the lifts for all children 12 and under, with no blackout days or purchase required. Purgatory features 105 trails, 4 terrain parks, 12 lifts and 1,605 skiable acres of steep tree skiing and large open cruisers; as well as year-round family activities, lodging, retail, restaurants, bars and iconic events. Home to Colorado’s largest guided snowcat operation, Purgatory Snowcat Adventures covers 35,000 acres of rolling glades, large open bowls, cliffs, waterfalls, ravines, and trees. Visit Purgatory.ski.