Originally Posted by twarsh
anyone have any info on Sandypoint, Durango, or wolf creek?
I work in Durango, ski Wolf Creek, live in the middle.
Durango is one of the more expensive off the radar ski towns. Living in Durango proper, houses tend to start around $400,000. Condos are well within your budget. For a guy looking for powder, this isn't really your place. Snowfall at DMR is average at 269" a year (according to our esteemed Tony Crocker), and seasons are very volatile. The mountain is mild, they groom a LOT. Silverton is a very cool place, but you can't ski there 50 times a year unless you want to buy guided tickets all year. Telluride and Wolf are ~3 hours away.
We just bought my house in October- 7 miles North of Bayfield. Paid 200k for a 2000 square foot house on 1.3 acres. Near the top of a foothill with a 60+ mile view into NM. Mortgage payments $1,150 per month. It is 1:20 to Wolf with dry roads.
Pagosa Springs real estate is very affordable- similar to what we bought our house for. The $200k-$250 range goes a long way.
Pagosa goes to sleep in the winter. During the summer, it gets plugged up with tourists, mainly from Texas. Skiing is the off-season.
Half the town is folks who migrated out of Texas to retire or just stop working so hard. It may seem like I am ragging on Texas. I am not. However, tourists from Texas tend to be a different breed, and this town is heavily colored by being a key TX vacation destination. If how loud you are is directly related to how much fun you are having, you may have found your new home.
If one is looking for nightlife in the sense that they go to a bar to find people to date, that doesn't really exist. Locals are very friendly and everyone in town knows everyone else in short order. You have a good chance of finding a great local girl who can ski you into the ground to have a relationship with. You have a terrible chance of hooking up in casual relationships- there just aren't enough people. If you want random hookups, you better get really good at picking up Texas girls as they get off the church bus at the ski area.
The mountain gets so much more snow than the rest of CO it really makes skiing a different ballgame. The skier visits/snow ratio is some of the best in the US and up there with places like Targhee. When it snows, you can count on untracked lines bell to bell, and into the next day. Untracked snow exists virtually every day of the ski year as long as you are willing to hike for it- it manks out before it skis off.
Wolf gets ridiculously huge storm cycles. a typical year sees 6+ storm cycles of 50-120" of snow. Last year 120" dropped over 11 days with new snow every day. Last year by Thanksgiving I had 8 over the knee powder days in a season that started on natural snow October 19. The ski area is open on natural snow before Halloween about 4 out of ten years. The terrain opening policy is one of the most liberal in the US- generally, if the lift is spinning, all terrain served by that lift is open- you have the option to ski it if YOU feel like taking the risk. No staring at 3' of freshies locked away behind a rope- stuff only really gets closed if there is a slide risk. This means as a Wolf Creek skier you will get access to lift served, patrolled, off-piste terrain earlier than anyone else in the US during most seasons- many years this is open day 1.
I like the trees here better than anywhere I have ever skied. 1000 acres of the ski area has no cut runs. There is a ton of very steep technical terrain- chutes, cliffs, gullies, cornices, all the good stuff.
The mountain is 30 minutes from town.
There is exceptionally limited snowmaking, and 1 year in 10 there is nothing but the bunny hill open at Christmas. Early season is feast or famine (but averages 150" a year by Jan 1).
Every line on the mountain has a green-pitch segment. There are no consistent fall-line runs. You piece together steeps of 300-500 feet in vert, and have flats in between. On average, 1 storm a season comes in upside down and makes the mountain unskiable, because you are ground to a halt in the flats. A powder day will consist of standing on your heels riding out the flats between the good stuff. For this reason, it is impossible to own a pair of skis that are too fat here.
This is really a mountain that you need to ski before moving here.