In Minnesota, you can still find a skiing spot in a July heat wave — sort of

A snow patch at Lutsen Mountains, seen Friday.
A snow patch at Lutsen Mountains, seen Friday.
Courtesy of Jim Vick

Even as temperatures swelter into the 90s across much of the state, snowboarders and skiers can still find a small refuge to ride in northeastern Minnesota.

A field of snow has lasted into the latter half of July at Lutsen Mountains. It’s not much, but it’s still a significant amount of the fluffy stuff.

“Enough snow for a snowball fight,” said Jim Vick, Lutsen’s marketing director.

The patch on Mystery Mountain is some 20 feet in circumference and 8 feet deep and it’s slowly shrinking over the summer.

Snow in that spot lasted until the end of June last year and early July the year before, Vick said.

The patch is on a boardercross section that’s uses lots of snow. “We have a big banked corner, so we build a fairly gigantic pile of snow there,” Vick said.

It also sits low in the Poplar River valley. The east-facing patch catches sun in late morning until midday. Also, highs in Lutsen were in the mid-70s on Friday.

Earlier this summer, a crew from a Duluth skate and snowboard shop made good use of the snowy refuge with their boards — sporting shorts and a tank top.

Two years ago, Vick said he and some others set up a box on the patch to slide on with their skis.

While not the finest Lutsen has to offer, it did the trick.

“It was enough to ride that and get two turns and stop,” he said.

Those interested in catching a glimpse of the snow patch and tracking its progress can follow along via a webcam feed.

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