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Small ski area near Durango closes for upcoming season due to charlift mechanical failure

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Posted at 2:10 PM, Dec 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-28 08:23:38-05

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. — A major mechanical failure of its only chairlift has forced a closure of Hesperus Ski Area for the 2023-2024 season.

The issue is inside the Bighorn Chairlift gearbox, according to a press release from the Durango-area ski area. The gearbox is the lift’s transmission that connects the motor to the drive bullwheel and is crucial for the lift’s operation, it reads. The ski area could not find a replacement fast enough to salvage the season.


"Hesperus Ski Area is working with Purgatory Resort to provide alternative options for passholders to ski and ride this winter, and to make the exchange or refund process as streamlined as possible," the ski resort said.

Passholders can use this form to start that process.

"We recognize the significance of Hesperus Ski Area to our local ski community, and we want to express our heartfelt gratitude for your ongoing support," the press release reads. "We understand the disappointment that this closure may bring, and we are determined to address the current challenges and welcome skiers and riders back to Hespie in the future."

When open, Hesperus offers 26 trails on 60 skiable acres and sees about 150 inches of snowfall each year. It is a popular place for night skiing. Hesperus has a relatively low lift ticket price, with an adult pass costing $48 during daytime hours and $36 from 4-9 p.m.

The closest ski areas in Colorado include Purgatory Resort, Kendall Mountain, Silverton Mountain Ski Area and Telluride Ski Resort.

Ski season begins: These two Colorado resorts now open

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