Things might change. In December, you really had to search for powder in the south. We searched and found. Around New years Eve we were euphoric because of the cold smoke blower pow, until it started to rain. Then we went back to the south, where it was über deep and then after much complaining we could go back to the northern Alps where PA #9 came in with a bang to let us forget about PA #7 and the southern Alps. Thats a very quick roundup of the season, but winter is back! There are many places in the Alps that now have a snow cover between 250 and 400 cm of snow on the highest peaks and in many places it is even white deep into the valleys!
Where to go? Two choices!
There are two regions where the conditions could be a little bit better, namely the Piedmont (Southern Alps West) and the Dolomites and Carinthia (Southern Alps East). And exactly for those regions there's a lot of snow in the forecast. We had to search for powder and fine tune at first, but with the snowfall from last week and the snow that's still about to come it's no problem to find powder. The reports speak for itself and trip reports are already coming in.
It's even ON in the Black Forest. You can find up to 190 centimeters of snow over there. That's a great base for for the King of Forest contest that takes place between the 27 of February and the 1st of March. Yes, even in the Black Forest you can score powder and compete in contests.
Safety is not a choice. It's mandatory.
But all that snow also caused some madness in our heads. Tracks were just followed with no idea where to end up, warning signs for avalanche risk ignored, avalanche bulletins were interpreted in our favor and sometimes riders simply came down a face without thinking twice. For some reason we all like to flock to the top of a mountain, and ride the steepest couloirs and face over there, while it is much safer in the dense forests. Why So? Safety is a choice, just like powder. With some good thinking you are safer on the mountain and still score faceshots and pillows. It's your decision.
Because of the continuing low temperatures, the wind that's coming and the fresh snow that's still in the forecast, the avalanche situation in the Alps remains critical. Especially above the tree line you have to be very careful. The urge to go deeper into the backcountry will get bigger when the next few days more and more lines just next to the slopes will be tracked. You don't have runs in the backcountry that are tracked-out with every snowfall and the risk is higher.
Where to go?
The story may be considered known. If not, read the forecast from yesterday again. In short:
It's on in the northwest of the Alps
Still an unstable snow cover in large parts of the Alps
Lots of snow on its way for large parts of the southern Alps and the east of Austria
It will snow till the beginning of next week
And so you find great powder in the entire northern and western Alps until the end of this week. Advice for the next couple of days:
Finetuning in the south
In the night from Tuesday to Wednesday it will start to snow heavily in the Piedmont, and further south, the more intense the snowfall. Resorts such as Limone Piemonte, l'Argentera and Crissolo will get a lot of snow. You can see the webcams that the base here is pretty nice, but they could use some more. The same applies to the resorts in the western Piedmont and the eastern part of the Queyras. Prali, Bardonnechia, Via Lattea etc .. Let it snow heavily on Wednesday and be sure you're there from Thursday for the better larch tree runs. Your patience will be rewarded. But mind you ... the more north you go, the less precipitation. Go to the far south!
From Thursday there is a PowderAlert for:
After Thursday the precipitation extends towards the Dolomites, the eastern Stau regions of Lombardia and Carinthia. Styria and Salzburg will get their share later this week. But this really is not interesting until Saturday. The details will follow later this week. But when it goes down, you'll probably have to go to:
There's plenty of powder to be found this week. Happy hunting!