By Kirsten Mitchell

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Winter officially starts Tuesday, but after a rollercoaster of weather last week melted a lot of Minnesota’s snow, it doesn’t quite look like it.

The wild weather didn’t stop Chris Van Hoven from training for the Birkebeiner at Theodore Wirth Park, one of the several Twin Cities metro parks providing skiers with man-made snow.

“We shouldn’t have shoveled. It was all gone!” Van Hoven said. “We love getting outside, so we’ll get out no matter what. But it’s definitely different.”

Brave sledders took a few runs through the patchy snow in Minneapolis Monday. For more snow, the chances are better up north, or at Minnesota’s many resorts.

Tubing at Buck Hill (credit: CBS)

Welch Village just opened a brand-new quad chair lift, and 12 lanes of tubing is back open at Buck Hill in Burnsville.

“We do have everything staffed for this winter and we’re excited to be open and ready to go as soon as the weather allows and we get enough water down,” said Larry Umphrey, director of athletics, aquatics, ice arenas and golf for the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.

Outdoor city rinks took a big hit during last week’s warm weather. Edina plans to open theirs on Tuesday, while St. Paul and Minneapolis still have more freezing to do.

“Our crews are out nearly 24 hours a day flooding rinks while the conditions permit,” Umphrey said. “We’re hoping that 10 days or so from now that we’ll have rinks open and available for safe and fun outdoor skating.”

Kirsten Mitchell