The Alps get weather, that’s for sure. It might not snow a ton during some months, but you can count on wind, clouds, humidity, and perhaps some rain lower down to dissolve all hope of a good snowpack like yesterday, when we did a short tour out of Alpbach during a windy and cloudy day with a nice solid base of grass to keep the snowpack supportive. Good exercise, but definitely not the Alps I had in mind.
Then sometimes you get some fresh powder and a blue sky like they show in the tourist posters. Like today.
Map below is centered on the Sonnenjoch in western Austria, or at least I think it is. These are lower Alps but plenty alpine and a terrific place to ski tour during midwinter conditions when the higher alpine may be too windy, cold and avalanche prone. More civilized, if you will, though the incredibly huge crowd of six other people really bummed me out.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.