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Mountain snapshot: Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort

As Denver shivered, it was sunny and in the 40s on the mountain north of Durango yesterday. While it hasn't snowed for a good week -- and lifts 5 and 8 on the back side were not open -- the views and the varied terrain, and the beautiful weather more than made up for it.

What's new:

The resort opened 125 acres of expert tree skiing on the back side off of lift 8 for the season. Last year, a new $50 million day lodge opened.

Mark the date:

Locals Days are the time to save money -- lift tickets are $39, $25 for kids. The next one is this Sunday (January 10), followed by February 7 and March 7. Next weekend -- January 16-17 -- is Winterfest, offering all sorts of snow-related activities.

Where to eat and sleep:

Splurge at Seasons Grill or eat and quaff like a Dubliner at the Irish Embassy. Bed down in style at the movie-themed Rochester Hotel or save a buck at the Siesta Motel.

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Overheard:

"Instead of Purgatory, they should call it Traverse-atory." - snowboarder girl

"My theory is the horizontal sedimentary rock makes a series of benches and dropoffs that makes the place unique." - goateed geologist

www.durangomountainresort.com

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