Did you know Purgatory turned 50 this year? We have something in common with the Super Bowl. It turned 50, and what a better way to celebrate 50 years at Purgatory then with a Bronco’s win. While natives have been calling it Purgatory since the 60’s it has had a different name for the last few years. But, alas, we are back to good ol’ Purgatory or Purg, if you prefer. Purgatory gets it’s name from a creek that runs through the Animas River valley called, of course, Purgatory Creek! I haven’t done my research but I would bet Purgatory Creek was named sometime around the time Silverton was going through the silver boom in the 1800’s. What’s is so nice about Purgatory is the vastness of the terrain. There are many trails from the very novice to extremely experienced. The temperatures in our little slice of heaven are also wonderful for skiing. Even though the thermostat will register 28 degrees it feels like 60 when you are in the sun on top of the mountain. Now that has been established on to the more fun part of 50 years at Purgatory. For the fashionista’s out there the ski fashion over the last 50 years might be laughable and disastrous however, be thankful that we aren’t wearing long skirts or bouffant hair styles anymore! In the 1960’s ski fashion looked to the fashion world and the runways. It became a glamourous look. A step up from the bulky materials used in decades past spandex helped create lighter more form fitting attire. The 1970’s brought about psychedelic colors, of course, and maybe a hint of peace and free love! What the 70’s did do was bring about change to the layers of warmth. I didn’t start skiing until the mid 80’s and it was all about blue jeans, short jackets, gators and bouffant hair styles. There must have been enough hair spray applied to the hair styles of the 80’s to cushion just about any fall one might have on the slopes. If you do some research however, you will find that it was the birth of the onesies and overalls in very catching patterns both abstract and animal. Guess the animal designs were meant to bring out the tiger in you! Not much changed in the 1990’s except the colors of the onesies and the style of the hair . Gone was the spiked bangs ushering in the frosted tips. With the growing popularity of snowboarding ski wear took on a nostalgic air in the fact of bringing back the 2 piece snow out fits. So what might your personal favorit be? Although there were some nice looking styles throughout the years I must say mine would be the most recent with the mere reason technology has given us fabrics that are much warmer than say the gabardine of the 1920’s or the polyester of the 50’s. Me? I’m happy with the warmth so therefore, by default my favorite genre is the current one!
Well, all I can say is my how the outfits have changed over the years but also how supremely happy we are, here that the O-Bar-O, that the name has been restored to Purgatory. It does the heart good to hear it spoken again.
Come celebrate with the O-Bar-O and enjoy 50 years of skiing at Purgatory.