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Killer Weekend: Chilling out in Durango snow

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1) Sled neck with the Durango Ice Pirates

The Ice Pirates know how to carve up the mountains with their snow machines. With 55,000 acres of terrain in South Mineral Creek just outside Silverton, Colorado, and high up on Molas Pass, there’s no shortage of where to go. You can even catch the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad coal train and a maybe a little vertigo in Cascade Canyon and start your snowmobile tour at 10,000 feet. www.dgoicepirates.com

2) Purgatory Nordic Center

With 20 kilometers of trails, and six especially just for snowshoeing, Purgatory Nordic Center is a winter wonderland for getting outside. There is a classic ski track along the scenic groomed trail system, and yes, fat bikes are allowed. www.purgatoryresort.com/winter-activities/purgatory-nordic-center/

3) Get your thrills at Chapman Hill

This sliver of winter fun is part of Durango, Colorado’s parks and recreation program, and sits right over town. With seven acres of snowmaking, bump runs, terrain park features and a sledding hill, the fun is served by two separate rope tows. Chapman has been tugging skiers up the hill since 1954, and with 600 feet of vertical, it’s no pancake. Warm up in inside at the Chapman Hill ice rink or head out on the ice. You can watch a hockey game or drop in one yourself. www.durangogov.org

4) Fat bike around town

Durango is a cycling mecca, no matter what time of year. Although winter can bring huge dumps of snow, often local trails are well packed down from all the outdoor lovers getting their fix. Check in with Velorution Cycles and Bedrock Bags for fat bike rentals and roll out their front door and up into the Telegraph Trail system. www.velorutioncycles.com

5) Winter running

Durango is also a brewing trail running destination, home to more than 80 miles of trail within city parks. There’s The Telegraph Trail system, Overend Mountain Park and Dalla Mountain Park, in addition to the paved Animas River Trail which stretches more than seven miles north to south along the namesake river where winter anglers cast flies in Gold Medal waters. The trail passes through numerous city parks with river overlooks, and past the Santa Rita Whitewater Park as well.

Stop by the Durango Running Company to get an update on trail conditions. www.durangorunning.com

Contact editor Brandon Mathis at bmathis@bcimedia.com or 970-375-4576

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