Disclaimer: “Backcountry Zones” is by no means any sort of guide book. Rather, it’s a broad, very broad sometimes, overview of areas in the Jackson Hole backcountry. Lines and areas described in these pages are meant to give readers a beginning to their backcountry adventures, rather than a specific plan. Areas change drastically from year to year, and even storm to storm. The user is expected to do their own reconnaissance, route finding, and decision making in the backcountry and is also expected to be prepared with appropriate avalanche, medical, and rescue training.
Although Cardiac is one of the closest hikes in Jackson Hole, it’s usually passed by for some of the longer descents of Cody Peak. Understandably so too- it’s a short shot compared to some of the adjacent zones. But, if you’re getting tired of the typical Four Shadows/No Shadows/Pucker lines, give Cardiac a go. It’s more of a zone for hucking than actual shredding- but that’s fun too sometimes.
“The Cave” is the most popular “line” off of Cardiac. I use the term “line” loosely because it’s more of a single huck than an actual line. I’d say it’s second only to Fat Bastard/Smart Bastard in terms of it’s popularity as a single turn and a huck. So, if it’s on your hit list and it’s a blue bird powder day, it’s probably going to get hit early- particularly late in the season.
Further down the ridge, there’s some more options, if you’re into billy-goating. These lines aren’t for the faint of heart and you better know where you’re going. The good news is, you get a pretty good look at it on the hike out there. So, if you’re looking for a variety of mini-golf style lines in the alpine, be sure to hit up this classic.