Pulling into the parking lot at Wild Mountain, one might have mistakenly assumed they had entered a qualifier for the Olympics. Crowds of hungry snowboarders packed around obstacles, desperate to get their next run in. Lines and fairness meant little, as anarchy emerged with a survival-of-the-fittest attitude. Everyone agreed—It was great to be back.

Minnesota is recognized as the coldest state in the continental 48. Although frigid air is not embraced in January, the snowboard scene applauds it in October. With an overnight temp around twenty-six degrees farenheit, resorts are able to blast enough of the fake white in one night to cover a run. Wild Mountain, with a history of being the first resort open in the Midwest, did just that on Nov. 1. Located 45 minutes outside of the twin cities, Wild Mountain delivered the needed fix to many suburbanite snowboarders suffering from withdrawal over the last six months. Purpose emerged in their lives once again. Ricky Tucker, Joe Sexton, and Zac Marben were among hundreds of shredders, excited to reunite with old friends and strap into their bindings once again.

Although a fun set of rails and boxes clustered around the tow ropes, many of the boys found excitement in taking the lift and jibbing some of the best natural features the Midwest has to offer. Tires, fences, concrete blocks, and lift towers appeared strategically placed down the run, offering good times from strapping in up top to high fives at the bottom. As the day went on, and the sun went down, the lights fired up allowing shreds still hungry for more to dial in a few more moves. Inspired by heroes Mike Casanova and Chad Otterstrom who used to call Wild Mt. home, the next generation of rail magicians lapped the box line hundreds of times, perfecting the latest and greatest moves.

Natural snow may be a few months away, but for now, the kids in Minnesota are sleeping a little sounder, knowing that there’s a reason to wake up in the morning.