PA #14: Where to ride (and find) powder?


By meteomorris on 7 February 2018 · 2

It's ON in the southern Piemonte, the Apennines and the northwest of Slovenia. The video above has been shot in Vogel Ski Center earlier this week. A new front arrived on Tuesday evening and all the tracks have been covered again. Today was another powder day. The storm that brings snowfall in the northwest of Slovenia today is moving towards the northeast during the day. As a result, a current from the northeast pushes some residual clouds towards the north of Switzerland and Austria. This results in 5-10 or even 15 cm of super-light powder snow in the pre-Alps of Germany and Austria. You can expect a mixture of sun and clouds after the weekend. The best chances for some sunshine will be for the western Alps, while the clouds will be dominant in the eastern Alps with sometimes a flake of snow. In this forecast:

  • Lots of snow in the southern Piedmont, the Apennines and the northwest of Slovenia
  • A mix of sun and clouds the next couple of days
  • Tips to ride powder the next couple of days
  • Change of weather after the weekend?

Lots of snow in the southern Piedmont, the Apennines and the northwest of Slovenia

It's been snowing in the southern Piedmont since Monday and the front moved via the Apennines to the northwest of Slovenia yesterday.

1. Southern Piedmont Around 30-60 cm of fresh snow came down in the southern Piedmont. The base was pretty hard, so a lot of fresh snow was quite necessary. You can definitely ride some great powder now. The proximity of the Mediterranean Sea may get you a bit sceptical, but the snow can is very good right now. Do not expect super high peaks (except in Isola 2000 on the French side), but a lot of trees and ultra challenging treeruns. Click on the Piedmont and check out the ski areas at the bottom of the map.

Limone Piemonte
Limone Piemonte

Limone Piemonte
Limone Piemonte

Limone
Limone

Artesina
Artesina

Artesina
Artesina

Isola
Isola

2. Apennines Not everyone from the west and the north of Europe will be familiar with the skiing possibilities in the Apennines. Well, they are certainly there and with big cities such as Florence, Bologna, Modena and Parma nearby, the infrastructure is good. Do not expect high alpine terrain with glaciers, but the treeruns are certainly good. More information about the ski resorts in that region can be found here: Emilia Romagna and Tuscany.

Fiocca proprio Bene!!!! #scuolasciabetone #abetone #neve #sci #snow

A post shared by ScuolaSciAbetone (@scuolasciabetone) on

3. Northwest of Slovenia A lot of snow came down in the northwest of Slovenia last weekend and another 20-40 cm of fresh snow came down last night. Vogel's snowman is covered again and it will continue to snow in the coming hours. The ski resorts in Slovenia may be less known, but you definitely ride some nice lines in Vogel. More information about the ski resorts in that region can be found here: Slovenia.

A mix of sun and clouds the next couple of days

The Alps will be in some kind of no man's land the next couple of days. The storm depression that's bringing a lot of snow to Slovenia today is moving to the northeast. This results in sunshine in the western Alps, while the east and north of Austria and the north of Switzerland are dealing with clouds. The air is cold and in particular in the pre-Alps of Germany and Austria you can expect 5-10 cm, sometimes even 15 cm of super-light powder snow. The north and east of the Alps remain sensitive to clouds even after today. Your best chance is the western Alps. Although it is cold during the day, the sun is already gaining strength. It's already a lot higher on the horizon than during Christmas, and as a result the snow can transform on sunny, lower slopes, even though it is cold. We'll keep that mix of sun and clouds until the beginning of the weekend, with the occasional flake coming down on the north side of the main alpine ridge.

Hoge druk westalpen
Hoge druk westalpen

Tips to ride powder the next couple of days

De komende dagen valt er kortom weinig verse sneeuw om op stormjacht te gaan. Voor de komende dagen zijn er twee opties:

  • verse poeder rijden in de zuidelijke Piemonte, de Apennijnen en het noordwesten van Slovenië;
  • steile(re) lijnen rijden in de westalpen

There is too little fresh snow coming down the next couple of days to chase storms, so there are two options:

  • Riding fresh powder in the southern Piedmont, the Apennines and the northwest of Slovenia
  • Ride steep (er) lines in the western Alps

1. Ride fresh powder Sinds maandag viel er sneeuw en de komende dagen zal er zeker nog verse sneeuw te vinden zijn in:

A lot of snow came down since Monday and you can definitely find fresh snow the next couple of days in:

2. Steep(er) lines Sunshine, good visibility and a low avalanche danger are key when you want to ride steep(er) lines. We had to deal with HIGH to EXTREME avalanche danger in the middle of January in the northwest of the Alps, but it decreased to MODERATE to CONSIDERABLE. This gives you options to go for some bigger ilnes till Friday and probably also on Saturday. The snow cover in the northwest is (at the moment!) much more stable than the previous three winters. The nasty layer with old snow with which we had to deal with the previous winters plays no significant role in the northwest of the Alps and this allows you to ride some steeper lines. The snow cover is thicker than normal and there's snow in places where you normally won't find any snow. It's a unique situation. But beware, this is the situation in the northwest of the Alps. By studying the avalanche forecast well, you can ride some steeper lines the coming period. If you have never done anything like this, go out with a certified mountain guide. Below some footage from Koen Bakkers who rode some nice lines this week in La Plagne. You see how important navigation and sluff management is. If you want to ride these kind of lines always inform yourself (for example in La Plagne or Les Arcs or just go out with a mountain guide.

Powder starts with the right knowledge

Off-piste skiing and snowboarding is a sport that comes with risks. Only when you know the risks you can make better decisions. That starts with the right knowledge. You will mainly learn what you are not allowed to do at first, but the more you know and the better your experience you will discover that there are moments during the winter when you can ride those steeper lines. With the right knowledge you choose to ride in the trees at one moment in time, and big open lines on other days. With the right knowledge you learn when you don't want to be in a certain place at a certain time, but eventually you also learn on which parts of the mountain you can ride with a minimum risk and still have lots of fun. That is why we partnered with Salomon and Atomic and started Mountain Academy. To make the most out of your powder day and still end the day with a beer, laughs and your powder buddies.

Discount on Mountain Academy

Want access to the most comprehensive online backcountry snow safety courses for skiers and snowboarders? Use code "TIMETOPLAY1718", valid until the beginning of March, to get access for only 9€ (Reg: 29€). Go to Mountain Academy and start now!

Change of weather after the weekend?

It looks like the weather will change again after the weekend. A low pressure system is trying to influence the weather in Europe by sending multiple fronts to the Alps. Timing, intensity and details will follow the next couple of days.

wePowder Pro members: thanks for your support!!

We have introduced wePowder Pro this winter. You'll get extra weather and terrain data for € 25,08 per year (you can not even buy a day pass for that amount in many places). This allows us to further expand our service and we have found a way to express your support to us. Many of the readers of wePowder have done that already and the whole wePowder team and myself are grateful for that. This allows us to keep on developing to make our service even better. Thank you very much!

Are you not a wePowder Pro yet, but do you regularly read the weather forecast or use the services on wePowder? With an upgrade to wePowder Pro you support us, you can express your gratitude and you'll ride more powder. And it works great for your karma as well. Thanks! Oh, and you'll get a free 7-day trial when you register yourself on wePowder. No strings attached!

Stay stoked, Morris

Comments


  • hansmal
    Advanced
    hansmal op 8 February 2018 · 17:44
    Morris!
    Thanks for hosting this great website! You’ve helped us find lots of powder this week!! When do you expect to do your next update? Starting another week from Zurich this upcoming Saturday, and curious where to go.
    Hans
  • meteomorris
    Expert
    meteomorris op 8 February 2018 · 18:34
    @hansmal new update will be online tomorrow. A weaker front is moving in the night from friday to saturday in the northwestern Alps with a dusting of snow. A new and bigger storm is expected to arrive Sunday afternoon. You may expect significant amounts of snow on Monday in the Northwest.
    May the powder be with you.

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