Purgatory Resort began blowing snow this week on the heels of its third-snowiest season since it opened more than 50 years ago.
Snow towers sprayed frozen mist on Purgatory’s base area Friday morning in preparation for the 2019-20 season, scheduled to start Nov. 22. Snowmaking crews took advantage of low overnight temperatures and a frosty morning to test the equipment and make sure “everything is ready to go for Mother Nature,” said Sam Williams, Purgatory’s senior director of mountain operations.
“The temps are not favorable for snowmaking over the next 10 to 14 days, so we don’t anticipate starting up again until then,” Williams said. “We need to have consistent cold temps for a certain duration of time, so not a quick cold snap like we saw last night.”
No new trails or parks are planned for the 2019-20 season. Snowmaking crews are hoping to operate Purg Lift No. 1 for top-to-bottom skiing on opening day, Williams said.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area was the first Colorado resort to open for the new ski season after announcing Friday that it would start operating lifts at 3:30 p.m., The Summit Daily reported. The resort said it would run until 5:30 p.m. and provide access to an intermediate trail for $15.
Keystone Resort announced Friday that it would open Saturday, making it the earliest opening day for the resort in over 20 years.
The 2018-19 season dumped more than 360 inches of snow at Purgatory – and early-season snow in Montana and on the Front Range may be a precursor to what The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts will be a winter filled with low temperatures and deep powder, said spokeswoman Theresa Blake Graven.
All children ages 10 and younger are eligible for a free season pass. Day passes are up to 50% off at purgatoryresort.com until Tuesday.