You should have been here yesterday! PowderAlert #18 and PowderAlert #19 were deep, cold (as in: very cold), dry, epic and unforgettable. But as expected, it has been a lot milder in the Alps since Saturday. Due to the rising temperatures that followed after a period with a lot of wind, cold and a lot of fresh snow, the avalanche situation is very tense in parts of the Alps right now. A mix of cold and warm air will hit the Alps the next couple of days and the situation remains tense. In this forecast:
Mild air arrived in the Alps on Saturday afternoon, which ended an epic week. Whoever was riding in the Apennines, Piedmont or the southern French Alps saw the Alps at its best. PowderAlerts #18 and #19 brought ice cold powder to the aforementioned regions. It was really cold, but the snow was dry. A comparison with Canada or Japan does not apply, with that we would do wrong to the Alps. The Alps have the most beautiful high alpine terrain of perhaps the world and the high alpine runs in La Grave, Monte Rosa, Chamonix, Andermatt, Engelberg or St. Anton for example are so beautiful that there are few true alternatives worldwide.
And don't forget the epic treeruns in the Alps. There are times when the Alps are better than Canada and Japan. The lines in the larch trees of the Alps are something special. Usually steeper than Japan and technically sometimes even more challenging than Canada. Canada and Japan have statistically much more snow than the treeruns in the Alps, but when all elements come together ..... Last week was such a moment. It was peak season in the Alps and yet there were (parts of) areas where you could ride alone for hours in the forests and couloirs. Run after run.
A shifting jet stream determines the weather in the Alps the next couple of days. That looks something like this:
It was cold last week, but the snow that comes down since Saturday is much 'warmer' and therefore heavier, while the wind direction and strength change continuously and the same goes for the snow line and the air temperature. Last week I warned of rising avalanche danger in the west and southwest of the Alps, and that is no different in the coming days. Many faces that were good at the beginning of last week have suddenly become a super dangerous. Check your local avalanche forecast daily and adjust your plans to it!
Stay stoked. Morris