DULUTH, Minn. – As Northland continues to experience warmer temperatures, this is causing a few roadblocks for those who enjoy winter activities.
Minnesotans find plenty to keep busy during the winter, but with the snowmelt it has become a bit difficult to do their favorite activities like skiing or snowmobiling.
“You know, it’s Minnesota, sometimes the season is a little later, sometimes it snows on Halloween, so you never know, it’s definitely a little slower start to the year this year, especially with temperatures close to 50 tomorrow compared to what I’m hearing, ”said Tommy Jacobson, digital marketing and inside sales at RJ’s Sports And Cycle.
And that kept the ski areas from constantly producing snow, which made it difficult for some to open.
“We were hoping to open on the 16th, which was already postponed from our scheduled opening date, things seem a bit wintry right now, but unfortunately with temperatures climbing to 40 degrees and rain forecast for tomorrow, this just getting less and we’re less likely to open this weekend, ”said Sam Luoma, program and operations manager at Chester Bowl.
With a little rain in the forecast too, it could wear down the already existing base for the ski and snowmobile trails, which adds another challenge in trying to maintain and prepare them.
“We really need the temperatures to be constantly below 20 degrees, usually around 0 degrees when we’re producing the best snow,” Luoma said.
While ski resorts are capable of producing snow, snowmobile trails depend on natural snowfall.
“Usually one foot gives them a good start, as long as they get a steady build after they can continue to groom and keep them smooth, so hopefully we get it this year and everyone will be happy, ”said Jacobson.
Despite the heat wave, the Minnesotans are always ready for the snow to come, purchasing all the gear they need to enjoy the winter.
“The snowmobiles have been crazy, the number of inbound calls is unlike anything I’ve seen personally, the demand is still high, people want to go out and play and can’t really blame them,” added Jacobson.
And the ski areas saw the same, “yeah, it’s been a little crazy, there was a really good response this year, so I was looking forward to having a group of skiers,” Luoma said.
The Chester Bowl Ski Area is hoping to open in the coming weeks, while RJ’s Sports and Cycle is stepping up a gear for its annual DECC Boat Show in February.