[R191R, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort]'s new aerial tram took major steps toward completion in October.

Early in the month, crews spliced the haul rope. A temporary bridge, nicknamed the "Stairway to Heaven," held crew suspended 60 feet above the ground as they worked on the cables. It took several days to splice the 220-foot section of the haul rope. Norm Duke, one of the top rope splicers in the U.S. and a Jackson Hole local, connected the rope aided by a crew of 15.

Spectators turned out to watch the splicing action and photograph the milestone in the tram's construction. "Energy is high out here," said Tim Mason, VP of Operations at the resort. "People are beginning to realize that there really is going to be a new aerial tram ready for this winter."

Following splicing, the new tram cars were hung on the cables. The new cabins, about twice the size of the original, carry 100 passengers. The new tram should also be faster-climbing up 4,139 vertical feet to the top of Rendezvous Mountain in nine minutes.

The resort plans to open for the season on Nov. 29, if conditions permit. But the new aerial tram is not scheduled to launch until Dec. 20.

You can keep abreast of the construction progress by checking the Tram-formation news page