Ear to the ground

“The fireman broke down the door with an axe, grabbed the burning pizza, threw it at him and left.”

-A Durangoan telling the story of a friend passing out while a party pizza was still cooking in the oven

Battle rages over who’s the highest

The fight for “nation’s highest” is on, and it isn’t pretty. Three Colorado towns are currently vying for the status of “America’s highest town” and the stakes and tempers are rising.

For many years, the dispute was between Alma and Leadville, two old mining towns located on opposite sides of Colorado’s Mosquito Range. Leadville has an elevation of 10,182 feet on its main street, Harrison Avenue, but city employees several years ago began using the municipal water tower, elevation 10,430 feet, as the marker. Alma responded by establishing an elevation of 10,578 feet, between its post office and water tank. Then along came Winter Park. Last summer, the town annexed the ski area, which reaches a maximum elevation of 12,060 feet.

In December, the Fairplay Flume wrote on the issue and found cranky officials in Alma and stealth marketing in Winter Park. Since the annexation, Winter Park town officials had erected signs at the town’s entrances to proclaim the title as the highest U.S. municipality.

At the same time, Alma refused to recognize Winter Park’s new claim. Dean Misontoni, an Alma saloon customer, said Winter Park’s claim was bogus, because no people lived at 12,000 feet. Alma Mayor Mark Dowaliby dismissed Winter Park’s claim as a “desperate ploy for attention.”

Purg wants you

Do high places and occasional bursts of speed turn you on? Have you always wanted to meet people from exotic locales? Are you adept at the art of the wedge and the stem-christie? Well, you’re in luck. Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort is looking for a few good men and women to serve as ski instructors.

Numerous ski school positions are now available at the local mountain. Purgatory’s Ski and Snowboard School offers in-house training, and instructors also receive a season pass for themselves and their dependents; friendship vouchers for friends and family members; discounts on restaurants, retail and rentals on the mountain and at other outlets in and around Durango; free transportation from town; carpool incentives; and more.

The Ski and Snowboard School will be holding a hiring clinic Jan. 28, and participants should check in at the office on the second level between 8-9 a.m. and be prepared to be on the snow. Would-be schoolers can also contact Purgatory at any time at 385-2149.


In this week's issue...

December 6, 2018
Shovels ready?

The wait is over – well, sort of. Almost two years ago, the City of Durango completed plans to extend the northern section of the Animas River Trail and build a boat ramp, trails, parking and other facilities at Oxbow Park and Preserve. 

November 29, 2018
Seat at the table

It’s time to make it official. Since the Bonita Peak Mining District was first declared a Superfund site in the summer of 2016, residents have been looking for ways to stay involved.

November 21, 2018
Call of the wild

Gray wolves once called the Colorado mountains home. They were essential to the ecosystem in the western part of the state and key to the culture of its inhabitants. But, the gray wolf vanished from this part of the world almost a century ago.