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Innsbruck & Tirol 2019/20 Snow

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Think your helmet is too big in the second video? Looks like the one in the first video fits you better. Stick with that one. Snow looks amazing.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
That is his actual head.

Without his ski clobber on:

ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@8611, basically yeah! You can also leave as raw 360 so the viewer can swipe where they choose, but that only works when posted on some platforms

@nozawaonsen, does a bit haha. I think because it's mounted right on top of the helmet. Some sort of extension arm (or backpack mount) would like better with a bit more distance, but also a bit more of PITA while skiing.

@Dave of the Marmottes, scarily accurate Laughing

It was a very fun day though!

Anne gets some:



You don't need to bounce on fat skis. But sometimes it's a lot of fun to do it anyway!



As above, there was 20-40cm of new snow depending on wind, with more falling all day. The untracked stuff was (obviously) lots of fun, but the areas that got tracked revealed quite a few stumps and branches not yet fully buried under the old snow. So a bit of care and forethought required.

Today was gorgeous blue sky, and I guess skiing conditions were great but busy and competitive. Got a lot warmer too. Seems like the weekend will be warm, then more snow next week..? Fingers crossed!
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After enjoying the storm day earlier in the week, things warmed up significantly before last weekend. This is where the variety of skiing around Innsbruck pays off: one day storm skiing in the trees, another it's time to head up to a glacier!

After umming and ahhing about where to go and how to manage some fairly tricky avalanche conditions, Menno and I settled on a fairly mellow skin from the lifts at Stubai towards the Wilde Pfaff (3458m) and the long descent down to the Grawa Alm in the valley at 1535m. The whole route from the top of the lift works out at something like 15km, 750m vert ascent, 2200m vert descent.

First we skied out to the side of the park and down to the valley, with some really nice spring-style 'consolidated powder'. Here Menno's at the bottom of that pitch putting skins on before starting upwards:





Looking back shortly after starting up, you can just about make out the park drag lift:



Selfie time (#sorrynotsorry). Most of the first part the skin is a fairly mellow slog straight up a valley to a joch/col, however at over 3000m it's noticeably more work than most of the skiing we've been doing lately.



Once past the col, you you reach the main Sulzenau glacier:



Crossing over which looks something a little like this:


http://youtube.com/v/jaSFE5u2epg

Or if you prefer to swipe around your own viewpoint:


http://youtube.com/v/IWhRY_vHUkY

It's a pretty cool place to hang out for a while!

Along the top close to the ridge (in the video) the wind was blowing a bit and forming a little sastrugi, but the snow stayed pretty soft.

We went past Zuckerhüttl across the valley towards the Wilde Pfaff. There isn't really much of a climb from the glacier to the top - it's kindof a rocky island poking up out of the ice - but the last 50 or so vert metres were spectacularly uninviting rock solid windboard and ice. Neither of us had bothered to bring harscheisen, and with the only reward being an equally unrewarding ski down after being strafed by wind on the summit, we opted to just start the descent instead.

This starts out as a lovely cruise across the expanse of the glacier, but you do have to read the terrain to avoid crevassed zones. Generally head down and zigzag left towards the rock wall.

At this point a couple of fun steeper pitches offer really enjoyable skiing. Snow was varied, but always easy to stay on the good stuff - which was basically anything that had had a couple of hours sun on it. Nothing you would call powder, but everything was soft, with a very slight wind and/or freeze crust in places, which the sun had softened to lovely spring style cream cheese snow.

Really cool to ski next to the exposed glacial ice:



From there more nice pitches lead around and down past the headwall. Hopefully you can just about make out the tracks on the right:





From there, a traverse, scoot and pole across a flat valley (ideally to the side of rather than over the glacial lake, which I have no idea how well is frozen over!) leads to the Sulzenauhütte, the top of a popular summer hiking route. I forgot to get a picture though. From the hut, a little route finding leads to fun skiing to the side of another cliffy headwall. Snow here was more like heavy fresh snow or wet powder (if that wasn't an oxymoron), but still fun to ski.

You can just about make out Menno towards the bottom of the last pitch of it below. The hut is on the ridge, and we picked our way down the right hand side of the photo:



From where, you scoot/pole across another flat but absolutely gorgeous valley.

A smaller hut, confusingly also called Sulzenauhütte, has its own little pillow playground behind. Not sure if it has a winter room, but could be a fun place to adventure from.



Menno crosses the bridge at the end of the valley:



View back up from the bridge:



From there, you're at the top of the last pitch to the valley. It can be a bit of a bushwhack, but once you find the hiking trail it's not too bad. Essentially traverse skiers left to the obvious gulley, ski down that, and you're at the hut (from where you can catch a bus back up to the bottom station of the Stubaier Glacier lifts). However there's a bunch of cliffs and awkward terrain, so you do need some idea of where to go.

Looking up from by the hut, you can see that gulley on the right of the pic, and the famous(ish) frozen Grawa Wasserfall. The descent starts from the obvious notch in the middle.



All in all, a very fun day out and solid little adventure!


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 4-02-20 13:20; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Sunday was not the best skiing day, with rain to super high. However it was an excellent day to visit the Aquadome sauna/spa!

Monday also was pretty miserable, warm and wet. Today started off with heavy rain, high winds, and closed lifts, but as I write it's snowing in the city and so presumably also in all the ski resorts.

Should get/stay colder and snow pretty well all through today and tomorrow, before getting sunny again later in the week.
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Nice trip report, thanks for sharing. snowHead
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
wow, lovely - really like the new camera thingy!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
clarky999 wrote:
Sunday was not the best skiing day, with rain to super high. However it was an excellent day to visit the Aquadome sauna/spa!

Monday also was pretty miserable, warm and wet. Today started off with heavy rain, high winds, and closed lifts, but as I write it's snowing in the city and so presumably also in all the ski resorts.

Should get/stay colder and snow pretty well all through today and tomorrow, before getting sunny again later in the week.


sorry i cant figure out how to resize the images. uploaded to imgur via my phone!

same experience in Soll

monday - warm and wet - went up after an early lunch and skied when the rain was at its lightest

tuesday - WORSE! heavy rain most of the day, but we soldiered on regardless. poor vis low and high but around the middle was ok. turned to snow around lunch time so we stayed higher up





wed (today) - woke up to more rain at town level but knew there was snow (and wind) higher up. at 8am everything was shut with no ETA on reopen. by 10am, low level lifts were opening and snow to resort level. we made it onto the hill for 11 but the hohe salve gondola and some of the higher lifts were not running, so we couldnt get over the to any of the linked towns.

but, light to heavy snow all day, so we lapped a couple chairs which were open - 44,45,46,47 chairs so only 1 with decent vertical. stuff fun to snack a few inches of powder at the edges and just off the sides of the pistes



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Söll:

Snowy and windy all night. Very windy again this morning but eventually the söll gondola and some small chairs opened at mid Station level.

Knee deep in the side piste when I (frequently) fell.

We managed to snack the 45 chair opening and the piste itself had about 4 inches of fresh on top. Knee deep on the sides of 45 and 43 pistes plus under the 45 chair.

We expect the wind to subside. There is a little movement in the stage 2 gondola to hohe salve every now and again

Ellmau, scheffau, going and brixen closed. Sorry for people out to enjoy their week on the slopes after rain and now high winds and too much snow stopping it.

Sun is starting to poke through so fingers crossed it will calm down a little soon. Looks great from tomorrow onwards.

Will upload pics when I get back to resort
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@Skola, if you use flickr instead of imgur you can choose which size you want to embed Wink

Sounds like great skiing where open though!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Fair bit of snow in Innsbruck this morning! Woke up to around 10cms on the balcony:





Been snowing all day so there should be quite a bit more up on the mountains.

My walk to work:


http://youtube.com/v/Gc7SCLtfVZ8


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Thu 6-02-20 15:19; edited 1 time in total
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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.
Wildsmith wrote:
wow, lovely - really like the new camera thingy!


Pretty amazing to see how technology is going. I assume Google used early version for their streetview.
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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
Some luvverly skiing at Lizum this morning! Fresh snow and blue skies!

Didn't have time to cut more than a quick IG Story before going to work, and can't think of a better way to show that here than a gif, sooo...



Better update later Madeye-Smiley
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@clarky999 Stop already! I feel bad enough knowing I was there a month too soon.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Tom Doc, oh sorry, have you left already? I thought you were here for longer - sorry we didn't get a chance to meet up!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
clarky999 wrote:
@Tom Doc, oh sorry, have you left already? I thought you were here for longer - sorry we didn't get a chance to meet up!


No sweat, maybe do it again someday. Great place!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@clarky999,
Just out of interest, how did you film that great gif?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@DB, with one of these: https://www.insta360.com/product/insta360-onex

The camera's software crops out the selfie stick wink
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clarky999 wrote:
@DB, with one of these: https://www.insta360.com/product/insta360-onex

The camera's software crops out the selfie stick wink


Ah I see, couldn’t see the stick and thought it might be a fancy drone but then couldn‘t understand why you had both poles in one hand.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Sorry if this isn't the correct place to post. The resorts around innsbruck are forecasting winds between 45 and 90 km/h tomorrow and Tuesdsy. Does anyone have any advice on where is likely to be open in that kind of wind? We are limited to ski busses from innsbruck for transport.
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@PaddyM, Kühtai usually opens, maybe Axamer Lizum will run the train. This map link https://winter.intermaps.com/innsbruck shows which lifts are open in most of the local resorts, but do check social media before you head out as they all put out messages for storm closures and the live map may not be 100% accurate.

I hate skiing in wind, so good luck!
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@PaddyM, unfortunately not just around Innsbruck, but much of Austria (Northern Alps generally?) it seems.

Stubai and Patscherkofel definitely out. Lizum is only running one drag lift today, but may run the funicular tomorrow.

Seems like today Hochötz is your best bet. This is now on the same lift pass as Kühtai, which normally is less affected by Föhn, but today seems to be shut down. Again, may be open tomorrow.

Otherwise Muttereralm or Elferlifte - both small and fairly limited, but do at least have a couple of long runs open.

Schlick also an option, but I think the higher gondola may be shut...
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
is it possible to ski from axamer lizum to gotzens, i notice on some piste maps theres a run but not on others.
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compostcorner wrote:
is it possible to ski from axamer lizum to gotzens, i notice on some piste maps theres a run but not on others.


Someone asked the same question last year - turned out there was and I think they said it was a good ski. I hadn't and still haven't skied it, so can't give accurate information, sorry!

However in other good news, the rain in the city just turned to snow Very Happy
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Once again was a snowy Wednesday, though a little warmer and less windy than last week.

Here's how that turned out last Thursday, cruising a few laps at Axamer Lizum with my gf:


http://youtube.com/v/3N5bOjHEBf8


http://youtube.com/v/R3KlpvIMeok

The pistes weren't too bad either:



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After last week's powder, the weather warmed up, then rained to over 2000m, then cooled and snowed again.

So Tim, my gf Chrisi, and her friend Tina thought we'd head back up to Stubaier Glacier to repeat my tour from the week before.

Turned out to be a good choice - with better snow we made the top of the Wilder Pfaff (3456m), then skied back to the valley. Basically powder/powder-y the whole way, save the sastrugi on the first pitch below the summit and some avi debris right at the bottom. Some parts a little wind-buffed or sun affected, but soft and nice to ski the whole 2k+ vert metres down.

At some point I'll try to find time to cut some video, but in the meantime a few screenshots:

Pretty firm sastrugi on the first pitches below the top:





Before softening up for the long cruise over the Sulzenauferner:





It pays to pay attention to the terrain - abrupt changes are a pretty good indicator of crevasses, so best to go around them:



Another group had skipped the summit and glacier-crossing, and skied down from the col (they then skinned back into the resort). We joined their tracks for a time:



But there was still more than enough room to make our own. More cool ice features too:



Tim throws some spray on the last pitch before the first plateaux:



Looking back up from halfway across the first plateaux:



Before a few more fun pitches:





ANd a few more:



And then I ran out of battery.

But another good day out!
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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.
It's been raining/snowing on and off the last few days, in the city mostly raining so pretty much all the snow down here has melted away. This morning it turned to snow again just around the time I woke up (again woken up by the avalanche bombs on Nordkette), but nothing serious fell to the city.

On the mountain it's different; the snow line proper was around 900m and I expect somewhere around 20cm will have fallen above that, more like 30cm at the top (Nordkette generally don't bomb unless they have 30cm or more up top). View from the city centre:

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@clarky999, that view is one of the things that makes Innsbruck special!
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You know it makes sense.
@nozawaonsen, yep, I love it!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Yesterday at 9:30 I learned I had a spontaneous day off due to construction work in our office. So I did the sensible thing and went straight up to Axamer Lizum for a little solo adventure!

I arrived there shortly after 10am. Being the second sunny day after snowfall everything reachable from the lifts was obviously tracked out, so went for a little skin into the Kalkkögel with a couloir in mind:



There wasn't huge amounts of fresh snow, but 10-15cms of pretty cold and dry fluff on a generally smooth base.

Unfortunately as I got closer to the couloir I was thinking of, it became clear much of it was filled with old debris, chunder and death cookies:



So onto the classic instead. The main face was still untracked as I approached (a couple had skied down from about halfway up on lookers right), but 6 people were already ascending so obviously wasn't going to get first tracks. Still better than being in the office though!



And looking back up afterwards, as more tourers head on up:



The sunny side looked pretty good too:



Though I had a different sunny side in mind, so I skied down to the base station to catch a lift. Ski down was really nice, and I was able to stay on untracked snow the whole way down:



The other sunny side was looking in pretty good shape too:



And a 10 minute bootlick brought me to where I wanted to drop in:



The ski down wasn't at all horrible:



I enjoyed some gorgeous dusky light on one last little uphill:



Before my last descent down a fun and surprisingly steep powdery chute. Towards the bottom the crust below the new snow started to make its presence felt, but the top half was sublime!





And then a quick 2k or so scoot down the toboggan track to the valley and bus stop.

Not a bad bonus day out, given I expected to be staring at a computer all day!
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Anyone know if you've been able to ski to the bottom of Nordkette this season? I haven't seen that big open for a v long time. Thanks.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Neil Neige, I don’t think so. We’ve only had a few days where the snow line has been down that far, and I don’t think there will have been enough snow. I’ve not actually been up there, but this is based on my hikes to a similar altitude a few miles along the same face, and as that route down to Hungerburg is not officially in use, nobody will be maintaining it so it relies entirely on natural snow.

Snow line is now back to about 1500m at a guess, maybe higher. I was out on my bike today.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
clarky999 wrote:
Yesterday at 9:30 I learned I had a spontaneous day off due to construction work in our office. So I did the sensible thing and went straight up to Axamer Lizum for a little solo adventure!

I arrived there shortly after 10am. Being the second sunny day after snowfall everything reachable from the lifts was obviously tracked out, so went for a little skin into the Kalkkögel with a couloir in mind:



There wasn't huge amounts of fresh snow, but 10-15cms of pretty cold and dry fluff on a generally smooth base.

Unfortunately as I got closer to the couloir I was thinking of, it became clear much of it was filled with old debris, chunder and death cookies:



So onto the classic instead. The main face was still untracked as I approached (a couple had skied down from about halfway up on lookers right), but 6 people were already ascending so obviously wasn't going to get first tracks. Still better than being in the office though!



And looking back up afterwards, as more tourers head on up:



The sunny side looked pretty good too:



Though I had a different sunny side in mind, so I skied down to the base station to catch a lift. Ski down was really nice, and I was able to stay on untracked snow the whole way down:



The other sunny side was looking in pretty good shape too:



And a 10 minute bootlick brought me to where I wanted to drop in:



The ski down wasn't at all horrible:



I enjoyed some gorgeous dusky light on one last little uphill:



Before my last descent down a fun and surprisingly steep powdery chute. Towards the bottom the crust below the new snow started to make its presence felt, but the top half was sublime!





And then a quick 2k or so scoot down the toboggan track to the valley and bus stop.

Not a bad bonus day out, given I expected to be staring at a computer all day!


Bonus powder day! Sounds awesome. Nice goggles Very Happy
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@Scarlet, you bought a mtb?
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@Markymark29, No, I just replaced a couple of parts on my old one, oiled it and carried on. We were only riding paved tracks today so it's fine for that. Just trying to keep my fitness up before I can ski again next week Very Happy
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@Scarlet, wearing a Zoro mask hopefully.....
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Markymark29 wrote:
@Scarlet, wearing a Zoro mask hopefully.....

I'm not entirely sure how to interpret that... Confused
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@BobinCH, haha thanks!

Neil Neige wrote:
Anyone know if you've been able to ski to the bottom of Nordkette this season? I haven't seen that big open for a v long time. Thanks.


Scarlet wrote:
@Neil Neige, I don’t think so. We’ve only had a few days where the snow line has been down that far, and I don’t think there will have been enough snow. I’ve not actually been up there, but this is based on my hikes to a similar altitude a few miles along the same face, and as that route down to Hungerburg is not officially in use, nobody will be maintaining it so it relies entirely on natural snow.

Snow line is now back to about 1500m at a guess, maybe higher. I was out on my bike today.


Actually yes you can - or could anyway: https://www.facebook.com/nordkette/posts/2855409484480807

As of a week ago it is now an official slope again (presumably the landowner disputes were resolved). Last weekend at least it was officially open and I skied it down to the bottom - enough snow until about 10m before the car park. This weekend it was closed again though and you'd likely have to walk the last 200m or so.
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@clarky999, Good to know, I didn't realise. Maintenance removes the fallen tree fun though, which I viewed as a way to give guests a bit of added adventure Toofy Grin I've just got back from a hike up to Rumer Alm and I would say the path was skiable to about 1100-1000m ish, so that ties in with what you've said. It would be easy enough in touring boots, but a bit muddy.
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@Scarlet, it’s a lightweight carbon mask that protects your eye socket....no offence intended!
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