Big Sky Resort in Montana took advantage of warm fall days to finish work on the tram's replacement cable before launching in to the snowmaking season-all in preparation for its Thanksgiving Day opening.

"People are all charged up on the ski and snowboard movies and ready to hit the slopes," Dax Schieffer, spokesperson for the resort, told Onthesnow.com. "The energy and excitement is palpable around a ski town like Big Sky when the resort prepares to open."

Big Sky prepared to make snow as soon as the temperatures cooperated to ensure an opening on Thanksgiving Day. "We can make snow on nearly 400 acres of terrain ensuring a variety of choices if visiting for your early season turns," explained Schieffer.

"The first priority is to open as much terrain as possible, while blowing snow on the Superpipe and larger terrain features," continued Schieffer. "As soon as there is enough snow, we definitely put a focus on the smaller terrain park features, particularly boxes and rails."

Natural snow also blanketed Lone Peak and upper chutes, the signal for skiers to haul out their gear. But Big Sky does not permit skiers to hike its slopes pre-season. Instead, resort officials point pre-season skiers and snowboarders to surrounding accessible public lands.

Crews this fall also replaced the Lone Peak Tram's cable. Schieffer assured skiers and snowboarders in his mountain blog that finishing details would be buttoned up in plenty of time for Lone Peak's opening.

"The first day to step into your bindings after a summer season is always a treat in itself," Schieffer told Onthesnow.com about his excitement for opening day Nov. 27. "I equate it to my younger days on the first day of school when you see old friends you hadn't seen since the previous spring."