It was snowing heavily in the northern Alps since Thursday. The northern Stau delivered 50-80 cm, locally 100 cm of freshies in the pre-Alps. The resorts in the main alpine ridge had around 20-50 centimeters of freshies, but they already had a pretty good base. Monday was a bluebird day after four days of snowfall. It was time to ride some powder with friends. After some extensive powder research in the field I have to say that the quality is pretty good, but that there was quite some powder panic as well. Please take extra care above 1800-2000 meters. Wind combined with a weak base layer requires extra knowledge. It's only January the 19th and already 27 people got killed due to avalanches. Three of them were teenagers. In this forecast:
A weak depression enters the Alps from the west on Tuesday. The first indications were already visible on Monday. The clouds will come in from the west and it will start snowing lightly in the French Alps on Tueday. The snowfall will expand to the northern Alps during the day, but it won't snow in the southern Alps. Some snow will come down on Wednesday, but the sun will come out again on Thursday. Expect 2-10 cm, locally 15 cm of freshies. It's not enough to fill the existing tracks with fresh snow, but thanks to the low temperatures the powder remains cold and fresh. The sun only has impact on the snowpack on steep southern slopes.
It's still a big question what will happen after Friday. It varies from calculation to calculation. It remains cold according to GFS with a chance of freshies during the weekend. High temperatures will only kick in somewhere in the middle of next week. ECMWF is more pessimistic and already sees the warm air coming in during the weekend. A lot of uncertainty. And that's why I'll ride the powder that's still there this Tuesday. It will be a day with treeruns today! It won't be like the conditions we had on Monday!
The powder advice is still the same like the days before, but keep in mind that it will be harder to find untracked slopes. Sometimes you'll have to be patient. And sometimes you'll have to search really hard.
Stay stoked, Morris