OPEN SLOPES: Wild Mountain ready for skis, snowboards - New York News

OPEN SLOPES: Wild Mountain ready for skis, snowboards

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TAYLORS FALLS, Minn. (KMSP) -

Whole some aren't particularly excited about the recent cold snap, for those who are in the snow business, they're getting a jump on building a winter wonderland.

The leaves are still turning and many golf courses are still open, but several snowboarders were quick to ride the snow the folks at Wild Mountain have already put down.

"It's a different crowd early in the season," Matt Haverman, on the ski patrol, told Fox 9 news. "It's all the snowboarders, all the guys that like to be on the rails. They're kind of the diehards."

While few are longing for shorter days and colder nights, the combination is the perfect recipe for making winter appear.

"We turned the guns on last night at about 10 o'clock and shut off this morning at about 7 a.m.," explained Amy Frishmon.

On Monday night, the metro saw its first hard frost of the season, and that's all it took for Wild Mountain to become the region's first ski area to open once more.

Wild Mountain plans to stay open for business even though Mother Nature may not put down her own powder for a bit -- but for those who turned out on opening day, having snow on the ground matters more than how much there is.

"Pretty stoked," Jesse Paul said. "I mean, I definitely didn't expect it to have snow today. I thought it was going to be at least until this weekend."

Although the area covered is only about twice the size of a football field and the pack is only about six to eight inches deep, it was enough to lure many out to dust off their boards.

"It's just nice to snowboard and get back into things," Chris Vanneste said.

It's not the earliest opening Wild Mountain has ever had, but it's still not bad for the end of October.

"It's always good to be out before Halloween," Gabe Walstrom said. "It's amazing. I heard the news today, and I had to get out there."

Last year, the ski area set a record by opening on Oct. 7, and they say this year, the snow on the ground is about a week earlier than usual. In fact, they're one of the first five ski resorts in the country to be running.

If the weather cooperates, Wild Mountain hopes to have all the runs open by Thanksgiving Day.

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