PA #7: Powder in the Vercors!


By meteomorris on 21 January 2015 · 6

Japan? No, Alagna
Japan? No, Alagna

They had around 25-35 centimeters of freshies in the Vercors and the Chartreuse the past 24 hours just and there is another 20 cm expected the next two days. Nice powder days in this pre-Alps of France. And it wasn't only in those regions where they had a lot of snow.

Powder in the Chartreuse
Powder in the Chartreuse

They also had 20 centimeters of freshies in the pre-Alps of the Haute Savoie, Savoie and Isère. Just as in the Champsaur, Pelvoux and Embrunnais south and west of the Ecrins. It's beginning to look more and more like winter in France. Especially because another 10 centimeters will come down in the pre-Alps the next two days. But there will be no precipitation in other areas. Today and Thursday are powder days in:

Le Retour d'Est: finetuning

In the night from Wednesday to Thursday the front will move to the Po Valley. It will initially snow around Valberg and Isola 2000 and later in the complete Piemonte and west and south of Lombardia. Because of the eastern current you can expect the most snow between Alagna and the Piz Bernina. You can expect an average of 10-25 centimeters of freshies in the Piemonte and Lombardia. In the eastern stau (especially the eastern stau) of the Monte Rosa and Simplon (Alagna, Macugnaga, San Domenico and Bosco Gurin) you can expect 30-50, locally 70 centimeters of freshies. You'll have to go somewhere between Alagna and Airolo. There are plenty of nice resorts and they had about 50-80 centimeters already last weekend.

Red is 40 cm+, purple is 50 cm+
Red is 40 cm+, purple is 50 cm+

Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be powder days in:

First north, later northwest

There will be light snowfall in the north during the weekends. In the Stau areas at lower altitudes (read: the pre-Alps) of the northern Alps this may result in 15 cm of freshies. This will become less the further you'll go south. So I recommend you to go to the pre-Alps or the French Alps, or towards the southern Alps central. From the middle of next week the northwest will get some snow. This would then be PowderAlert #8. But first, enjoy PowderAlert #7. There is a base south of the Gotthard and with the snow the next couple of days the riding will be great.

But ... unstable snowcover

There were as many as seven victims again last week due to avalanches in the Alps. We studied the snow cover the last couple of days and it still is very unstable. In many places there are weak layers deep in the snowcover and those can't be seen by the layman. We have seen avalanches of which the crown sometimes was over two meters high. And yes, that's pretty intimidating.

Avalanche in Livigno
Avalanche in Livigno

We made the decision last weekend to ride not steeper than 30 degrees above the tree line and sometimes below 35 degrees. Instead, we mainly rode powder in the dense forests of Livigno where there were no steep slopes above us. Because of this we were able to reduce the risks. But just because there was plenty of snow to have fun in the trees. We avoided even the more open parts in the forest as much as possible and when there was no other option we descended one by one in which it is important to wait until the person before you has arrived at a safe spot.

Off-piste is still dangerous at the moment . If you go the Alps the next couple of days, be alert. Choose resorts with trees and especially ride powder between the trees. Check your local daily avalanche bulletin, make sure you have the right gear with you and that you have the right knowledge. No knowledge? Are you not sure? Say no to off-piste and wait for conditions to improve.

Stay stoked

Morris

Comments


  • Benja
    Tourist
    Benja op 21 January 2015 · 15:40
    @meteomorris Thanks a lot for your reports and updates and cheers to your Livigno-trip. I am planning a trip this friday, by looking at your snow maps Alagna or Saas-Fee seems the best. Do you agree?
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 21 January 2015 · 16:24
    @Benja, how long will you be on trip?
    May the powder be with you.
  • Benja
    Tourist
    Benja op 21 January 2015 · 16:59
    I am based in Les Quatres Vallées at the moment and we were thinking about just doing a day trip on friday to ski some freshies, as we are pretty starved for it here.
  • Benja
    Tourist
    Benja op 21 January 2015 · 17:00
    @meteomorris on previous post
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 21 January 2015 · 17:48
    @Benja, Alagna is the best bet.
    May the powder be with you.
  • Petter
    Advanced
    Petter op 22 January 2015 · 08:23
    @meteomorris Best chance for powders during next week, Tuesday to Sunday. I looks like the North, right? West Austria or super expensive Swiss? =)
    Snow should always be dry, cold, and free. Like champagne!

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