The Lightning Bolt

Salt Lake City

Wasatch Backcountry

The Lightning Bolt is the boldest and most intriguing line off the infamous Cardiac Ridge.

Ski Touring Extreme

Distance
281 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
199 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
3.1 km
High Point
3.3 km
Gradient
46˚
VIEW ON MAP
The Lightning Bolt Map

Description

The best way to access the Lightning Bolt is to park at the Our Lady of the Snow church 7.5 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Climb up Pole Line Pass and traverse over, then climb to the Black Knob. From here you can get a great view of the line. Descend and traverse then climb up towards the pass between Mount Superior and Cardiac Ridge and come around from the back side. Climb up to the tallest point on the ridge, and this is where the Lightning Bolt begins.

The upper section is very steep, over 50 degrees and rolls over so you can't see all the way down until you're out on it. This tends to be very rocky since it's steep and the snow in the Wasatch doesn't stick well to rock over 50 degrees. It's a short few turns and then the line dog legs to the left. This section can be very rocky as well and the exposure here is bad with a huge cliff below. Once you've made it through here the apron feels flat, but it's a nice finish to the steep and rocky line behind you.

Difficulty

Extreme

Extreme skiing terrain above 45 degrees. These routes are reserved for experienced experts.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May

Features

  • Cliffs

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area