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Innsbruck & Tirol 2018/19 Snow

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@nozawaonsen, yep!!

I went up to Hungerburg to make a quick FB live video for the Tourism Board to show the snow: https://www.facebook.com/Innsbruck/videos/2048981831857987/

Still seeing some increidble treeskiing videos from today/last days, including from a few guides: https://www.facebook.com/flatscks/videos/1950461591738212/

And at least one big avi come a LONG way down towards the city! Photo from Nico Metz:



Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 11-01-19 11:14; edited 1 time in total
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Road to Kühtai open again on the Innsbruck side (Ötztal side still closed). They still had most lifts running while the road was shut due to avalanche danger.

Very light snowfall on and off today, with longer periods of the the sun poking through.

Tomorrow and Saturday also looking like calmer weather, possibly with light snowfall at times; another 60cm due at Nordkette Sunday and Monday.

Avalanche commissions will be undertaking their first reconnaissance flights after the storm tomorrow, and I imagine there will be a LOT of blasting work going on. Might well see road closures for short periods as the mountains above are bombed for control work. With no control possible in a number of places during the heaviest snow, there is potential for BIG controlled slides. Nordkette haven't been able to blast anything for at least two days...
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Scamper wrote:
For cautious visitors there is too much snow.


No disrespect but it does seem like people aren't happy unless there's 'just the right amount of snow'. I've been on trips where there's been a ribbon of ice down the mountainside and yet we still made the most of it. IMO, a whiteout with four feet of powder on the piste is an awesome day!
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jellylegs wrote:
Scamper wrote:
For cautious visitors there is too much snow.


No disrespect but it does seem like people aren't happy unless there's 'just the right amount of snow'. I've been on trips where there's been a ribbon of ice down the mountainside and yet we still made the most of it. IMO, a whiteout with four feet of powder on the piste is an awesome day!


I'd love to be in your position and enjoy the powder on the slopes but I'll have to wait till it's not as murky. Unfortunately I get horribly "seasick" in bad light - vomitting your way down the hill isn't a fun-filled day for anyone!! rolling eyes rolling eyes
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Lizum planning to open all lifts tomorrow Very Happy
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Morning all.

Thanks for all your updates and info.

Any locals or people more clever than me, have any idea (I know its early still) whether Sun or Mon a.m would be a better bet for getting into INN and up to Seefeld? Im thinking if heavy snow both days, that it may be best to try get in on the Sunday. I assume its a lottery with regards to low cloud at INN!

Thank you
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@sussexmartlet, honestly no idea... I guess try the Sunday and if you don't get in then you can at least try again on Monday?!
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Finally we have some sun again!

Went up to Lizum for a couple of hours before work this morning. Annoyingly seem to be getting a bit ill (terrible timing), so missed first lift... but got there just in time to get the very first lift up to the Birtgitzköpfl side! First run, only track in there from the avalanche control guys... Pretty damn fun!! Not quite as much snow in Lizum as I'd expected (though no shortage by any means!), but still a good 30cms of fluff (more than it looks in the photo) and didn't feel the base at all.

Cold too, with -8°C at the base. Cold enough to freeze my GoPro battery on the slow lift, unfortunately.



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@Scamper, We're there in 3 weeks....sounds mental!!
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clarky999 wrote:
@sussexmartlet, honestly no idea... I guess try the Sunday and if you don't get in then you can at least try again on Monday?!


Thanks clarky, sounds wise advice Smile
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dazman wrote:
@Scamper, We're there in 3 weeks....sounds mental!!


It will be awesome! More snow to come.
Today is fantastic, Glacier is open again..
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Friend of mine wrote a blog about the 9 resorts on the Innsbruck Olympia SkiWorld pass: https://blog.innsbruck.info/en/sport-nature/innsbrucks-olympiaworld-ski-resorts
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@clarky999, Thanks for posting those pics. That looks like a fun place. I can see lots of potential on a pow day. Hope you feel better.
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Another 5" overnight in Oetztal and still falling.
Forecast showing sun for Tues, Weds, Thurs.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Another 10cm or so in the city centre this morning and more on the hills. Definitely warmer and denser snow than the last few days but less wind than forecast so swings and roundabouts!
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Does all this snow mean you can actually ski to the bottom of the cable car at Nordkette?
A v rare occurrence these days...
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Roads closed around Oetztal

And slopes closed at the moment in Soelden
Helicopter is up and blasting ongoing.
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@Neil Neige, Nordkette is currently closed and has been since last weekend at least. They have had a few problems with power to the lift, though that my have been resolved by now. I haven't heard much blasting going on, so I wouldn't expect it to open for another few days at least. The track to Hungerburg was easily skiable most of last season and I did it a few times myself. It wasn't officially open though, so I'm not sure if there are still issues with access.

Most areas around Innsbruck are closed or mostly closed today for various reasons. Patscherkofel appears to have technical issues and at Stubai the road is closed because of avalanche risk. I'm not sure about Axamer Lizum, Muttereralm etc. but we've had a lot of snow overnight so it's probably avi risk.

Edit: Yup, we're up to avi level 5 in some parts of Tirol including Nordkette area. Level 4 everywhere else. Axamer Lizum mostly closed because of avi risk and wind. Risk expected to reduce once the storm is over, currently snowing heavily but quite wet snow.
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Reporting from the frontline at Patscherkofel. The mighty T bar is running which I'm sharing with the Chinese ski team and lots of Innsbruck school kids. Stoke level 11. Tried a bit of off piste but its heavy leg breaky with not quite enough gradient to macho it out.

May ask the Chinese if they'll let me run gates on my preachers wink
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Toadman wrote:
@clarky999, Thanks for posting those pics. That looks like a fun place. I can see lots of potential on a pow day. Hope you feel better.


No worries - and it is indeed!

Felt better enough to ski powder over the weekend anyway wink Coming down with it again now, but less of an issue when I have to sit in the office anyway!

Fantastic day in Ischgl on Sat with leggyblonde, daveofthemarmottes and scarlet - still scoring mostly untracked snow even on the last run.

60cm fell Saturday night in Seefeld, so went there for a few lazy afternoon laps with my gf on Sunday. Pistes as good as they ever get with 10-20cm of windblown pow on top of soft corduroy - really really great skiing. Incredibly deep on some of the piste-side shots too... Driving back down the Zirlerberg was interesting though!

By that point it had warmed up and was raining in Innsbruck. Now kinda on the verge of turning back into snow... Edit: or not. Lets see what happens later.

L5 avalanche danger in the Karwendel mountains to the north of Innsbruck (Nordkette etc), and areas to the west like the Arlberg. Level 4 elsewhere. Today will likely the most intense/critical day of avalanche activity from the current cycle. Calmer weather to follow, so hopefully (maybe, could, etc) stabilising from Wednesday...

As Scarlet says, many resorts/roads/foothpaths shut today. Really NOT a day to go skiing.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 14-01-19 10:25; edited 1 time in total
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@Dave of the Marmottes, well you did say they are like giant GS skis!
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Neil Neige wrote:
Does all this snow mean you can actually ski to the bottom of the cable car at Nordkette?
A v rare occurrence these days...


Certainly could if it was open!

I wouldn't say it's a rare occurence though: generally possible around 50% of the time the past few seasons IIRC. There were some landowner issues where it was officially closed but totally skiable... And other times it was closed due to a few stones poking through on the last few hundred metres of cat track (but still totally skiable IMO). I'm not 100% clear on the status re. landowner atm. But I've already skied to the base before Christmas this season.
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Turns out hi pink lens has some performance limitations

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@Dave of the Marmottes, Laughing
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Turns out hi pink lens has some performance limitations



May I humbly suggest this to at least assist a bit. I get it, when you are in the white room, it's almost pointless...

https://powdercordpouch.com/seeblade-goggle-lens-wiper.html
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Another 5-10cm of snow fell in the city overnight, and now it's gone bluebird. First look at the Nordkette in over a week, and... WOW. Simply blanketed in snow. Cliffs and avi barriers completely buried in places. Cable car to Hafelekar blocked in by snow, bottom station of the chairlift buried. Will take another couple of days for control ot open it, but it will be SPECTACULAR when they do! 440cm at 1900m...

Half the webcams are broken, but this shows some of it (scroll to 12:45 for the best view): https://www.bergfex.com/innsbruck-nordkette/webcams/c8400/

Kühtai, Seefeld and Stubai also look amazing!

Avalanche danger: level 4 north of Innsbruck; 3 below and 4 above treeline south of Innsbruck. Expected to decrease appreciably over the next few days, but with the amount of snow, a LOT of care will need to be taken!

Quote:

As a consequence of the sometimes strong northwesterly wind individual natural dry avalanches are possible, even very large ones in isolated cases. Single winter sport participants can release avalanches very easily, including dangerously large ones. Areas with glide cracks are to be avoided.

Once the snowfall has ended, the natural avalanche activity will appreciably decrease. Individual very large natural avalanches are however still possible, especially adjacent to ridgelines on wind-loaded slopes, also in case of releases originating from very steep, high-altitude, sunny starting zones that have retained the snow thus far. As a consequence of fresh snow and a strong to storm force northwesterly wind, avalanche prone wind slabs formed especially above the tree line. The fresh wind slabs can in many places be released, even by a single winter sport participant and reach dangerously large size. The avalanche prone locations are to be found in particular adjacent to ridgelines and in gullies and bowls in all aspects, also on steep slopes in areas close to the tree line. On steep grassy slopes a large number of medium-sized and, in isolated cases, large gliding avalanches are possible below approximately 2400 m. This applies in all aspects. Caution is to be exercised in areas with glide cracks. Exposed transportation routes can be endangered. The conditions are unfavourable for snow sport activities outside marked and open pistes.


If anyone is here next weekend, Axamer Lizum are running an event with the Innsbruck hot air balloon. €15 for 10 mins: https://www.facebook.com/events/718450155191985/
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Does anyone know how Wagrain is bearing up?
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bambionskiis wrote:
Does anyone know how Wagrain is bearing up?


Should be some info in the Ski Amade thread, but I assume snowy!
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@bambionskiis, a good few lifts closed there today, don't think it's due to lack of snow. most lifts running in the surrounding resorts
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Well, what a weekend!

There was a bit of a let up in the storm over Friday and Saturday, though the snow continued to fall throughout Friday night. That extra fresh snowfall gave me, @clarky999, @Dave of the Marmottes and @leggyblonde an awesome powder day in Ischgl that we weren't really expecting and we didn't have much competition!

@leggyblonde in the trees in Ischgl:



Then on Sunday, the next storm came through and the snow started again. A few of us headed up local hill Patscherkofel for a couple of hours, and at the top it was really rather nice.

What are the trees like, @leggyblonde?:

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Cheers Frosty and Snowman
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Today, it was still snowing first thing so I accompanied my friend Luc up to Bergeralm (Steinach am Brenner). We took the lift as high as we could go, and then put our skins on to hike over to the back side of the mountain.

Pretty deep today:



The idea that a broken leg and having sat on my arse for almost eight weeks would affect my speed doesn't really compute, so I had to put up with comments of “why are you so slow?” for about an hour rolling eyes , but in the end it was the old bindings on the skis he leant to his friend that caused the most faff when they spectacularly failed about two-thirds of the way up!

Some bodging with ski straps and anything else we could find in our packs was required:



Unfortunately, that then meant we had to get down as best we could, and then cut short the day Sad

Still got some nice turns in though – the snow was lovely, even nicer than the weekend and there was nobody else there at all Toofy Grin snowHead

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@clarky999,

Do have any idea when Nordkette will be open? And will they have secured the route from the top when they open?

Heading down there on Saturday Smile
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As @clarky999, and @Scarlet, said, it was a great day in Ischgl last Saturday!

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+2°C and raining in the city last night, but snowing on the mountains. Trees on Nordkette are white again, and the mountain really is looking stunning!

Stubai Glacier has also been looking amazing lately (check their FB page). The road only re-opened yesterday (I believe), so for a few days the whole area was completley untracked while they dug out lifts and groomed the pistes.

The Daunjoch chairlift is still closed, as it needs to be dug out! The normal entrance (for skiers) is directly under the clock, and is normally way overhead:


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Fri 18-01-19 9:34; edited 2 times in total
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Woosh wrote:
@clarky999,

Do have any idea when Nordkette will be open? And will they have secured the route from the top when they open?

Heading down there on Saturday Smile


Hey!

I understand it's opening for pedestrians today, but that it might still take some time to get the ski operations running again (read: lifts still need to be dug out!). That could be today, or this weekend, or next week... They're not very good at saying much other than 'it'll be ready when it's ready'. But they're losing quite a big of money every day it's closed, so hopefully soon...

I would imagine they will secure the runs down through the top couloirs before allowing anyone up there, given how much snow is in them. But that's speculation on my part, so don't take it as gospel!
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@clarky999,

Thank you for the answer. Last day in Innsbrück will be on Tuesday so hopefully they manage to open up before that. Anyhow, many good alternatives around Innsbrück Smile
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A few photos from Nordkette (aka Little AK) this week (stolen from the Avalanche Commission/Nordkette on FB). Several from before the extra 150cm (EDIT: latest numbers from the avalanche report are 215cm from Sunday-Tuesday at Seegrube/1900m) from last weekend:











Huge gliding avalanche by the Hötteringeralm:



And another massive slide ran down past the Arzleralm (sits around 1000m, so just 200m above the village at Hungerburg). You can see how strategically placed the hut is to the side of the slide path:



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An update from the avalanche warning services (plus some impressive avalanche photos from the last week or so): https://avalanche.report/albina-web/blog/avalanche-warning-service-tirol.blogspot.com/7004219944270521913?lang=en

Generally:

1. Avalanche level decreasing/stability improving in most of Tirol, with significant settling of the snowpack
2. Older snowdrifts/wind slabs/layers hard to trigger
3. Fresh drifted snow/wind slab biggest problem, increasingly at altitude, and particularly around ridgelines

Exceptions:

1. Old snow problem with remote triggering possibilities in East Tirol, where they have had less snow. This doesn't mean 'eastern parts of Tirol' like Kitzbühel/Fieberbrunn, but rather the region Ost Tirol, south of the main alpine ridge - think Lienz area, Matrei, bordering on Dolomites, etc.
2. Same applies to a lesser extent in the more southerly valleys of Tirol like Ötztal and Stubaital, where there was 'old snow' since earlier in the season. These areas have however had good amounts of snow during the recent storm, hence the layers are deeply buried and harder (but not impossible, especially in thinner areas like ridgelines/abrubt terrain changes) to trigger than in the thin snowpack currently found in Ost Tirol.

Worth highlighting:

Quote:
Numerous reports as well as the results of exploratory flights over the mountains on Tuesday, 15.01, showed high avalanche activity. Many large and very large natural triggerings of slab avalanches were registered, particularly often in the Karwendel, Mieming Massif, Pitztal and Paznauntal. Also in Gschnitztal and in northern East Tirol, avalanches plummeted down to the valley floor. Some of them caused damage to forests, electric lines and building. No human casualties occurred. An important theme during this heavy snowfall was glide-snow avalanches, whose trigger-sensitivity was enhanced still further by rain impact up to 1500 m. Repeatedly, sectors of roads were displaced, also buildings were damaged.

It was only through the uninterrupted emergency service of many people on duty that the safety of the population could be ensured through this extraordinary period of bad weather.


With the amount of huge - natural and controlled - avalanches during the cycle, that's really impressive. I think the only fatalities (in Tirol) were skiers/tourers/hikers.
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