We are in the final stage of PA #9 and with another 50 centimeters of freshies in the northern Stau regions it goes out with a bang. It's snowing like crazy in the west and north of the Alps since Thursday and this finally left a great base for this winter. And the pictures say it all!
#PA9 in images
It is ON in the Jura, Vosges and the Black Forest. On the highest peaks you can find 120-170 cm and you can even ride fresh powder in these lower mountain ranges.
You can even ride powder in Winterberg in the Sauerland. You can find a base of 60 cm there and with some luck you can even ride in the trees!
Even more snow in the Alps
We knew that it was going to be deep in the Alps. But that large parts of the northwest would get 100-150 centimeters of freshies that still was the question. Since the start of the dump on January 28, already 200 centimeters of freshies came down locally. Not that you will find that 200 centimeters right now. Because of the temperature, the mass of the snow cover itself, and the wind it settled. Please note that these elements pressure 30-50% of the air out of the snow. Anyway, pictures don't lie:
The reports speak for themselves as well. From across the Alps and the Pyrenees the reports are coming in and yes, it was good and deep! Thanks for sharing your report! It provides us and all the readers a good impression where the most snow came down!
Sometimes pictures say more than words and sometimes harsh statistics say more than words of warning. Because how beautiful PA #9 for many of you, it also has a dark side. Since the start of the dump, there are already 14 fatal fatalities due to avalanches. Fourteen ... that's fourteen too many. Imagine that you as family, friends, husband or wife one day will get that call. I do not want to think about it too much.**
I think it's pretty awesome that many of your reports not only reflect the stoke, but also words of warning and tips to safer riding are mentioned. Freeriding is perhaps one of the best sports in the world. Let's keep it that way. It's not a good thing when business people, autorities, lawyers and laymen will interfere with our freedom. The better we look at ourselves, the less we have to fear from third parties wishing to curtail our freedoms.
Do you have the knowledge? Go for treeruns not below steep faces.
When you go to the Alps the next couple of days, be alert. Check your local daily avalanche bulletin, make sure you have the right gear with you and that you have the right knowledge. With the right knowledge, it is still possible to ride beautiful tree runs. The avalanche danger is expected to be lower in the valleys and as long as you choose tree runs that are not below steep faces the risk is not as big as in the higher alpine. Be alert while in open areas, trenches and so-called avalanche chutes. The risk is the highest here. Do you not have the knowledge? Then stay on the slopes!
#PA10 le retour d'est
It first seemed Mischka would move south, but...the snow maps changed. There is a small low pressure area named Norbert in the Bay of Biscay. And this low pressure area will move towards the Gulf of Genoa the next 24 hours. A new storm, a new PowderAlert. And this low pressure area that's not that big at the moment, will become a big storm with a central pressure of 990 hPa or even lower. And that's pretty low for the Mediterranean. Through the Pyrenees (again much snow there), the French Riviera (snow at the airports of Nice and Marseille and chaos on the roads) and the Gulf of Genoa Norbert will move into the Po-valley.
A lot of snow will come down in the southern and later also the western Piedmont. For now, the Aosta and the Northern Piedmont do not seem to get much snow. But that's something you never know with a retour d'est. A small change in the direction of the storm could have major consequences. Therefore we wait with fine tuning.
Where to go?
The weekend is over, there aren't that many people around in the resorts and there is still snow coming down in the northern Alps. You can still find plenty of powder next week, although you should keep in mind that Norbert will bring a lot of wind. But as long as you go for the treeruns (which are really a lot safer than riding above the tree line) then you can find powder the whole week.
You'll find great powder great powder in the complete northern and western Alps till the end of next week.
It's on in the western and southern Piedmont from Wednesday / Thursday. You can see on the webcams that the base is pretty nice, but they could use some more. Let it snow for a while first and be sure you're there on Thursday. The rest of the Southern Alps might also get some snow, but that all depends on the course that Norbert will follow. If this course becomes slightly south east, it is also ON in those regions. Then you can ride through the larches. The exact tips will follow in the coming days.
More finetuning and details tomorrow!