According to Durango ski historian Robert McDaniel, the Durango Ski Club started sponsoring local ski competitions in the late 1930s. When Dolph Kuss arrived in the early 1950s, he established a junior ski racing program that emphasized Nordic (cross country) competition. In 1963, Chet Anderson, who later was instrumental in founding Purgatory Ski Area, started coaching the junior alpine (downhill) ski team. On the ride back from a competition in Crested Butte in winter 1963-64, Ray Duncan, a supporter of the local team, made a comment to Anderson that it was a shame the local skiers didn’t have a bigger hill than Hesperus to train on. Anderson remarked that he knew of a bigger hill. Both Anderson and Duncan had for some time separately contemplated developing a major ski resort near Durango, and from that conversation a partnership grew that eventually led to the development of Purgatory Ski Area. This photo shows members of the Purgatory ski team, which competed in U.S. Ski Association-sanctioned meets in its second season. It was taken in winter 1966-67 at a race in Aspen. The coach, former Olympian Linda Meyers Tikalsky, is on the far left. Ski team members pictured from the back row, left to right, are: Bobbie Duthie, Dow Dunagan, J. D. Browning, Dick Andrews and Randy Dunagan. Front row, left to right, are Eric Jacobsen, Donna Denier and Joe Holgate.
Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, email@example.com