[Forecast courtesy of wePowder]
It’s snowing heavily in the Southern Alps of France as well as the west and southern portions of the Italian Piedmont. This is the prelude to a challenging weekend with snow and wind from all directions.
It’s already snowing heavily in the south as you can see on the images below. An infinite flow of flakes is coming down at the moment and it’s expanding to the rest of the western and southern Alps later today.
PA#12: a tricky weekend!
PA #12 is a difficult alert. Snow comes from all directions, the wind is coming from all directions, from time to time even strong to very strong and the temperature goes up and down. This tricky context makes one thing certain: it will be a tricky weekend as far as the avalanche danger is concerned.
HIGH to EXTREME avalanche danger in parts of the French Alps
The avalanche danger couldn’t be higher (*5 on a scale of 5) in parts of the French Alps and the conditions will be challenging in the rest of the Alps. Therefore– check your local avalanche forecast every day and adapt your plans to it. Your local avalanche forecast can be found on every village page, but also every ski area page on wePowder (in the snow safety block) so you can be sure that you have the local avalanche forecast, but you can also visit this site).
Dare to say NO and postpone your trip if you do not have enough knowledge. The snow cover will settle in the coming days and the conditions will improve.
PA#12: where to go?
First of all: Check the avalanche forecast and adapt your plans to it. It’s probably the best to ride between the trees this weekend, much lower on the mountain. The advice where to ride the next couple of days looks like this:
French Southern Alps, especially the areas in the Hautes Alpes around the Ecrins are going to be really good with lots of snow. You’ll also find great powder in the western and southern Piedmont. There is locally already a VERY HIGH (5 on a scale of 5) avalanche danger. The dangers in the backcountry are obvious, but also expect roads and parts of ski areas to be closed. Everything steeper than 30 degrees is not an option! That applies to the complete face, so also steep faces above you or opposite of you! Stay away from terrain traps! A day like today is for real experts only. You should stick to the open slopes in the resorts to ride powder.
- Still good in the French Southern Alps, especially the areas in the Hautes Alpes around the Ecrins and the western and southern Piedmont.
- Also good conditions in the French northern Alps. The wind is not that strong anymore and fresh snow has fallen again. The sun is coming out and the temperature will drop during the day.
- Good conditions on the border between Graubünden and Lombardia. Livigno and Sankt Moritz are the places to go. You’ll find a solid base and fresh snow there.
It is mild in the east of the Alps. It snows heavily with a southern current in the main alpine ridge of Austria and the areas south of it, especially on the Italian side it can snow a lot. The snow line is very low because of the cold air in the valleys, but the supplied air is mild and the snow line will rise in the course of the day to 900 to 1700 meters. In short, Föhn in the north of Austria and some rain or snow at high altitude. On the south side a lot of snow, but a rising snow line. Not ideal.
The current turns to the north due the low pressure area which is moving to the east. It gets colder fast and the warm humid air that is still to the north of the Alps is getting stuck between the Alps and the incoming cold air. The result is a rapidly dropping snow line and fresh snow for the north of the Alps. Timing is still a thing. In short:
- It’s still good in the resorts in the French Southern Alps, especially the areas in the Hautes Alpes. Wind form the north is picking up!
- Also excellent conditions in the French northern Alps. Again some fresh snow during the day.
- Excellent conditions on the border between Graubünden and Lombardia. Livigno and Sankt Moritz are the places to go. You’ll find a solid base and fresh snow there. Wind from the north is kicking in!
- Good conditions in the north(west) of the Alps during the day.
It’s a difficult weekend. High pressure will temporarily take over after the weekend. The sun will come out. Monday will be a sunny day in large parts of the Alps.
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Stay stoked, Morris