The word from the Duluth Cross Country Ski Club is that you should bring your loppers along with your ski poles. The snow was wet and heavy and it bent over a lot of smaller trees into the ski trail.
This early snow comes with a cold wave that's returning normal temperatures to the North Shore. That's all right in line with the long-term climate predictions from the National Weather Service.
The weather service is predicting average precipitation for December through February (that's the big swash of "EC", for "even chances" on the map).
The weather service is also predicting below normal temperatures for northern Minnesota...that's the big B in the blue area across the northern tier of the Great Northwest.
Average precipitation + lower temperatures = enough snow sticking around for awhile = happy North Shore cross country skiers.