PowderAlert #11 : the details


By meteomorris on 16 January 2014 · 11

100 cm+ alert!
100 cm+ alert!

The map above says it all. PowderAlert #11 is going to be deep. You'll probably know by now how PowderAlert #11 started. If not, check out my forecasted from yesterday. In the meanwhile, we could enjoy the goods from PowderAlert #10 and the reports came in on the PowderQuest app. Thanks for sharing everybody. The reports tell the real story of the PowderAlerts. We also get a lot of stuff posted on our Facebook page. What do you think of this ride in the Dolomites?

Get ready for PowderAlert #11. Wax up, start your engines and find your powder snorkel! It's going to be chin deep in the southern Alps and we're about to experience some overhead face shots.

Choose your weapon!
Choose your weapon!

It all started with Helga, the low pressure area that's sending an active front to the Alps. She'll do so in two steps. The first storm passes on Thursday and Friday. It will snow in the French southern Alps first. It will start snowing in the stau regions of the Ecrins and the mt. Viso in the morning and it will start not much later in the stau regions of the Mont Blanc and the Monte Rosa. The areas south of the Gotthard and the Engadin can expect their snowfall by the end of the afternoon. The precipitation will spread to the Dolomites, the French northern Alps and the western parts of Wallis. It will start snowing during the night in the areas north of the northern Swiss alpine ridge and west of the Arlberg. The sun will come out from the west (hopefully in time for the first stop of the FWT in Courmayeur, which you can follow with a live-stream here on wePowder), and it will still be snowing in the Dolomites.

I expect the next quantities of snow till Friday afternoon:

  • French southern Alps: 20-50 cm, locally even 70 centimeters or more. The snowline will be around 1000-1300 meters.

  • Southern Alps west: 15-40 cm, locally in the south 70 centimeters or more. The snowline will be around 400-900 meters.

  • Southern Alps central: 20-50, locally 70 cm. The snowline will be around 700-1000 meters.

  • Southern Alps east: 20-45, locally 60 cm. The snowline will be around 600-1200 meters.

  • Western Alps north: 15-40 cm in the stau regions of the Mt. Blanc, western Wallis and the south of Wallis. The rest will get 5-20 cm.

  • Western Alps central: 5-20 cm. Expect only some flakes in the heart of the Savoie. More snow will come down in the first Alps and close to the border with Italy.

You can expect 5-20 centimeters north of the northern Alpine ridge and in the stau regions of the Arlberg. It won't be snowing further east.

It's going to be deep
It's going to be deep

Second front

It will start snowing again on Saturday morning. This time more from the south than from the southwest. This is caused by a temporary low in the Gulf of Genua, which will dump its snow in the complete southern Alps (including the French southern Alps) in the night from Saturday to Sunday. Especially the stau regions of the Ecrins (the French southern Alps), the stau regions of the Mt Viso (the central and southern parts of the southern Alps west), everything south of the line Monte Rosa-Gotthard-Piz Bernina (the southern Alps central) and the stau regions of the Dolomites, the Ortler, the Kärntischer Alps and everything south of the Hohe Tauern (southern Alps east) can expect a lot of snow. Right now I’m expecting around 30-60 centimeters of freshies, but regions such as just south of the Gotthard might even het 90 centimeters or even more. The snow line will be around 1000 meters and it will rise later on to 1200 meters. The freezing level will temporarily rise to 1400-1600 meters. The snow will get heavier on Sunday. So expect acummulations up to 150 cm in 4 days in those places where the storm will kick in really hard. And... there will be a northern kickback on Monday. It looks like 10-25 cm are in for he resorts north of the line Grenoble-Innsbruck.

The new snow will cause the avalanche danger to rise and I expect it to be HIGH (that’s 4 on a scale of 5) in many parts of the Alps. Fortunately, the avalanche situation stabilized a bit in a lot of regions in the Alps. But there are still regions that cause some problems. Some advices:

  • Avoid Wallis, Graübunden and Süd-Tirol. If you’re skiing there, stay below 2200-2400 meters to reduce the risk.

  • Avoid the higher alpine terrain in general. All parts of the mountain above 2500 meters will be dangerous because of the wind, corn snow and layers in the snowpack that doesn’t bond well.

  • Avoid ridges and couloirs. By doing this you’ll eliminate around 70% of the risk of triggering an avalanche.

  • Ride as much in the trees as you can. Especially the larch trees in the (French) southern Alps have a good base layer.

In short: choose resorts with lots of larch trees this weekend and don’t ride any steep faces in the higher alpine. Always check your latest avalanche bulletin. Enjoy and don’t forget to share your reports!

Stay stoked

Morris

Comments


  • Benja
    Tourist
    Benja op 16 January 2014 · 10:33
    @meteomorris Love the webpage Morris! May I ask for your thoughts on St Moritz. Snow to be enjoyed? Treeskiing? Closeby resorts to visit? Have a blast! /Ben
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 16 January 2014 · 10:40
    @Benja, thank you. With the new snow coming in the little Aela lift at the top of the Maloja pass might suit your wishes. It's only a drag lift but does service nice treeruns. The other parts of St. Moritz are protected (wildlife).
    May the powder be with you.
  • jukka
    Advanced
    jukka op 16 January 2014 · 12:26
    @meteomorris Hi Morris! Thanks for your great site! The third year in row we decide the destinations mostly according to your site. It's powder every time! Thank you!

    Now we are going to Monte Rosa from Sunday on. Can you recommend sweet and safe powder spots (never been there before), tree-areas? We will stay in Champoluc so near there is prefered but everything in the area is highly regarded. Thanks! Jukka
  • richard1985
    Advanced
    richard1985 op 16 January 2014 · 12:47
    @jukka i was there from age 12--16 skiing for Val D'Ayas GS team. Will drop some maps in the lines section of the forums when i get home tonight. Its one of the most amazing and beautfiull and untouched resorts so a great choice! #Jealous!
    tree skiing all the way!
  • KlasRydstrand
    Advanced
    KlasRydstrand op 16 January 2014 · 13:41
    @jukka Compared to other major resorts I wouldn't say it's difficult to find nice snow in the Monte Rosa area. Especially this time of the year when holidays are over and people are saving money. Don't be surprised to find yourself totally alone in the lift during weekdays! Therefore there are plenty of runs in Champoluc that you can spot form the lifts but Gressoney of course have some great tree runs down to the valley at La Trinite for example. You'll have no problems but pick up a copy of 'Polvero Rosa' if you want more guidance or check with the experts here, you can find a special thread in the forum. http://www.monterosa.com/other-pages/polvere-rosa-3.aspx...
  • Tiefschnee
    Advanced
    Tiefschnee op 16 January 2014 · 23:21
    Im from the poor Northern Alps and Need Powder.
    Where to go for good treeruns in the southern alps central and northern alps west? Dont want to go to Italy because of their stupid punishments an fines.
    regards
  • richard1985
    Advanced
    richard1985 op 17 January 2014 · 01:08
    Unless things have changed recently Italy used to be relaxed.i know there's been a recent incident and one two years ago that set a legal precedence but otherwise...
    tree skiing all the way!
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 17 January 2014 · 09:27
    @Tiefschnee, Beacon, probe and shovel are mandatory in the Piemonte, some resorts in the Dolomites it's forbidden to ride off-piste near the pistes.

    Good treeruns are to be found in the complete Southern French Alps. Also the Italian Piemonte is full of good treeskiing. Have a look at our destination list of the french southern alps (http://wepowder.com/playgrounds/region/6), piemonte (http://wepowder.com/playgrounds/region/7) and the southern alps central (http://wepowder.com/playgrounds/region/8) and tick the 'wooded surroundings' box.
    May the powder be with you.
  • Tiefschnee
    Advanced
    Tiefschnee op 17 January 2014 · 12:25
    @meteomorris maybe this was the Problem 2 Weeks ago in Cortina. "in the Piemonte, some resorts in the Dolomites it's forbidden to ride off-piste near the pistes" I Don't speak italian....
    So i didn,t know that
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 17 January 2014 · 12:29
    @Tiefschnee, that might have caused the problem. My Italian is improving since I chase powder.
    May the powder be with you.
  • Benja
    Tourist
    Benja op 17 January 2014 · 22:27
    @meteomorris, Thanks for the info! I'll be sure to ski Maloja when I arrive tomorrow and update the app. Hopefully the freezing level doesn't rise too high.

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