PA #8: Let's add another meter of snow

PA #8: Let's add another meter of snow

Snowmageddon continues. The ZAMG (the Austrian weather services) has issued code red for the second time in a short period of time, because of the huge quantities of snow in the forecast. Another 60 to 100 cm of fresh snow is expected for the northernmost regions of Austria between Tuesday and Thursday. The snow inferno has already killed 6 people in Austria.

Code red
Code red

Do not just get in the car and drive towards the areas with the most snow (in the forecast). More and more areas have closed parts of the ski area or are completely closed. Roads will be closed again and villages will be unreachable in the next couple of days. Snowmageddon certainly has a dark side. But those who are well informed and who make the right choices can experience very deep days. It really helps when you share your experiences in the comments!

They were begging for some extra snow in the east of Austria in the weeks before Christmas, but now… you know what’s going on! A part of the locals (and probably the tourists) are fed up with the white stuff. On the other hand, I see the most bizarre images pass by. It is now so deep in many places in Austria that cliffs that are normally hard to jump have now become great pillows. It’s pretty crazy what’s happening in Austria now.

HIGH avalanche danger in Austria and the east of Switzerland

It’s quite obvious that the huge amounts of snow are causing a lot of problems. There is still HIGH avalanche danger in the most parts of Austria (source) and that will probably stay the same with the snow that’s still in the forecast. And that is also a unique situation. Rarely has there been this kind of avalanche danger for such a large part of the Alps. Same story for the eastern and central parts of Switzerland where the avalanche danger probably will be scaled up to HIGH in the next 72 hours.

Keep checking the local avalanche forecast and adapt your plans to it. The advantage of such a large amount of snow is that it eventually becomes easier to settle. Once the snow mass has been consolidated, it could provide a very stable base layer for the rest of the season. The ‘old snow problem’ that the Austrians had to deal with during the winters of 14-15, 15-16 and 16-17 won’t be happening in the red areas this year.

But that’s not something we have to deal with right now. The avalanche situation is very critical in large parts of Austria. Avalanches already claimed the lifes of two persons on Sunday. Ski tours are not recommended due to current conditions and those who ride above the tree line are in very dangerous terrain at the moment. Simply don’t do it. wePowder user akimäkitaipale is using the right words: Still, even it is quite unique now - safety first. Winter has just begun, no point to end life because of that.

Common sense and the right knowledge can also ensure the most beautiful and unforgettable powder days in this period. The avalanche danger is high, some roads closed and a number of villages are not reachable by road. Nevertheless, you can ride powder. But avoid the ski areas with mainly terrain above the tree line. Again: don’t ride above the tree line, it’s simply too dangerous! Ride powder between the trees and avoid large open and steep sections. Even steep sections above a forest are dangerous because avalanches can reach far into the trees. Do not choose the deepest destinations and do not forget to have fun. But keep thinking! Knowledge is the key, but powder panic is not.

PA#8 starts today!

It has been snowing again in the north of the Alps since this morning. It will snow heavily especially on Wednesday. From Gstaad in the west of Switzerland to Hochkar in the east of Austria, another 60-100 cm of fresh snow is expected. The temperatures are low and it will snow deep into the valleys again.

Snow forecast until Friday morning
Snow forecast until Friday morning

This period of snowfall with low temperatures will again provide wonderful cold and loose snow. Especially on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the snow becomes deep, cold and airy. A real cold smoke blower pow alert. A lot of air in the snow makes it so light that you can score faceshot after faceshot.

With all the new snow it will also be good in the east and central part of Switzerland so you can can avoid the areas where it’s simply too deep in the east of the Alps. Pick a small resort in:



Have fun during your storm chase now and/or the coming days. Keep thinking! Do not let powder panic take over, read avalanche forecasts, talk to experts and ride conservatively. Oh yes … and have fun. It does not always have to be really steep.

PA #9 this weekend

The precipitation will slow down on Friday, but there is another alert on the maps for next weekend. It is not clear yet what the focus will be. Some models hint mainly on the northwest, other models on a combination of the northwest and north of the Alps. But who wants to ride powder next weekend picks the best ski area from the above PA#8 regions. There is a lot of snow there and it will be very good this weekend. Powder is guaranteed in the above regions.

And the rest of the Alps?

The models hint at a breakthrough from the middle of January. The first signs of this can be seen on our 14 day snow maps. Everything is still uncertain, but if there is more news you can read it here.

As wePowder Pro you get access to the 14-day snow and weather maps and the 14-day forecast per resorts (we’ve got all the resorts in the Alps covered). You never have to miss a dump anymore. When you are wePowder Pro you also have access to 1000+ inspirational freeride routes in the most beautiful freeride areas of the Alps. Sign up as wePowder Pro today. It works great for your karma as well and you’ll support the development of the wePowder platform! Thanks!

Stay stoked



8611Author8 January 2019 · 19:39

Skied 1000 - 1600m mellow meadows and trees with a guide in Saalbach today. Very enjoyable. Powder noticeably lighter at 1600, harder to make snow ball. Higher lifts closed due to wind. Hard to say how deep - definitely at least 70 cm everywhere, sometimes the whole pole deep.

Higher would have been even lighter but looks like it will get lighter in next few days with colder temps. Enjoy the endless powder alert and stay safe! Thanks Morris

AlisterFrenchAuthor8 January 2019 · 21:24

Bottomless tree-runs in Flachau today - crowds were focused on the preparations for the Ladies WC slalom so we had the sheltered off-piste entirely to ourselves.
Not v light snow yet, top 40 to 60 cm of snow completely consistent and homogenous - great in the gladed bits.
We even got some sun\

JaninaAuthor8 January 2019 · 23:32

I heard about the danger of tree wells in the USA. Are tree wells also a problem in the Alps?

meteomorrisAuthor9 January 2019 · 00:35

I heard about the danger of tree wells in the USA. Are tree wells also a problem in the Alps?

Janina op 8 Jan 2019 23:32

Yes, with conditions like these something to be aware of.
8611Author9 January 2019 · 07:33

Such amazing conditions - any one here in next week or probably more is in for a treat!

8611Author9 January 2019 · 10:10

And the cold is in - right on time - 30cm soft powder at 700m

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