Wild Mountain opens for the season, and snowboarders rejoice. But what about the coming warm weather?
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Call it a snowtober surprise.
“Yeah, wasn’t expecting it this early, but not mad,” smiles Franklin Stark, from Lindstrom.
For snow-mad teens at Wild Mountain, why would you be?
“So my friend Brandon DM’d me on Instagram, saying ‘Yo, Wild’s open’,” declared Chris Vue, from Forest Lake. “I was like, ‘I’m here.’”
Turns out, this is the second earliest Wild Mountain has opened for the season.
Back in 2012, staffers opened the slopes on Oct. 7.
“We tend to try to beat that all the time, and be the first resort to open in the nation, and we did so today,” explains Nathan Hakseth, the Snow Sports Manager for Wild Mountain. “So it’s kind of exciting.”
The mountain was a giant greenspace until just days ago, when it got cold enough to bring out the big guns: the resort’s giant snowmakers.
Hakseth says more is coming.
“Our snowmakers been working really hard here, the last two nights making snow,” he notes. “We’ve been pumping out around 1,000 gallons an hour while we’re in operation.”
It’s not the whole mountain, but in some places, that machine-made snow is 10 inches deep.
“There’s some slow parts, divots could be better, but you’ve got to work with what you’ve got,” Vue says. “But I’m loving it, it’s so much fun.”
This isn’t that light powdery stuff.
Skiers we spoke with say it’s heavy and dense, all artificial snow.
But it might be gone by this weekend, because of expected temperatures in the 70s.
That weather whiplash could cause setbacks.
“It’s going to get a little slow, it’s going to melt, but we’re still going to try to stay open,” Hakseth says. “And if we do close, the great thing about the fall and winter, we know what winter is coming, and it’s going to get cold, and we’re going to make some more at the earliest opportunity.”
But for now, these snowboarders and skiers — about 100 on this day — say they’re savoring every downhill run.
“It’s been good, it’s a lot faster than I was expecting,” Stark says. “It’s snow, we’ve got stuff to do, that’s all we care about.”