New Purgatory surface lift should open by late January

A skier heads up the Purgatory Village Express past several snow guns at Purgatory Resort. A new surface lift on the mountain’s backside should be ready to start running by mid- to late January Enlargephoto

Durango Herald file

A skier heads up the Purgatory Village Express past several snow guns at Purgatory Resort. A new surface lift on the mountain’s backside should be ready to start running by mid- to late January

The new surface lift on the backside of Purgatory Resort should be ready to start hauling skiers and snowboarders by mid- to late January, spokeswoman Kim Oyler said Tuesday.

Last fall, Purgatory announced it would install a new lift along a flat section near the bottom of Lifts 3, 5 and 8. Oyler said it will transport skiers heading west on the backside of the mountain, connecting a new expert trail to Lift 8, which was upgraded to a high-speed chairlift last year.

She said the new Lift 11 is a pair of Swiss Cord rope tows. It allows skiers from any point along the alignment to access the rope tow, which will take them to the base of Lift 8.

“Positioned end-to-end, spanning approximately 1,300 feet, skiers can grab any point and move to the west toward the high-speed quad after enjoying some excellent fall-line skiing,” Oyler said.

Crews have installed four terminal foundations, and the remaining work should be complete by the end of this month.