Almanac: Durango Mountain Resort (Formerly Purgatory Ski Resort)

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credit: Durango Mountain Resort

The almanac for Durango Mountain Resort.(All phone numbers are area code 970 unless otherwise noted.)

Vital Stats Skiable acres: 1,200. Number of lifts: 11. Vertical drop: 2,029 feet. Average snowfall: 260 inches. Lift tickets: $45 ($48 on holidays); ages 6-12 and 62-69: $24; under 6 and over 69: free. Season pass: $799. Contact: 800-979-9742; www.durangomountainresort.com.

Getting There Fly to Durango on one daily flight from Dallas (American), eight daily flights from Denver (United), four daily flights from Phoenix (America West) and four daily charter flights from Dallas (Adventure Tours). Most lodges offer shuttle service from the airport. Consider renting a car if you plan on frequent trips between town and ski area. Durango Transportation (259-4818) also serves the airport ($60 round trip).

When To Go Try mid-February through March for powder and fair weather; January and April for low rates and sparse crowds.

Sleeping In On the mountain, the Purgatory Village Condominium Hotel ($89-$595; 800-693-0175) offers one- two- and three-bedroom condos with balconies onto the slopes. In Durango, try the Strater ($89-$230; 800-247-4431) for character and historic charm.

Dining Out Casual gourmet: Head downtown for grilled tuna steak and a huge Caesar at Ken and Sue's Place (937 Main St.; 259-2616). Upscale: At The Palace (247-2018), next to the rail station, don't miss the chef's special steak and the amazing dessert selections. At Cascade Village, the Cascade Grill (259-3500) is renowned for excellent fish and wild game dishes.

Kicking Butt Cat skiing with San Juan Ski Company ($150 per day includes lunch; 800-208-1780).

Kicking Back The Trimble Hot Springs (247-0111).

Only In Durango The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (800-979-9742) departs downtown daily at 10 a.m. for a breathtakingly beautiful tour of the San Juans on tracks laid a century ago for mining cars.