PowderAlert #8 in the south of the Alps was really good! The combination of powder, espresso and larch trees delivered, especially when the sun came out on Saturday and Sunday. It's still snowing lightly in the Piedmont today, but the sun should come out tomorrow. It is the prelude to a relatively mild and sunny Wednesday and Thursday. The temperatures will drop during the weekend, with light snowfall from time to time. The jetstream will move to the west (and will probably end up too far north) and the long term is pretty uncertain. You can still find powder in the trees and you can go out for a tour above the treeline, but don't ride faces that are too steep. In this forecast:
More than half a meter of snow came down locally, it was cold and there was a decent base in the forests of the Piedmont and the Queyras. PowderAlert #8 was ON. Just have a look at the pictures.
The pictures above (do not forget to watch the video as well) show that you can still have a lot of fun in the mountains during critical avalanche conditions. Just don't ride too steep!
It's still snowing lightly in the Piedmont today (Monday), but the sun will come out later. Thanks to the disappearance of the current from the southeast that strong Föhn storm in the northern Alps finally comes to an end. That wind transported a lot of snow and that resulted in critical avalanche conditions. A dramatic accident happened in Tignes today, where at least four people were killed in an avalanche. There are still people missing.
High pressure will take over after today. There won't be any wind and it will be mild and sunny during the day. You can still find powder on north faces and between the trees. The air is relatively dry and as long as the sun doesn't radiate into the snowcover directly, the powder will remain fresh.
There are quite a bit of wind slabs in the western and northern Alps. That's not the case in the Piedmont and they got some more fresh snow the last couple of days. You'll find the best conditions in the Alps in that region. And you can still find some great powder between the trees there.
The conditions to go touring below 2000 meters are pretty good. Above that altitude you have to think about that old and weak layer deeper in the snowpack in the complete Alps. The wind also transported lots of snow the last couple of days. The avalanche situation is critical in a lot of places. If you choose to go touring, ride conservative lines above the treeline. Choose lines like the ones in the video above. Not too steep, but definitely a lot of fun!
Want access to the most comprehensive online backcountry snow safety courses for skiers and snowboarders? Use code "ALTENMARKT1617", valid until the end of February, to get access for only 9€ (Reg: 29€). Go to Mountain Academy and start now!
The weather for the long term is uncertain, thanks to the jetstream that's moving to the west (and will probably end up too far north). The temperatures will rise this week, but it might get colder this weekend with some snowfall. More about that tomorrow!
Stay stoked. Morris