A beautiful weekend comes to an end. A weak low pressure area arrives in the Alps from the northwest on Sunday. It will not cause significant precipitation. We have to wait for some serious precipitation until the middle of next week when a Genoa low nestles itself south of the Alps. Snow will come down in the southern Piedmont for the first time since December 20th.
The northern Stau Snowmageddon has thus definitively come to an end. Despite all the articles in the media, there weren't a lot of big accidents. Even the lift in Loser (see above) is operational again after 36 hours of digging. I already expressed the expectation that the avalanche danger in Austria would drop quickly when the precipitation would stop on January 7th:
The advantage of such a large amount of snow is that it eventually becomes easier for the snow to settle. Once the snow mass has been consolidated, it could provide a very stable base layer for the rest of the season. (source)
Now we can conclude that that is actually happening. Continuous snowfall and a thick pack of snow are simply better than thin layers of snow and periods of drought. The moment it snows so heavily, it causes some discomfort, but at the same time you can ride great lines in the trees. And even now there are still nice pillows to be found in Austria. You really do not have to make big hikes in the family areas like here in Hochkönig.
At the same time it also ensures that the rapid settlement of the snow in Austria and east of Switzerland steeper lines around and above the tree line are possible. The snow cover is stable, the avalanche danger has already dropped to moderate in a large part of the Alps and so we can start to spot lines above the tree line. Fieberbrunn is a freeride mecca nowadays, but you can still ride great lines.
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Dropping in this small gully was the cherry on top of a beautifull day, scouting new routes and riding amazing snow. Seems like my Powfinder also likes surfing sluff 😎 Thanks again Steph (@whiteadventure), Phil (@phil.wilky) and Lowie (Looping Loui) for this day and these shots! @powfinder #morris157 @patagonia #snowsurfing #steepanddeep #friendsonpowderdays #wildsports #snowboarding #gully #couloir #snowboardguide
It remained dry longer in the northwest of the Alps. It snowed heavily over there only last weekend. This snow came down on an old crystallized layer. The old and the new snow attach very hard and from the northwest there are still reports of avalanches that are triggered on the old snow layer. The number of fatalities is still limited, but as the dump is longer behind us, there will be a tendency to go steeper. Then take this old snow problem into account.
TIP: check out this article about the old snow problem in Switzerland and France
Above the map for this Tuesday/Wednesday. The majority of the calculations indicate a Genoa low with snow for the southwest. Because if a Genoa low nestles in the Gulf of Genoa, this usually means that humid air is pushed into the Po plain with an eastern current and that means snow for the Piedmont. The last calculations assume especially snow for the southern Piedmont, but a slight change in the position of the storm depression can cause the area that will get snow to increase. More about that tomorrow.
Above the snow forecast for the next 6 days. Please note that a Genoa low will always change a bit. At the moment all models calculate about 50-100 cm of fresh snow for the southern Piedmont. And that is also necessary. No snow has fallen since December 20th. The snow cover is too thin with about 20-50 cm for the time of the year. So a dump is more than desired. Realize that 1. the snow cover in the south is still thin and 2. the fresh snow falls on a very old snow cover. Freeride will be possible from the middle of this week, but with the necessary restraints.
Monday and Tuesday are great days in the north of the Alps. There is room for the sun, it is cold and there's plenty of powder in the in the family areas. The can ride the best powder between the trees (but also above the tree line) in the coming days in:
If you continue to the west, you should definitely consider the old snow problem. Here you can not go that steep, but there is certainly untracked powder to be found in smaller family areas and for those who are willing to hike. It then concerns:
Sun and clouds alternate until Wednesday. First of all, the most sun will shine in the southern Alps (but there is little snow to freeride). The Alps will come under the influence of a Genoa low and snow will follow in the Piedmont from Tuesday/Wednesday.
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Stay stoked Morris