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Innsbruck & Tirol 2020/21 Snow

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Two ski-tourers killed in an avalanche in Sellrain (near Innsbruck) over the weekend. In the news it says the rescue services first discovered red airbags from an avi rucksack. It's unclear why the avalanche bag didn't save them, not sure if they mean that the rucksack became detached or the ski-tourers were found face down in the snow or they died from injuries sustained in the avalanche.

https://www.kleinezeitung.at/oesterreich/5930832/Komplett-verschuettet_Zwei-Tourengeher-bei-Lawinenabgang-in-Tirol

https://tirol.orf.at/stories/3087758/
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@DB, yep, not far from Kühtai (and apparently it's quite mellow terrain), so 3 deaths in that area in one day + at least 3 other avalanches involving people too. Plus the death at Axamer Lizum and a number of other incidents. A sad Saturday for Tirol.
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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, I've just read the same story here: https://www.tt.com/artikel/30776839/zwei-tourengeher-tot-aus-lawinenkegel-in-sellrain-geborgen though it doesn't add much more. Massive avalanche that they were both caught it an no one knew they were there? It sounds like they weren't buried very deep, probably because of the airbags, though it's not clear if they were still attached, but without assistance they still had no chance.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@clarky999 & @Scarlet,

I hope the reason they did not survive is because they both decided to ski down together and neither could free the other from the snow so they both suffocated face down in just a few cm's of snow.
Only last week I had to tell an Austrian ski touring buddy (who has skied for over 40 years and ski-toured for over 30) to hold back on an approx 30 deg slope and wait until two other skiers (who were locals but also skied down the slope togther) were out of harms way. He even asked me why, my reply was "if it gives with luck I can find one person and get them out, the chances of me finding 3 in time are virtually zero".
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Another HUGE avalanche on Kellerjoch this morning. Search still underway for a presumed person buried: https://www.tt.com/artikel/30776930/lawinenabgang-in-den-tuxer-alpen-suche-nach-verschuettetem?fbclid=IwAR1ADSgq2bBMr0SajuPLDnqfy9SRRCcPjGUVgh-deaPLtm-z_FsZgWML4fc

Not my photo:

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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Negative covid test required from today to ski in Tirol. If you've had the virus you don't have to present a test but you do have to present a doctor's confirmation.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
downhillalltheway wrote:
Negative covid test required from today to ski in Tirol. If you've had the virus you don't have to present a test but you do have to present a doctor's confirmation.


Are they checking paperwork on the slopes or at the lift stations?
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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!
@ster, It's take me a while to get my head around this nonsense. I haven't been out since Sunday, but what I *think* is going on is that there are random spot checks on the piste by police/authorities (I don't think the resorts themselves will feel inclined to check tbh). It is only the piste that is being controlled, so in theory you can use the lift without a test. You can take the lift up and use the rodelbahn to get down without a test. You can skitour up and ski down without a test. You can go offpiste without a test, as long as you can get there without using the piste rolling eyes

This has no basis in science, and appears to be a way of forcing the ski areas to close either without explicitly saying so, or without offering compensation. It more than likely (based on previous rulings) has no basis in law either, but it will take longer than the end of the ski season to get to court.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
As the pistes are so empty no one is sharing gondolas, chairs etc and of course all huts are closed and so the impact of this rule is going to be absolutely zero. Ridiculous.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
^^Yep it's a ridiculous rule. You can use the pistes and lifts for anything at all - tobogganing, meeting friends for lunch, skitouring up - without a test result, apart from skiing down. You can take a public bus to the lifts with your skis without a test just fine, but not the lifts up. Unless you only want to take your skis up for lunch then take the lift, in which case you're fine. Insane!

Meanwhile no-one is suggesting that shoppers in Vienna should need a negative test before taking the U-Bahn to the Einkaufszentrum rolling eyes

The 48 hour rule is particularly annoying - if my gf gets a test result before the pharmacies closed on Friday, it will run out before the lifts close on Sunday.

On the other side, for those of like me who have had corona and are exempt from needing a <48 hour test, the resorts will be amazing on powder days.

On the other other side, Sölden and St Anton have already closed following the new rules, and I suspect more will follow.

On this point:

Scarlet wrote:
[what I *think* is going on is that there are random spot checks on the piste by police/authorities (I don't think the resorts themselves will feel inclined to check tbh)


Yesterday Patscherkofel said that they, the lift co., would not be checking. Today, St Anton said one of the reasons they are closing is that legally the lift co. would be responsible for the checking. I have no idea which is correct!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
With everything else, most resorts seem to be doing as little as they can get away with, Patscherkofel is the only one I’ve been to where they were being very strict, and only then till you were through the door and out of sight... I can’t imagine they want to take on testing too.

If you went somewhere like Axamer Lizum, where from both lifts you can nip off the back without hitting the piste, in theory that wouldn’t need a test. Also, if you’re in touring gear, who’s to say how you got there?
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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.
Skied on Thursday & Friday. On Thursday we skied in the SkiWelt from Ellmau over to Brixen and Hopfgarten. Pistes in good condition, holding up well with relatively few skiers around. On Friday I was on the Fieberbrunn slopes. This time the Reckmoos Nord gondola was open (wasn't last time I was there) but instead the Streuböden + Lärchfilzkogel gondolas weren't running. Virtually no-one on the pistes. Was able to buy a Wiener Schnitzel takeaway at the S4 Alm at the end of the day Very Happy

My Covid test result wasn't checked either day (though it was later at the barber Laughing).
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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
It's been a pretty weird month here in Tirol, even without all the corona stuff. Sahara sand and warm slushy groomers in February, to FREEZING cold, and now back to warm slushy groomers again. At least the avalanche situation has chilled out a bit recently, or at least become more predictable with the day time warming cycles.

After a glorious slush fest on the 6th, it was so warm on the 7th February that I went out testing new kayaks instead of skiing. Still a fair bit of snow at the get in in Imst then though:



One week later any my gf and I went to Lampsenspitz for a Valentines Day ski tour. It's a real local classic, and despite being totally uncontrolled terrain often feels like a mini 'touring resort' with lots of people, well trodden trails, and lots of avalanche awareness info boards and automatic transceiver checkpoints installed. Around ~1100 vert metres.

Despite being -15°C in the car park the way up was actually pretty comfortable temperature-wise in just a merino base layer, but within 20 seconds of stopping at the top I felt my temperature crash in a way I have NEVER felt before. So no pictures from up there!

This is the start point at Praxmar, looking towards Zischgeles - another Sellrain classic and kickturn fest, but a bit steep for the stability at the time:



About halfway up - lots of skier traffic forms smooth trails up, but the big broad slope gives lots off opportunities to sniff out pockets of untracked powder in spite of the crowds:



Back down in the 'Bergsteiger Dorf' Praxmar, which really is pretty gorgeous. Unusual hazards form when it's that cold...

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I've been really spooked by the snowpack this season, and have been happy to stay cautious and enjoy powder meadow skipping as much as possible. But as stability improved recently, so my thoughts started to turn towards steeper slopes again. With this in mind last weekend I went to Kühtai with friends Nico and May looking for something a bit more adventurous.

Pulling up to the ski area we were surprised to see some barely tracked powder still on the Hochwanner, so decided to skin up from the reservoir (only about ~500m) to see what we could find. Unfortunately it turned out to be a bit crustier than expected, but there were still some fun turns particularly where the sun had warmed the snow.

Looking down from the ridge towards the reservoir:



The last section is a short bootpack up to the top:



'Lockdown Mane' could probably use a trim now the hairdressers are open again...



Pinched from Nico's IG story, enjoying the sun-softened snow on the way down:



View back up from the reservoir:



After that little diversion, we headed up to the ski area with a couloir in mind that Nico and I had skied a few years previously:



From the top of the lifts we climbed a further ~300m up towards the ridge. Really nice snow on the way up (bar where the wind had done it's thing near the top) seemed like a good sign... Nico and May on the last mellower stretch after a bunch of kick turns:



View in from the top looked pretty damn good too, and no tracks!



Alas, having committed and dropped in, the view around the corner into the couloir proper revealed the whole thing had slid and the days prior. Cue ~800 vert of jump turn training on the steep runneled rock hard ice of the bed surface, with a little bit of breakable crust left over at the edges in places when our legs needed a break.



You win some you lose some, but a bit of type 2 fun in a rad place with glorious weather is still a pretty good day out in my book!



As Nico commented at the end, pick your partners carefully when freeriding - when it's good it's all good, but when things don't work out as planned it's the people you are with who make the difference between a stressful experience and a fun adventure.



As my gf had been out on a super long tour that day, we decided to just go surf some slushy groomers at Kappl on the Sunday.

Again glorious weather, empty pistes, and loooooovely slushy snow:



Piste skiing in Feb doesn't get any better!

Obviously all the huts are closed due to corona, but the roofs make pretty perfect picnic spots and help keep groups separated from each other:



Since then it's only got warmer - the ice cream shops in the city have opened already, in February!! - though it looks like a minor break in the weather and maybe some snow on Saturday, before the sun returns next week.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Thu 25-02-21 13:18; edited 2 times in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@clarky999, You lucky person - i've been to the supermarket and walked around the local forest since 4th January....end of! Looks awesome.... Cool
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