GRAND MESA, Colo. (KREX) — A surprise snowstorm painted a fresh white canvas for the start of the Nordic Ski Season.

Nearly 50 skiers showed up on a cold and windy Tuesday excited to ski on a freshly groomed trail. November 15th was the first day of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council‘s skiing license kicking in. “We are opening today with more trails open [today] than we’ve ever had in our history,” Executive Director of the GM Nordic Council Christie Aschwenden told KREX.

The snow-cat made multiple trips around the trail turning freshly packed snow into a firmly packed skiing trail, and thanks to some offseason work those trails were even cleaner than in past years. “We went in with some heavy equipment and took out stumps, big rocks, and other obstacles that were making it difficult for us to groom,” said Aschwenden.

But don’t just take it from me, listen to some of what the skiers said:

“The skiing was great!”

“I am beyond excited. We are excited to have these kinds of conditions this early in the season.”

“We wait for this all year.”

While this article does accurately describe the conditions and excitement around the opening day of the cross-country skiing season there’s nothing like first-hand experience, but make sure you dress warmly!