Though there's no snow on the ground yet, ski and snowboard season is getting an early start at Wild Mountain in Taylors Falls thanks to a chilly start to October.
The business says the Oct. 7 opener is the earliest they've ever had, and it's even the earliest opening in the nation this year. With the right combination of cold, company officials said they just couldn't wait to coat the hills in 24 inches of snow.
"As soon as it dips below freezing, we want to have a crew on hand 24/7 just in case so we can turn the guns on," explained Amy Frischmon, who said this is the second time the hill has been the first to open. "Yesterday I was thinking, I think it's going to happen."
Her prediction turned out to be exactly on point, even though the water slides were running just two weeks ago.
When Cary Peterson woke up to more than a dozen text messages saying the hill was open, he was surprised but he wasn't going to miss out.
"I had no clue it would be open," he said.
The early start means some Minnesotans are having a wacky week of fun in the wildly-changing weather. Last weekend, Mike Frischmon was water skiing. Now, he's snowboarding.
Rebecca Selig, the 2009 World Free Skiing Champion, came to Wild Mountain for a promotional event this weekend that had nothing to do with snow, and she said she's never been able to hit the slopes so soon.
Early on Sunday morning, the snow machines at Afton Alps got their first test run too. They won't be opening yet, but their annual Fall Fair and Ski and Snowboard swap will feature a little bit of snow.