PA #5: up to 90 cm of freshies in the east

By meteomorris on 5 January 2015 · 0

The differences are huge at the moment in the Alps. In Hinterstoder it's -9.3 degrees Celsius and it is still snowing, while in Adelboden the sun is shining and the temperature is about the 9 degrees (plus that is). For snow and cold air you should go to the east as we mentioned at the start of PowderAlert #5.

Gestern fielen bis zu 40cm Neuschnee, in dem immer wieder Graupel eingelagert war. Das Maximum lag erneut in den Staubereichen des Dachsteingebietes und des Toten Gebirges. Seit Beginn des Ereignisses am Samstag gab es dort bereits einen Neuschneezuwachs um 90cm! (Avalanche bulletin Steiermark)

_Das Wochenende brachte Sturm und teils ergiebigen Neuschnee, im Nordstau vom Steinernen Meer bis zum Gosaukamm und in den Niederen Tauern 40 bis 70 cm, sonst verbreitet 20 bis 40 cm, weniger im Oberpinzgau. (Avalanche bulletin Salzburgerland)_

And a webcam like the one below from Krippenstein will makes you want to go there. For powder you should go to the east. Forget the west and the rest. It has been raining there at high altitude and above the tree line (where there was abundant snowfall) the wind was too strong. The situation now is downright dangerous, but is expected to improve tomorrow (after the warm air of today).

50 cm of frehies on the Kripp
50 cm of frehies on the Kripp

Signs of rain in the Arlberg at 1400 meter
Signs of rain in the Arlberg at 1400 meter

Heavy wind

Meanwhile, it is winter in the east. A strong northwestern wind and freezing temperatures make you feel like Scott and Amundsen. The best thing to do is stay below the tree line. Less wind and less drift snow means less avalanche danger. But stay alert. The situation in the Alps is downright unstable and at this time there is a daily victim.

The snow in the east continues to fall until tomorrow, and after that the riding will be great in resorts like Krippenstein, Tauplitz, Loser and Hinterstoder. Do not expect big mountain lines and keep in mind that the wind did his job above the tree line, but there's plenty of powder to be found.

Wind and snow in Obertauern
Wind and snow in Obertauern

Winter in Tauplitz

Freshies in Loser
Freshies in Loser


The weather will be pretty good in the Alps from Tuesday to Wednesday. It's a little too warm for this time of the year, and because of that the snow on the southern slopes will get worse. On the other faces the snow remains fresh and dry. By carefully searching and planning there is certainly powder to be found.

The northwest of the Alps will get some fresh snow on Thursday. A cold front will result in a powder day on Friday in northwestern Switzerland and the French Northern Alps, but after that?

Long term: a weekend that's too warm or lots of snow?

Yes and no. Saturday will be very hot with rain up to high altitude. But in the night to Sunday it might become much better. The cold front comes in, and that could well be the prelude to PowderAlert #6 with a lot of snow for the northwest and the north of the Alps. Too late for the weekend warriors, but just in time for the people who want to go on Monday and Tuesday. But even then the heat is lurking.

And the rest of the Alps? Will it snow in the French Southern Alps and the Southern Alps? In a number of runs there might be some snowfall in the south from the 15th/16th of January, but that's still very uncertain. A snow dance will not hurt, I'd say;).

Where to go?

For the majority of Europe the holidays are over. Which means there aren't that much people in the backcountry today and powder stress is as good as gone. There is also plenty of accommodation to be found. I just looked at availability in Zauchensee and the nearby and much cheaper Altenmarkt. There is plenty to be found. Search and I'm sure you'll find something in the northern Alps that suits you.

The entire Northern Alps are in a much better condition, but for the best snow you head towards Austria. Or better yet the East of Austria. There is a lot of snow and there is much more on its way. In addition, the temperature will be much lower.

Another update tomorrow!

Stay Stoked!



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