Great Divide, located between Great Falls and Helena, Mont., doesn't wait to open their lifts before hosting a ski and snowboard event. Kevin Taylor, owner of the resort, likes to be first in the state to open and the first in the state to host an on-snow event.

The WildWood Rail Jam is another of his firsts. It's Montana's first on-snow event of the 2008-09 season. "It was a huge success last year," Taylor told Onthesnow.com before the event. "We're the big terrain park place in Montana, and this is our way to showcase them."

The rail jam was held Saturday, Nov. 8, using patches of machine-made snow. The bash started with jibbers strutting their wares and working the kinks out of their technique on the rails in WildWood Terrain Park. Chili and beer at the lodge were accompanied by freeriders showing off on the fun box on Broadway and spectators enjoying the fire pit on the deck. The Base Lodge Bash finished with a live band and movies.

Taylor's plans for park configurations will change for this season. "We did four parks last year," he said. "This year, we're concentrating on three." Taylor also launched a new Web site for the resort in early November. It features an interactive trail map for the parks.

Great Divide plans to open at least on the day before Thanksgiving when the local Helena schools are closed. Most other Montana resorts wait until Thanksgiving Day or later to open.