The mayhem that the huge storm in the eastern parts of Austria was causing is over. There still is some snow falling, but the wind is calming down and the sun is coming through from the west. Time to make a short summary. But before that, we'd like to get your attention for the following sad message…
A lot of avalanche victims in Tirol
It's only the beginning of January and there have already been six avalanche victims in Tirol. Please note: Tirol only. That's more than in Switzerland (four) and France (three) so far. The majority of victims in Tirol was touring.
Current conditions, where to find powder?
Western Alps: Because of a relatively low humidity and colder temperatures lower in the valleys, there's still some nice powder to be found on north faces, in inneralpine valleys and tight forests. Don't expect first-tracks on terrain that is in sight of the slopes.
Southern Alps: Same story as for the western Alps, but there are two problems. The northern föhn caused the temperatures to rise in the valleys and caused lots of snowdrifts. There is still some powder to be found on north faces, in inneralpine valleys and tight forests.
Powderadvice northern Alps
Higher elevated areas in the east of Tirol. The sun is shining today and tomorrow, there's lots of snow above 1800 meters and it's not really crowded. The Zillertal could be an option.
Areas between 1500 and 2000 meters in the Salzburgerland and Steiermark. The further east and north you'll go, the lower the snowline will be. Ride between the trees this morning, the sun will come out this afternoon and tomorrow and Wednesday will be pretty good on the Dachsteiner Glacier, Obertauern, Kaprun and the Gasteiner Tal, because these areas are all on a higher elevation.
Please keep in mind that the amounts of snow differ per slope. The stormy wind dropped lots of snow on expositions between the southwest and east. On the other hand, there are north faces that are completely wind blown. Check this mountain cam of Krippenstein. The north faces are wind blown and there is lots of snow to be found on the more sheltered expositions.
Shifting precipitation maps
As announced it will get much colder from Friday and the temperatures will drop under the year round average. This will be the situation for the next ten days. That's the good news. The question is: can we expect snow? The warm temperatures and rain in the east caused the snowcover to become pretty humid between 1500 and 2000 meters (especially on slopes with a southern exposition) and when the temperatures are starting to drop….
Colder and more humid air is moving south from Thursday. This air is pretty cold and can only contain little moisture and it will start snowing as soon as this air will hit the Alps. Expect snow in the first mountain regions in Austria, Switzerland and the Savoie.
First the northern Alps
From Friday to Sunday I expect the most snow north of the French and Swiss Chablais, north of the Swiss northern alpine ridge, north of the Austrian Inn, the northern Alps of Salzburg and Steiermark, the Schwarzwald and the Jura. This may change the next couple of days, but this is currently our expectation. Wait till Saturday, so you can ride some freshies and don't hit the hard layers right away.
Second the western Alps and the southern Alps
The western and southern Alps are up after the weekend and that might be powder alert #14.
I'm travelling to the Alps tomorrow, so expect an update at the end of the day.