Temps Plunge, Fake Snow Falls, Buck Hill Opens

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota truly is a theater of seasons.

On Saturday, it was 69 degrees: Golfers took the links, and even a tornado touched down in Burnsville. But a cold front moved in Sunday, and snowflakes fell, causing traffic headaches in the metro for Monday morning commuters and numerous ice-related injuries.

And on Tuesday the cool temperatures allowed Burnsville’s Buck Hill to open.

“I needed to come for opening day,” said 11-year-old snowboarder Ryan Jurchisin. “I was thinking: Yes, about time.”

Jergusen and his friend, Jack Otterson, had been itching to ride.

When temperatures fell Sunday, Buck Hill started making snow. On opening day, two of the hill’s 16 runs had a base of 6-12 inches.

Tom Schulz, Buck Hill’s ski school director, says counting on man-made snow has become the norm.

“We do plan on making a lot of snow each year,” Schulz said. “Get the snow guns out, wait for the cool temps and then just get rollin’.”

Tuesday’s skiers and snowboarders remembered last year’s mild and relatively snow-free winter.

Ellie Augustine, a snowboarder, says she prefers real snow, but also realizes Minnesota weather gives no powder guarantees.

“It just gets a little icy, but it’s Minnesota – you gotta work with what you got,” she said.

For Schulz, he’s just happy the hill opened so early.

“To be open before Thanksgiving is always a treat,” he said.

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