Some of the top skiers in the Four Corners will descend on Purgatory Resort and Chapman Hill this week, as the Purgatory Ski Team will host freestyle and alpine racing from Wednesday through Sunday.
The two main events will be the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Qualifier mogul competition and the Purgatory Classic Alpine race, which will both be held at the new events arena at the Upper Hades run Saturday and Sunday. Friday night will see the dual slalom event at Chapman Hill in Durango.
Thirteen ski teams from Colorado and New Mexico will compete, and Purgatory Ski Team coach Kirk Rawles is excited to host the large event.
“Both the alpine and freestyle team are hosting on the same weekend, so it just worked out really well,” Rawles said. “We’re super excited about having everybody up there and showcasing what we do. It’ll be a good weekend for people to come up there to check it out and see what we’ve got going on here as far as skiing in Durango.”
Rawles said there are 140 athletes on the team, ranging from age 8 to the high school level, and most will practice throughout the week at Chapman Hill spread across the three main disciplines: alpine, freeride and freestyle.
“It’s going to be quite the sight to see with all the kids practicing. It’s right in town, so people can come by and check it out all week long,” Rawles said.
Spectators will be able to watch both alpine and moguls events Saturday and Sunday on the front side of the mountain.
“This is the first year where we put the moguls on the front side, and they are usually on the back, so I’m excited to see how it turns out,” Rawles said. “We’ve never been next to each other before, so that in itself will be pretty cool to see. It’s really just turning the front side of the mountain into one big event center.”
Alpine racing will include numerous events including flight school, speed camp, super-G and giant slalom.
Finals competition begins at 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Racing for the dual slalom will begin at 5 p.m. Friday at Chapman Hill.
“I think there’s going to be some great action, and we can’t wait for it to begin,” Rawles said. “It’s going to be great competition all weekend long and we are just so excited to have all three events going on this weekend.”