[R160R, Great Divide] always turns on the snow guns early. This year was no different—the ski area loves to please park riders, so it made enough snow to open its PocketPark with a handful of features on Sundays, starting in September.

Last week, the guns fired snow into the BackYard, WildWood and Sunnyside, and the PocketPark opened with two tower jibs, three rails, and two boxes for two days of park fun. Those are mere preparations for the upcoming WildWood event, the official kickoff for the jib season at Great Divide.

WildWood V takes place Nov. 5 with a full day of free events. The bulk of the event takes place in the WildWood forest sprinkled with wooden features. The open rail jam runs from 1 to 5 p.m. followed by the open competition. Finalists then compete from 6 to 9 p.m. in PocketPark under the lights. Whiskey Root brings live music for dancing to the lodge for the Base Lodge Bash, from 8 to 11 p.m. The lodge will be selling food and beverages.

Get a taste of last year's WildWood event, courtesy of YouTube:


Great Divide aims to open the Good Luck Chairlift on Nov. 20 for their official opening day, upholding its tradition of being the first to open in Montana. Snowmaking mixed with some natural snow usually allows the ski area to open a 4,000-foot-long trail with Rascal Terrain Park features built on the side. 

Once Great Divide is up and running for the season, the terrain park crews tear apart the PocketPark. Features get recycled into one of the five other terrain parks to be maintained all winter. Rascal and WildWood serve as the main parks early in the season, while Ruckus and Rowdy usually get built by the December holidays. Rodeo, the big jump park that demands mounds of snow, gets built by late January.

Great Divide park crew at work

The park crew installs the big wall ride at Great Divide. Photo Courtesy of Great Divide.

Check out Great Divide’s Facebook page to watch a fun video condensing nine hours of construction of the PocketPark for this last weekend into four minutes of viewing. Go here.