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Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
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Purgatory, CO, Mar. 20, 2019

Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:37 pm

After three days in Telluride we relocated to Durango for two nights. Joel Gratz of Open Snow predicted a storm through the Southwest late this week, but fortunately it held off for Wednesday. Purgatory has similar 8,750 base elevation to Telluride but is less steep and tops out at 10,800. So it was not surprising to have predominant spring conditions on its fifth consecutive sunny day. There was a light breeze, particularly noticeable riding chairs 3 and 8, so it was not excessively warm even though it was over 40F at the base.

We did not get on the hill until 10:30AM, when our first runs off chair 1 were edgeable but still on the firm side of ideal. Upper Hades here:

We skied three runs here with lower variations on Pandemonium and Tinker’s Dam.

We next moved to chair 3 and the popular groomed intermediate runs Peace and Boogie. Snow seemed better here but some of that was just being later in the morning. Better yet was Deadspike, which had very few skiers as it’s near the closed chair 5 despite an easy exit to chair 3.

We rode the Legends chair 8 once before having lunch at Dante’s. Top of 8:

Chair 8 is the same 1,500 vertical as chair 1 but both base and top are 500 feet higher and it’s a bit more direct north facing. Thus the groomed Ray’s Ridge and Chet’s were mostly packed powder when we skied them twice each after lunch. The final pitch to the Legends chair was tight chalk but edgeable.

We also ventured into two mogul runs, also with winter snow on the upper part of Legends, first Boudeaux’s.

The steepest was Upper Blackburn’s Bash.

We moved back to the main base via Deadspike, still deserted and skiing very smooth.

From chair 3 we skied Upper Bank to the top of the beginner chair 4. The runs under chair 4 face east and had taken enough sun to be corn in the afternoon.

I had hoped the chair 1 runs would be similar but they only had corn on their flat sections and were still slightly firm on their steep sections.

Still, the groomers we skied were generally in good shape all day long, and with 3 high speed lifts serving them I skied 26,800 vertical before we quit at 3:45PM. The parking lots were full but nearly all the congestion was around the base area, the beginner lift and to a mild extent on the chair 3 runs.

The next day I found out that it was Oklahoma spring break week.

Re: Purgatory, CO, Mar. 20, 2019

Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:48 am

yep.....the Oklahomans LOVE to hit up that area. the company i work for is based in OK. it was a ghost town last week. they straight shot to Colorado frequently.......just to , well, get out of Oklahoma of course!
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