Jackson Hole tram is back on track

Alpine thrill seekers will be rejoicing this weekend as Wyoming's Jackson Hole Mountain Resort launches its new aerial tram.

The tram, which delivers skiers and riders to the USA's longest lift-served vertical drop (4,139 feet), returns after a $32 million overhaul put it out of service for two years. The new tram is bigger and faster, increasing capacity from 55 passengers to 100 and shortening the ride to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain from 12 minutes to nine.

Rendezvous Mountain offers some of the most challenging terrain in the USA, including the legendary Corbet's Couloir, a steep and narrow rock chute known as a test of nerves for expert skiers. Last season it was accessible by a temporary chairlift, following the decommissioning of the old tram in October 2006.

Alas, such convenience comes at a price: Lift tickets run $82 a day, and go as high as $87 for holidays and peak times.

The new tram will be unveiled in a ceremony today and open to the public on Saturday. The resort and neighboring businesses plan a series of promotions and festivities throughout the weekend. Information: jacksonhole.com.