Durango Mountain Resort - Purgatory

by: Jim7445 - Mar 23, 2009

  • Overall Rating 3
  • Family Friendly 3
  • All Mtn. Terrain 3
  • Terrain Park 4
  • Nightlife 2

    Pros: Varied Selection of Runs, Wide Groomers

    Cons: Poor Grooming, Bad Mountain Layout, Slow Lifts

    Recommended For: Empty Nesters

    Date Visited: Mar 1, 2009


Full review

The Good:
Wide intermediate runs to accommodate a wide ability range of skiers.
Challenging runs for the more advanced skiers.
Lift 1 (6 person lift) and Lift 3 (4 person lift) are high speed, comfortable lifts.


The Bad:
Extremely poor grooming. Runs are groomed only every 2nd or every 3rd day. With warm spring conditions, the lack of grooming left many runs icy.

Very, Very slow, uncomfortable lifts. All except Lifts 1 and 3 are old, slow, agonizing, and excruciating.

Lift 3 (the main backside lift) is on a high point. All except advanced skiers will have an extended uphill pole to reach this lift. Locals say this is a yearly problem that the resort refuses to spend money to correct.

Lift lines - the staff does an extremely poor job of organizing and coordinating the lift lines. Crowds push forward - every person for himself. The 6-person lift will often have just one or two skiers on a chair with long lines behind.

No place to eat for lunch. Of course there is on mountain restaurants – very pricey and very poor quality. Little to no place for a brown bag lunch for the budget conscience family.

Storage lockers for boots very pricey - $6-8 each time a locker is opened. A family will require two or three lockers and can easily spend $50 plus each day to access boots, extra gloves, camera, lunches, etc.

Few places to store skies overnight. Crowds quickly overwhelmed the ski storage area.

The mountain layout. Our group found the backside of the mountain enjoyable and fun. It takes a 20 - 30 minute traverse to get there. To get back at lunch or the end of the day, another 20 - 30 minutes. Lunch turns into a 1-1/2 hour round trip (or longer).

It is very difficult for groups to coordinate at DMR-Purgatory. If you ever split up, it is unlikely to ever get back together. There is almost no cell phone service on the backside of the mountain. All of the lifts generally feed different areas so meeting with your group is extremely difficult.



Overall our family had a good time at Purgatory (Spring Break, March 2009). We had 13 skiers in our group from intermediate to advanced (ages 14 thru adult).

No activity at the mountain at night. Durango (30 minute drive) is a fun town - many places to eat, reasonably priced.

The weather was warm and combined with the Spring Break crowds, there was much stress on the snow. It was pretty slushy by the end of the day in the high traffic areas .

DMR-Purgatory really cuts when it comes to service. The resort is run by a branch of The Disney Company. They have evidently made efforts to save money wherever possible - lack of grooming, understaffed lift lines, few ski storage areas, old lifts, no/few summer improvements to the lift loading areas, etc. There is a major expansion of condos ongoing. Perhaps an increase in on-slope services will soon follow. Will a little more effort, Disney could make DMR a nice resort. As for now, profits apparently come first.

Purgatory is probably best visited on a non-holiday.

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