Cold Snap Closes Northland Ski Hills Early

Posted at: 01/20/2013 8:06 PM
Updated at: 01/21/2013 5:37 AM
By: Laurie Stribling

Cold temperatures forced some Duluth area ski hills to close early in order to protect both guests and employees.

Spirit Mountain in Duluth closed at 6 p.m. Sunday, which is three hours earlier than the usual 9 p.m. The ski hill is also planning an early closure for Monday at 5 p.m.

"We made the decision yesterday, hard decision that it was," Executive Director Renee Mattson said. "We do take the safety of our guests and employees first."

While temperatures barely climbed above zero, about 500 people braved the cold Sunday and hit the slopes.

"It's very cold and I'm not liking it," Adam Schaus said. "My face hurts and everything else hurts, but it's worth it."

Adam and his mom Sarah were visiting Duluth from down in the metro, and it seemed many other visitors didn't let frigid temperatures change their vacation plans.

"It's chilly," Gary Kemp said. "It's quite cold. I have so many layers on it's not even funny."

Kemp, who is also visiting Duluth during the holiday weekend, said he was somewhat thankful for the cold weather.

"There are not a lot of people around to watch me fall," Kemp said. "So, that's good when you're learning to snowboard."

There were other ski hill closures in the Northland Sunday.

Giants Ridge closed at 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. and will open a hour later tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Mont Du Lac closed early at 4 p.m. Sunday and will be closed again on Monday.

Chester Bowl in Duluth didn't open at all Sunday and will be closed again on Monday.