MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The last couple of days we have been about 20 degrees above average in the Twin Cities. People were out in force enjoying the weather, even if they weren’t super happy about it.
A lot of Minnesotans really like the warm weather in January, but we came out to Theodore Wirth Park and we found people who would much rather it be cold out here.
Sixteen Nordic ski teams from all over the metro are competing the Loppet Invite, but Mother Nature isn’t really cooperating.
“The conditions seem too warm today. You know, like I’d rather have a 20-degree day, then it’s sort of cold, and it feels more normal because I don’t know what to wear right now [laughs]!” said skier Areeya Reynolds.
Eric Friberg is the head coach at Henry Sibley High School, and he says it’s really hard to find trails to practice on.
“It’s nice to be outside when it’s this warm, but, it’s hard when it comes to actually finding snow,” Friberg said.
All the trails aren’t skiable, unless the trails make their own snow.
“There’s a couple venues that have snow making, which is great because we can actually have an event like today. But during the week, we have a team of about 65 kids, finding a spot to have them practice, have them develop the skills to learn how to ski and be ready for an race like today is pretty difficult,” he said.
And having a space to ski is getting more and more important for these teams.
“Pretty much every team in the metro has seen an increase in skiers this year. Maybe due to the Olympics, due to Jessie Diggins, and unfortunately we can’t teach them how to ski!” Friberg said.
The Loppet Foundation puts this race on every year.
“We came out here last year and it was like 20 below, for this same race,” said parent Kristen Swanson.
And Swanson was out here cheer her son on for both races. But given the choice? She’d choose the negatives.
“I did fine being super cold last year, I would rather have cold and snow in Minnesota in the winter, as a parent of a Nordic skier,” Swanson said.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is warning the people. so that’s going to make that problem even worse.