Fun Facts

Fun Facts About Purgatory/Durango Mountain Resort


1.  Purgatory was named after Purgatory Creek, a tributary that runs into the Animas River.  The resort’s founders (Chet Anderson and Raymond Duncan) decided it would be appropriate to tie that theme to Dante’s Inferno which mentions Purgatory – a 7-storied mountain.  Note:  Purgatory Creek still runs through Purgatory today.


2.  Trail names with references to Dante’s Inferno are:

▪  Catharsis (and Upper Catharsis)

▪  Demon

▪  El Diablo

▪  Hades (Upper and Lower)

▪  Limbo (and Limbo Alley)

▪  Pandemonium

▪  Paradise

▪  Pitchfork

▪  Styx


3.  Many trails are named after founders, employees, shareholders, and notable locals:

▪  Ambassadors Glade (Chuck and Sue Cobb)

▪  Annie’s Angels Tread (Annie Simonson)

▪  Bank (The Bank of Durango and former owner Nick Turner – who financed much of the initial work)

▪  BD&M Expressway (B for Don ‘Boudreaux’ Miller, D for Dirty Don Hinckley, M for Major Lefebvre)

▪  Blackburn’s Bash (Keith Blackburn and Benny Basham)

▪  Boudreaux’s (Don “Boudreaux” Miller)

▪  Chet’s (Chet Anderson)

▪  Crazy Joe’s (named after Joe – a log skidder who did some unbelievable work with his equipment)

▪  Elliott’s (Mike Elliott)

▪  Harris Hill Run (Sterling Harris)

▪  Hoody’s (Jim Hards)

▪  Joan’s Jubilee (Joan Duncan)

▪  McCormack’s Maze (Mike McCormack)

▪  Mercy (prominent Durango physician, Dr. Pat Luter)

▪  Paul’s Park (Paul Folwell)

▪  Ray’s Ridge (Ray Duncan)

▪  Sally’s (Sally Folwell Duncan)

▪  Siegele Street (Charlie Siegele)

▪  Tinker’s Dam (and Tinker’s Dam Detour) (John and Helen Swire Tinker)

▪  Vincent’s (Vincent Duncan)


4.  Trail name changes:

▪  BDM Expressway’s original name was “Damn If I Know”.

▪  Demon’s original name was Swire’s Gulch.

▪  No Mercy’s original name was 666 – or ‘sixes’.


5.  Trails in the Columbine area never show up on a trail map.  They have an education theme:

▪  Apprentice

▪  Graduate

▪  PhD

▪  Professor

▪  Columbine (Colorado’s state flower).


6.  Wapiti, Dead Spike and Bull Run have something in common … they’re all named after elk.  Wapiti is the Native American word for elk.  Dead Spike was named when trail clearing crews found a dead spike (young elk) in the area.  Bull Run was named for the bull elk that ran across the trail when it was being cut.


7.  Runs …

▪  Longest Black – Ray’s Ridge is 5,500 feet (that’s over a mile!)

▪  Longest Blue – Boogie – is 6,700 feet (that’s more than 1.25 miles!)

▪  Longest Green – Pinkerton Toll Road is 7,000 feet (that’s almost 1.33 miles!)

▪  Shortest (black) – Li’l Toot is 390 feet

▪  Most Challenging (black) – McCormack’s Maze/Hoody’s

▪  Steepest/Bumpiest – Lower Bull Run


8. DMR’s average snowfall is 260 inches blanketing 1,360 skiable acres via 85 trails and 3 terrain parks.


9. Our base is at 8,793 feet above sea level and we summit at 10,822 feet.  This gives us 2,029 feet of vertical drop.


10. Our 85 trails consist of 20% beginner, 45% intermediate and 35% expert runs.


11. DMR has a beacon training park located at the bottom of Lift 3.


12. There are 1,243 lift chairs on the mountain.  At 50% capacity, 621 chairs can be occupied to achieve a full load (half the chairs are unoccupied on their way down the mountain) for a total of 1,864 riders being taken up the mountain at any given moment (1,876 if you include the magic carpet).  Below is a detailed list of our lifts:




Lift Name

# of


# People

Per Chair

Upload Capacity

Per Rotation



1 PurgatoryVillageExpress




high speed, detachable
2 Engineer Lift




mid mountain loading
3 HermosaParkExpress




high speed, detachable
4 Twilight Lift




offers midway loading
5 Grizzly Lift




6 Needles Lift




7 Graduate Lift




beginner area lift
8 Legends Lift




offers midway loading
9 Columbine Lift




beginner area lift
      Magic Carpet




near the base of Lift #4


13. When fully loaded, Lift #1 is able to carry 3,000 riders per hour at a speed of 12 miles per hour.


14. Lifts 2, 4, 5, and 6 are named after the mountains towards which they point.  Lift 8 is named in honor of the many “Legends” of Purg and Lift 9 is named after Colorado’s state flower.

15. Our most “vintage” lift is Chair #2.

16. The resort uses on average 33,000,000 gallons of water each year to make snow.  That number, of course, depends upon how helpful Mother Nature decides to be.  At full output, we are capable of pumping 3,000 gallons of water per minute and our air capacity for the same purpose maxes out at 12,000 cubic feet per minute.  Our snowmaking guns can cover 250 acres of skiable terrain.

17. Our rental equipment fleet (for the 2010-2011 season) includes …

▪  Skis (pairs) – 1,620

▪  Ski Boots (pairs) – 1,819

▪  Poles (pairs) – 1,600

▪  Snowboards – 542

▪  Snowboard Boots (pairs) – 593

▪  Helmets – 650

▪  Snowshoes (pairs) – 39

18. In 1998, The Dave Spencer Ski Classic got its start at Purgatory.  Each year since then, DMR has hosted the race which benefits the Adaptive Sports Association (ASA) – an organization which helps to enrich and transform the lives of people with disabilities through sports and recreation.  This race draws physically challenged skiers and riders from across the country.

19. 3 Olympians trained at Purgatory … Mike Elliott and twins Lanny and Tracey Barnes.  Mike is still active at DMR through his involvement with the Durango Winter Sports Foundation.

20. Pat Arnone holds the record for the Goliath Gelande jump at Purgatory with his 262 foot jump in 2008 which trumped the previous record of 254 feet set in 1984 by Phil Lamont.

21. In the summer, many of our trails convert to world class mountain bike trails which are utilized by amateurs and professionals for both training and competition.  In 2001, DMR hosted the World Cup mountain bike race.  We hosted a NORBA race in 2002 and in 2003 we hosted the NORBA national championship.

22. Beginning in 2009 the annual Quarterhorse Bicycle Race (as part of the Iron Horse Bicycle Race) ends in the plaza of Durango Mountain Resort.

23. The current Creekside Italian Kitchen has undergone several personality changes – New York Bakery, Mesquite’s, Joey’s, and Ricardo’s.

24. Each season we do some serious cooking.  During the ’09-’10 winter season …

▪  we grilled approximately 30,000 hamburgers.

▪  we fried up approximately 20,000 pounds of French fries (that is about the weight of 5 average sized cars!).

▪  we sold approximately 3,000 Snickers bars.  It’s our best selling candy/chocolate bar with Starburst and Skittles running 2nd and 3rd.


25. Ska Brewery named a beer after former DMR executive Vern Greco.  They called it Adios Vern Ale.


26. We’ve received some rave reviews …

▪  Sunset Magazine featured us as a top “Mountain Weekend” destination.

▪  Mountain Sports & Living Magazine calls us one of their “Diamonds in the Fluff – Our 10 Favorite Ski Towns”.

▪  Ski Magazine readers say Purgatory has the best weather in all of North America.

▪  Ski Magazine names DMR as one of the 7 Great Mountains to Ski with Your Kids.

▪  Ski Magazine names DMR as one of the Next Best Places to Ski, Live, Invest, and Retire.

▪  Condé Nast Traveler’s Ski Poll puts Purgatory in its Top 20 Ski Resorts list pointing out that we have “some of the most spectacular and memorable scenery in the Rockies.  People come from all over the world to get a dose of true Colorado Rocky Mountain beauty.”


27. Durango Mountain Resort has grown to a point that it …

▪  has its own utility company providing propane, cable, phone, and internet.

▪  has 14 individual Homeowners Associations and one Master HOA with 439 families as member/ homeowners.

▪  is a major driving force in Durango’s economics employing …

*  ~900 employees during winter (including volunteer positions)

*  ~225 employees during summer (including volunteer positions)

*  ~125 employees during our shoulder seasons of fall and spring


28. DMR was instrumental in working with the City of Durango and the Regional Housing Association in creating affordable Workforce Housing and getting other local businesses to do the same.


29.  DMR regularly (and generously) donates to charitable organizations.

▪  Since 2003 (when we started keeping records), we’ve donated more than a quarter million dollars in cash to local charitable organizations through our annual Benefit Day and Locals Days.

▪  Benefit Day was actually established in 1993 and it is safe to assume that in the 10 years between when we started the program and when we began recording our donated amount (in 2003), we donated an additional $200,000+/-.

▪  In addition, each year our Contributions Committee receives many hundreds of requests for product and other types of donations.  Although this has been happening since the resort first opened, we only started keeping track of the value of our donations since 1995.  Since then, these donations total a value in excess of half a million dollars.