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Purgatory Resort begins snowmaking for early opening

Dylan Dreher checks the progress of snowmaking operations Nov. 18, 2014, at Purgatory Resort. The resort has already started making snow this year in preparation for a planned opening day of Nov. 21.

Purgatory Resort has begun making snow in preparation for its earliest planned opening in recent history.

The resort, 30 miles north of Durango, began blowing snow Friday night, said Kim Oyler, spokeswoman for Purgatory. “It’s the earliest that we’ve made snow in over 20 years,” she said.

Twenty-two snow guns operated for four consecutive nights, but warmer temperatures and higher humidity will necessitate a hiatus until Friday night when temperatures are expected to dip low enough to continue snowmaking, she said.

Weather forecasters are calling for 1-3 inches of snow Thursday night and 1-2 inches Friday night at Purgatory, she said.

Snowmaking is occurring on the upper portions of Demon, an intermediate run that funnels heavy skier traffic.

The resort plans to open Nov. 21, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“As temperatures and humidity drop, additional snowmaking equipment will come online as crews continue prepping the mountain for opening day,” Oyler said.

Herald Staff

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