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Durango Mountain Resort
, also known by its former name Purgatory (known to the locals) is a ski resort
A ski resort is a resort developed for skiing and other winter sports. In Europe a ski resort is a town or village in a ski area - a mountainous area, where there are ski trails and supporting services such as hotels and other accommodation, restaurants, equipment rental and a ski lift system...
located in the San Juan Mountains
The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The area is highly mineralized and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton, Ouray, and...
of Southwest Colorado, 42 miles (67.6 km) north of the town of Durango
The City of Durango is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of La Plata County, Colorado, United States. The United States Census Bureau said that the city population was 16,887 in 2010 census.-History:...
. It was originally opened in 1965 and offers 85 trails, including 2 terrain parks, the Paradise Freestyle Arena and Pitchfork Terrain Garden. And also the Divine expression sessions. It has 11 ski lifts, including one six-person "Flying Couch" or "Six pack" and one high speed quad lift. Average annual snowfall is 260 inches per year, and artificial snow is produced on approximately one-fifth of the mountain. The elevation at the summit is 10822 feet (3,298.5 m), with a vertical drop of 2029 feet (618.4 m).
The name Purgatory comes from Purgatory Creek which runs through the area and Purgatory Flats, today the location of the base of the ski area. The exact origin of the name itself is unclear. Some believe it originated from a 1776 Spanish expedition led by Silvestre Vélez de Escalante. Several Spanish explorers traveling on a nearby river were lost. Their bodies were never found and the other explorers believed that the souls of the lost men would be relegated to Purgatory. Another theory states that when miners were trying to get from Durango to the prosperous mines in the Silverton area they had to pay $.50 to use the toll road. Miners who couldn't afford the toll were stuck in the area which became known as Purgatory Flats because they were stuck in a position of Limbo. They couldn't afford to get up the mountain but can't see themselves quitting and going down when so close.