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ropeways.net | Home | 2017-09-04

New Mountain Coaster, New Trails & other Improvements at Purgatory

Coming later in 2017, Purgatory will feature a new mountain coaster that will be accessible right from the base area. Located just north of the Twilight Lift 4, the coaster will operate during both winter and summer seasons.  The mountain coaster will be 4,000 feet in length with a 300 foot-vertical, and will feature nine switchbacks and one loop, giving guests another fun activity snow or shine.  Work has already begun on the mountain coaster project and crews will start excavating footings and installing track in the coming weeks for its winter debut.

Purgatory is also adding new intermediate and expert trails on the back- and front-sides of the mountain, including new gladed tree skiing terrain.  A new trail on the backside of the mountain, included in the approved Master Development Plan, will open this winter.  The triple chairlift, Needles Lift 6 will offer a new mid-way loading zone that provides an easier way to access terrain for ski teams, terrain park users, and skiers/riders who want to make laps on the upper half of the mountain. 

“Our mountain crews have been removing dead and hazard trees in an effort to help maintain a healthy forest,” stated Ed Youmans, vice president of Mountain Operations at Purgatory Resort.  “These efforts help protect our forest while providing additional gladed tree skiing for our snow enthusiasts.”

Improvements have been made to the snowmaking infrastructure, nearly doubling capacity on the frontside with new pipe, access to electricity, and additional energy efficient snow guns and fans.  Crews have been boosting snowmaking capacity on the upper portion of the frontside, including the top of Lift 1, the mid-way loading zone on Lift 6, and the Lift 2 area to help produce a great skiable product especially during early season.  The new snowmaking equipment improves Purgatory’s ability to make snow and open the resort more efficiently.  The mountain team plans to start making snow in October, weather permitting.

“By upgrading our snowmaking system and boosting our capacity and efficiency, we’re able to make more snow during a shorter amount of time, which ultimately allows us to open the mountain earlier and maintain our solid base throughout the spring,” stated Youmans.“With cooler nighttime temperatures and the leaves already starting to change, everyone at Purgatory is getting excited to kick off the ski season.”

These projects are part of a $15 million multi-mountain capital improvement plan for the 2017/2018 season that was announced earlier this year by resort officials with the largest ski area collective in the Southwest.  The five mountains include:  Purgatory Resort, Arizona Snowbowl, Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort, Pajarito Mountain, Hesperus Ski Area, and Colorado’s largest snowcat skiing operation, Purgatory Snowcat Adventures.  The Southwest’s largest ski area collective has invested a grand total of $35 million over three consecutive seasons to make improvements to the guest experience, enhancements to the mountains, and to provide something new and exciting for locals and visitors alike.

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