Flashback: Pro-style, dual-format ski racing returns to Purgatory.
The Purgatory Pro Race, sponsored by Pro Turf, will be held Saturday on Pandemonium, the showcase run under the Purgatory Village Express chairlift.
The event will be staged by Purgatory's race/events department in conjunction with the Durango Winter Sports Foundation.
The race, open to skiers 18 and older, will feature prize money provided by Durango-based Pro Turf.
The racing spectacle will be held in the spirit of the U.S. Pro Ski Tour, with side-by-side giant slalom racing and a stepladder elimination bracket.
Pro Ski Tour races were held at Purgatory in the 1970s and 1980s, with dual courses and a pair of built-in jumps.
The dual GS will be set on Pandemonium with the headwall breakovers serving as high-speed jumps.
"It should be fun," said Dale Womack of the Purgatory race/events department and a longtime Purgatory skier.
"We had a good turnout on Upper Hades (for a pro-style race) last year," Womack said. "So we said let's resurrect ... racing on Pando."
This year, officials opted to move the event to Pandemonium, where it will be visible to skiers and boarders riding the main chairlift from the Purgatory base.
"This takes Purg back to its racing roots," Womack said. "The whole ski area was kind of built around ski racing and Pando."
This year's event is open to skiers 18 and older. Registration fee is $30. A discount lift ticket ($25) is available with a Purgatory Pro Race bib.
Helmets are mandatory.
There will be a registration party today at The Summit in downtown Durango from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Online registration is available at durangomountainresort. com.
Late registration will run 7-8 a.m. Saturday at Hoody's Base Camp, located on the second floor of the Purgatory Village Hotel. Racers will load the main lift at 8:30 a.m. Saturday for course inspection.
Qualifying races begin at 9:40 a.m. on the red course and the blue course. The dual format single elimination racing begins at 11:30 a.m.
Awards will be presented at Hoody's at 4:30 p.m.
Invitations to the event have been sent to ski areas and race departments at resorts in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.
"We'd love it if people could do online signup," Womack said. "That would help."
He said the idea for the pro-style race with prize money came from Rich and Kendra Holmes and their Pro Turf company last year.
They're back with prize money again this year, he said.
"This is possible because of Rich and Kendra Holmes and Pro Turf," Womack said.
He said he hopes a lot of former Purgatory race team skiers get back in the action Saturday.
"It should be a riot. It's such a fun ... format.
"There's definite potential for fast guys to show up."