It has been snowing deep into the valleys of the northwest and north of the Alps since Sunday. After the passage of the cold front the snow line has dropped to about 800 meters or lower. In the meantime, a lot of snow has fallen over 1500 to 2000 meters.
About 20-60 cm of fresh snow fell in Switzerland on the lower parts of the mountain. But anyone who goes higher up the mountain sees the quantities soon increase. About 50-150 cm of fresh snow came down over 1800 meters.
Most of the snow in Austria fell in the classic northern Stau regions with about 40-90 cm of fresh snow and more snow is on its way. There is clearly more snow in Switzerland and parts of the southern Alps, but Austria is catching up. Especially the west of Tirol, Vorarlberg and the northern regions of Salzburg and Steiermark are now catching up.
The French northern Alps have also catched up. The French 'Alpes du Sud' already had a good base after the November storms, but now the neighbors from the northern Alps can join. There's now plenty of snow to ride powder outside the slopes, especially above 2200 meters.
A round of webcams shows beautiful images. The snow is piling up on those places where there is no wind. The first faceshot photos of powder on alpine meadows also come in.
But also a lot of wind. A lot of wind. The wind transported all the snow on some parts of the mountain. Although we have the worst storm behind us, it is still blowing heavily on the highest peaks.
The sun comes out in the west on Tuesday and then it is ON in the areas below. The conditions are already good for the time of the year above 2000-2200 meters.
It still snows heavily on the north side of the Alps between Monday and Tuesday. The snow line is located deep in the valleys and especially in the northern Stau areas of Austria and the Glanerland you can expect large amounts of snow to come down. Deep in the Alps and especially in and to the south of the main alpine ridge, the snow quantities decrease rapidly. Unfortunately, there is no base in the northern Stau areas yet and there is in the main alpine ridge. The areas that already have a base get less snow (and a lot of wind) and the areas without a base get a lot of snow and less wind on the mountain. It is becoming a matter of compromising. Big exception is: Andermatt. There already was a solid base after the southern storms and the mild storms of last week. In addition, it is snowing now and that continues until Tuesday.
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What are the compromises? You can ride powder in the north on lower alpine meadows on Wednesday. But where rocks form the base, or broken branches lie between the trees, the lack of base will break you up. Those who go higher in the mountains have to deal with a base that is just thick enough over 2200-2400 meters to carelessly ride powder. Keep that in mind. The tips for Tuesday, but especially from Wednesday for the north are:
In addition, the glacier areas of Austria where you can already find a base.
And of course the resorts from Monday:
A lot of snow, a fluctuating snow line and lots of wind. The avalanche danger has risen considerably. Touring will certainly be difficult in the next 48 hours and outside the slopes you need the right knowledge. Always check your local avalanche forecast and adapt your plans to it. (Tip: you will find a link to the local avalanche forecast from each village on wepowder, but you can also visit this page).
Tuesday and Wednesday will be good days. There will also be time to go touring later this week.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are real winter days. Snow deep in the valleys, sun and much colder than last week. There will be a new storm cycle on the maps before the end of this week. The one forecast results in low temperatures and snow on the maps, to change into something completely different 6 to 12 hours later, when the jet stream is too far north with mild temperatures and a high snow line.
First enjoy PowderAlert # 2 in the areas mentioned aboe. In the meantime I keep you informed of further developments.
Stay stoked Morris