The weather during the weekend was pretty strange, with lots of snow coming down on Sunday, but with rising temperatures on Monday. Fortunately, cold temperatures and snowfall will return pretty soon. PowderAlert #6 is ON on Thursday and PowderAlert #7 is already visible on the maps. In this forecast:
Sunday started promising with snow deep into the valleys, but higher temperatures came in and it rained up to 2100 meters in the east and 2600 meters in the west. And that had quite an impact, like here as in Switzerland.
Wet snow and mud avalanches in the middle of winter. Now that's quite unusual.
But all that rain couldn't prevent the snowpack from growing in the western and northern Alps above 2200 meters. Around 40-80 cm of freshies came down and that really helps. The dangerous layer with sugar snow is pretty deep in the snowpack right now, and is getting less and less dangerous for skiers and snowboarders.
Conditions are quite different in the rest of the Alps. The snowpack is too thin and a single skier can still hit this weak layer. And the big problem with this type of weak layers deeper in the snowpack is that they are not visible with the naked eye (even for experts). The use of proper decision methods is a must this week. Don't forget that weak layers are present deeper in the backcountry as well. Check your local avalanche forecast every day and adjust your plans to it. Always carry an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe. No knowledge? Go out with a mountain guide!
The details for PowderAlert #6 are clear. An additional update will follow tomorrow, but Thursday will be a nice powder day in the northwest of the Alps. A cold front will hit the Alps from the northwest on Wednesday and this will result in freshies in the night from Wednesday to Thursday. The sun will come out from the west on Thursday, but it might snow in Austria for a while. The snow line will be deep in the valleys, but will rise to 1500 meters on Friday. But it will be great days in the northwest of the Alps anyway. You'll find the best conditions from Hasliberg in the west to the Kleinwalsertal in the east (in regions: the Berner Oberland, Vorarlberg and the west of Tyrol). This leads to the PowderAdvice below:
The first southern Stau of the season is getting closer and closer. It looks like it will happen this Saturday. Sunday just might be a day with lots of snow for the southern Alps. And as icing on the cake the current probably will turn to the northwest and the rest of the Alps will get snow as well. Check out this amazing snow map!
If the maps are correct, than PowderAlert #7 will be epic! But let's first enjoy PowderAlert #6!
More and more people venture off-piste, but not everybody has the right knowledge and the right gear. Already 30 people died because of avalanches this winter. Do you have the right knowledge to ride off-piste? Test it yourself and start with the first chapter of the Mountain Academy for free! No knowledge? Stay on the marked slopes or hire a mountain guide!
Stay stoked. Morris