Warm weather is no deterrent for Purgatory Resort’s opening day Saturday, when the ski area will celebrate the beginning of its 52nd season.
Resort spokeswoman Kim Oyler said Purgatory nearly doubled its snowmaking capacity on the front side of the mountain with access to electricity and additional energy-efficient snow guns and fans.
“Our snowmaking crew has taken advantage of what cold temperatures we’ve had,” she said. “They have had some great production, and later this week it is supposed to be cold.”
This is the third consecutive year Purgatory will open on the weekend before Thanksgiving.
The resort will open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with Lifts 1 and 2 providing access to the Westfork and El Diablo trails.
Skiers and snowboarders will upload and download on Lift 1 and will have access to 683 vertical feet of skiable terrain under Lift 2.
Similar to last year, Purgatory will celebrate the start of the winter season with skiing and mountain biking, weather permitting.
Lift 4 will provide lift-served mountain biking from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with access to the Divinity Flow and Diggler trails and portions of the World’s Course.
Conditions permitting, the mountain bike chairlift may open again Nov. 24-26 for the holiday weekend.
Opening-day festivities include live music from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. by Paul Christian at the Powderhouse, with grilling on the restaurant’s deck and music from local bluegrass band The Outskirts from noon to 3 p.m. at Purgy’s.
Oyler said more terrain and lifts will open when conditions permit.
“We will be opening more and more terrain when we can take advantage of what Mother Nature provides,” she said.
Saturday’s forecast is expected to be sunny with highs in the mid 40s.
Wolf Creek Ski Area opened for weekend skiing and snowboarding Nov. 11.
Nova Lift, Wolf Creek’s beginner double chairlift, will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.
Treasure and Bonanza lifts will also operate on weekends with access to some of the main trails, including Tranquility, Treasure and Powder Puff Valley.
Telluride Ski Resort announced it will delay its opening until Dec. 2 because of unseasonably warm temperatures and a dry weather pattern across the region.
The resort’s snowmaking team has worked to make snow, primarily above 11,000 feet.
As temperatures drop, snowmaking efforts will increase at lower elevations.