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Innsbruck & Tirol 2020/21 Snow

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Time to get this show on the road again!

There's been a fair few snowfalls on the peaks through October, and the young guns have been getting pretty damn sendy already, but Stubai was still looking a bit too sharky to tempt me up 'til last Sunday. Probably another 20-30cm had fallen over the previous two days, with sunday dawning bright and blue.

Apparently beforehand the glacier had been waaaay quieter than usual, but the beautiful weather brought a few others out to play out too, and the road up plus car park were pretty busy. There were two queues (made with metal barriers) for the gondola to help maintain some social distancing, which kinda worked - most groups probably had around a metre of distance between them and those behind. The wait wasn't too bad either, maybe 10-15 minutes, but it did mean we didn't get up until around 10am.

Obviously by then the main lift-accessed lines were tracked out (with plenty of sharks poking through!), so Menno and I went for a little walk to find something nicer for my (he had already been a couple of times) first turns of the winter.

In the end we skinned up under one of the still-closed chairlifts on the Dauernferner side, then up behind the peak to access a nice long and still untracked bowl. Only about 600m vert up, but at 3000m and after spending most of the summer kayaking in the valleys my legs were definitely feeling a little weak afterwards (forgetting my water bottle probably didn't help either).





Menno dropped first:



The sun had affected it a bit, but still pretty damn nice snow for literally my first turns of the season!





Cruising back along the piste after this absolute spectacle revealed itself - cue much stopping and staring by everyone around!



Maybe you can just about make out our tracks in the central bowl:



We later cruised a few pistes, then skinned up the Fernau side (not yet open) for some more mellow powder skipping.

Pistes generally in pretty good condition, maybe a littler firm lower down towards the midstation, but good coverage.

Regarding social distancing measures, there were no capacity restrictions on the lifts. In the cable car most groups seemed to try to leave a few seats free between other groups, and everyone wore facemasks in both the queue and inside. Things were a little more lax on chairlifts: I'd guess around 90% of people wore facemasks in the queues, and probably fewer on the actual lift (at least when seated with only their own group).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Looks good Very Happy
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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?
Fantasic!!
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
Wow, picture 6

The ski gods are for real!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@clarky999, Nice one, lucky guys.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Maybe stick a health warning on those pics if people have to STAY HOME this Winter: "VIEWING THE FOLLOWING PICTURES FROM THE CONFINES OF YOUR HOME IS LIKELY TO DAMAGE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH!". Laughing
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
jellylegs wrote:
Wow, picture 6


Was wondering how that effect was created - Looks like a reflection of the photographers eye.

There was a short piece about Stubai on Austrian TV last night showing very little social distancing or people wearing masks.
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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!
DB wrote:
jellylegs wrote:
Wow, picture 6


Was wondering how that effect was created -


I was thinking it was something like a Fraunhoffer ring (sp?) if I remember correctly from schooldays!
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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.
Great to see someone skiing. Could actually be a great year for anyone lucky enough to live in the mountains as opposed to dribbling from abroad like the rest of us.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
DCG wrote:
DB wrote:
jellylegs wrote:
Wow, picture 6


Was wondering how that effect was created -


I was thinking it was something like a Fraunhoffer ring (sp?) if I remember correctly from schooldays!


Sun dog: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_dog
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I took this photo to show today’s conditions at Stubai before the announcement that they would shut the lifts on Tuesday (I should’ve taken one a bit earlier, before we lost the sun from the other side, but I forgot).



I think there was a dusting a couple of days ago, following heavier snow earlier in the week. Coverage was good, especially as it’s only October, and skiing to the mid station was no problem at all, although it looked a bit brown below that. Off-piste was firm, and hard work on my skinny piste skis, but not too bad and preferable to the piste in places.

Weather was warm and sunny, not too crowded, and not a bad day out for the €484 it cost me rolling eyes
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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.
Not really been updating this, I think as we're all aware that anyone based outside Austria can't realistically get here. This is not a gloating post, quite the opposite in fact.

You may be aware that the northern Alps, including Tirol, has had quite a bit of snow this week, 50-100cm apparently. Lots of roads have been blocked due to snow and/or avi risk, and our snow chains had to be used yesterday for the first time ever – to get to the supermarket! It's unusual to have so much down at valley level, so I took a picture from the top lift station at Patscherkofel:



You can see the city on the right, then the airport towards the centre and Axamer Lizum and the slopes of Muttereralm towards the left. It looks very pretty at the moment.

And now for the reality check for anyone who thinks they're missing out by not going skiing this year: you're not.

I picked Patscherkofel today because it has fairly gentle trees (avi 4 today) and is usually fairly quiet. I've skied there a few times and never queued further than the door of the lift station, if at all. Today, the queue came out of the building, doubled back and then went the full length across the bottom of the piste past the restaurant, and continued out the other side Shocked 5pax per bubble and some running empty to pick up at the mid station won't help.

I saw the same cracks in the untouched snow as has been reported elsewhere, though they tended to be where it was a little steeper. Most of the obvious lines had already been skied out, safely by the look of it, though there was plenty of instability around the edges. Not that I was doing anything particularly risky – still skiing alone, so not even having someone to dig you out should it all go wrong does tend to focus the mind Confused

It's cold right now, really cold. Standing 30min in a queue, then sitting in a draughty bubble with a damp mask on meant by the time I got to the top I was shivering and unable to get warm again. You can't just nip in a hut for a coffee and a warm at the moment, and while the bottom restaurant was doing takeaway sandwiches (I think), you order from as window, pick up at another, and all the benches have been removed so you have to stand or sit in the snow.

You can probably tell I'm not really feeling the love right now. Skiing without friends and without the usual infrastructure and all the additional theatre isn't much fun. We stuck it for less than 3 hours before giving up and going home to warm up.

Pro tip for FFP2 masks: if you're wearing goggles and a buff, you can wedge the mask under your buff and hold it with your goggles at the nose. Tuck the elastics into the buff and you can just pull it off and stuff it back into your pocket at the top without having to remove your helmet etc. Yes, I'm aware that they are not designed to be abused in this way, but I doubt I'm getting any protection from a damp, grubby mask that doesn't fit properly anyway.

On the plus side, the other one, who took up snowboarding last season, managed to look reasonably good on a black run today, so there's hope for him yet.
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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
I forgot to mention the heavily armed (why?) police presence on the roundabout on the way home near my village. They'd parked up and were standing in the inside lane, the one we wanted to use, but didn't seem to be doing anything apart from looking intimidating. Often speed traps around there, but those were not radar guns. There were tons out last weekend too, when we were cycling a little further down. That time, they were pulling people over on the bridge, but not for speeding (they'd caused a long tailback, so nobody was passing at any speed).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Scarlet wrote:
Not really been updating this, I think as we're all aware that anyone based outside Austria can't realistically get here.


I had also been thinking it was time to update this thread again, but now I'll feel doubly bad for doing so!

[quote="Scarlet"]And now for the reality check for anyone who thinks they're missing out by not going skiing this year: you're not.

I picked Patscherkofel today because it has fairly gentle trees (avi 4 today) and is usually fairly quiet. I've skied there a few times and never queued further than the door of the lift station, if at all. Today, the queue came out of the building, doubled back and then went the full length across the bottom of the piste past the restaurant, and continued out the other side Shocked 5pax per bubble and some running empty to pick up at the mid station won't help.

Sorry to hear you haven't been enjoying skiing lately. FWIW it sounds like resorts are v quiet during the week, but Patscherkofel was ALWAYS going to be super busy today: blue skies, first weekend after a huge dump, other roads/resorts like Kühtai closed, and Innsbruck's home mountain. Every piste skier and family in the city will have flocked there, and only one lift up... On days like this you either have to tour or go further away (ie Arlberg, Ischgl if it was open), as there are too many skiers on your doorstep for it to be any other way. Axamer Lizum was also busy yesterday for the same reason, though the queues moved much faster than you'd think - very drawn out due to the corona measures but moving through quickly.

Scarlet wrote:
On the plus side, the other one, who took up snowboarding last season, managed to look reasonably good on a black run today, so there's hope for him yet.


Glad to hear he's getting into it at least!

----

Re. the police, they were also in Axams yesterday. Did a valley run and while waiting for the bus they were stopping all other traffic going up - turned out there had been a massive avalanche, rescue thought someone was buried under, and had a big probe line going + 2 helis flying overhead (luckily it turned out it was a natural release and no-one was involved), and they didn't want more people adding to the chaos. However they ignored the German and Italian number-plated cars slithering around obviously on summer tyres... Perhaps the ones you saw were actually controlling foreign number plates?
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