Colorado, United States
Durango Mountain Resort, also known by its former name Purgatory, is a ski resort located in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado, 25 miles north of the town of Durango. It was originally opened in 1965 and offers 85 trails, including 2 terrain parks, the Paradise Freestyle Arena and Pitchfork Terrain Garden. It has 11 ski lifts, including one six-person "Flying Couch" and one high speed quad lift. Average annual snowfall is 260 inches per year, and artificial snow is produced on approximately one-fifth of the mountain. The elevation at the summit is 10,822 feet, with a vertical drop of 2,029 feet.
The name Purgatory comes from a 1776 Spanish Expedition led by Silvestre Vélez de Escalante. Several Spanish explorers traveling on a nearby river were lost. Their bodies were never found and the other explorers believed that the souls of the lost men would be relegated to Purgatory.
The Purgatory Ski Area got its name from the miners of the 1890s. The base of the ski area is an area once called Purgatory Flats. When miners were trying to get from Durango to the prosperous mines in the Silverton area they had to pay $.50 to use the toll road. Miners who couldn't afford the toll were stuck in the area which became known as Purgatory Flats because they were stuck in a position of Limbo. They couldn't afford to get up the mountain but can't see themselves quitting and going down when so close.