Austria Conditions Report: Powder, Sun and Big Terrain

Eike Poeppelmeier | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Fun Terrain - Rider: Eike Poeppelmeier, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Fun Terrain – Rider: Eike Poeppelmeier, Foto: Irian van Helfteren

November has been a very unusual month in Austria. It’s been the warmest November ever recorded in weather history (in 240 years). That of course meant close to no snow at all in the mountains except of course on the glaciers and at higher elevations above 2500m.

So we have been waiting and praying for colder weather and snow. Temperatures have still been quit high but freezing level has dropped to about 2000m now in early December. On the 2nd of December it finally snowed a 10-15 cms mostly in the south western region of Austria. Most ski resorts that are situated at lower elevations have postponed their opening dates. Luckily there are a lot of resorts located at high elevations for example Obergurgl (lifts go up to about 3100m) situated in the Ötztal close to the Italian boarder.

Obergurgl - Sick terrain, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Obergurgl – Sick terrain, Foto: Irian van Helfteren

Obergurgl received a good 10cms of great blower powder and we were really surprised to see that the backcountry above 2500m was in a really good state. Obergurgl has great backcountry access – hiking only for 15-30 min. Yesterday being a weekday there were barely any people on the mountain and we were above a thick layer of clouds in the sun. Leaving us a lot of work – tracking out the mountain.

Pow turns, Canadian style Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Pow turns, Canadian style Foto: Irian van Helfteren

We found some spectacular snow especially on the north/north-east facing slopes but all aspects above 2500m skied great. Lower down there was still a lot of sun affected crusty snow and quit a lot of uncovered rocks.

Steeps - Irian riding a steep couloir. Rider: Irian van Helfteren, Foto: Eike poeppelmeier
Steeps – Irian riding a steep couloir. Rider: Irian van Helfteren, Foto: Eike Poeppelmeier

All in all we were positively surprised because our expectations were very low due to the general lack of snow in the region. Big sprays, faceshots, cliff-drops and smiles all day all the way until sunset.

Sunset Obergurgl, Foto Irian van Helfteren
Sunset Obergurgl, Foto Irian van Helfteren

PHOTO TOUR:

Bootback, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Bootback, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Obergurgl
Obergurgl, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Touring Obergurgl, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Touring Obergurgl, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Obergurgl
Obergurgl, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Obergurgl
Obergurgl, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Ready to drop, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Ready to drop, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Obergurgl
Obergurgl, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
What a view
What a view, Foto: Eike Poeppelmeier
Spray, Rider: Irian van Helfteren, Foto: Eike Poeppelmeier
Spray, Rider: Irian van Helfteren, Foto: Eike Poeppelmeier
On the top, Foto: Eike Poeppelmeier
On the top, Foto: Eike Poeppelmeier
High fog in the Ötztal, foto: Irian van Helfteren
High fog in the Ötztal, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Above the clouds, Checking out the view from top of Obergurgl, Foto: Irian van Helfteren
Above the clouds, Checking out the view from top of Obergurgl, Foto: Irian van Helfteren

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.