Our pal “Bal” needs our help!
Last Monday, one of our own was injured in an unfortunate accident heading to work on his bicycle.
Chris “Bal” Balcunus, a 40-year employee of Purgatory, was seriously injured and flown to Grand Junction with a severe head injury.
In the summer, Chris rode his bike every day to the Hillcrest Golf Course to work on the grounds maintenance crew. (Once he hit a bear in the dark; both were OK).
Bal started his Purgatory career as a nighttime baker at the Powderhouse. After a stint at baking, Chris got a job on the Winter Trail Crew, also called the “Mountain Monkeys.” This is where Monkey Gully got its name, because they would explore places no one dared to go.
After many years as a “Monkey,” Bal got his EMT certification and became a member of the Purgatory Ski Patrol.
There is no one who works harder, skis faster and loves his job more than Bal. Because of a knee injury, Bal transferred to the night grooming fleet. He works the graveyard shift so the groomers are groomed by the time we all arrive in the morning.
He has given his heart and soul to Durango and Purgatory since he arrived here.
There has been an account set up at First National Bank of Durango to help Chris, Phoebe and Spencer with what might be a long recovery. If you would care to donate, donations can be made at any First National branch under Chris’ name.
We need Bal back this winter; it’s just around the corner. Thanks from all of us on the Purgatory Ski Patrol.