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The Arlberg Snow Report 2014/2015 (Folks that a Wrap 2014/15 season)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Redwine wrote:
Avi backparcks on those guys?


No. It doesn't look like it. Why?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Feast wrote:
Redwine wrote:
Avi backparcks on those guys?


No. It doesn't look like it. Why?


Oh I thought one of them was wearing one. Just looking how serious the off piste is in the alps. Also, I don't own one, so worried it's standard gear in the arlberg.
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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?
Redwine wrote:
WOW indeed. Didn't look too tracked out. I guess you just need to know where to go. The area looks massive.


Lech/Zurs gets tracked out a little bit slower than than St Anton, but it will be tracked within a day or 2 in conditions like that. It is massive Happy

Quote:
Avi backparcks on those guys?

Pretty much everyone going off piste in the Arlberg seems to wear air bags these days [*see edit below]. They are no substitute for safe travel and not getting caught, but they do make sense. Sadly there are still fatal accidents even with air bags, there have been cases where people were unable to pull the trigger in time, and other cases where victims still get buried due to terrain traps. If you are new to the area hire a guide, at least for a day if not your whole trip.

EDIT: Actually that's not quite right; not everyone wears an air bag, loads of people accessing the easy to get to stuff in St Anton don't wear them. A lot of the locals seem to wear them though, and if you head further away from the pistes most people seem to have them. In other words, folks who spend a lot of time off piste do seem to wear them, but they are fro from mandatory. I would focus more on selecting the right lines and skiing safely. Like I said, if you can hire a guide then I'd really recommend that. If you have a few hundred euros left over after that then get an airbag. Did you say you were travelling from the USA? If so I *think* you won't be able to transport the canister with you unless you get one that can be emptied... anyway, that's for another thread and you'd be best of getting advice in a shop (the guys in Jennewein know their stuff, I'm sure the same is true in other shops too)

Quote:
Really need to know where to go!

You do, and it's a lifetime's obsession for some of us... Happy These links shouls keep you amused until you get there:
Frans Trimmel (a local guide) has an excellent site with the main routes marked on it: http://alloffpiste.com/skiing/piste-ski-routes-stanton-stuben-lech-zuers/
Andy Thurner (also local guide) has written an excellent book too: http://thegemsstock.com/all-around-the-arlberg-an-offpiste-guide-to-the-arlberg-region-by-andy-thurner/
You can get the book online, but it is probably easier to buy it locally, a lot of the shops stock it.



Quote:
One more dump! Love the sound of that.

Fingers crossed!


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Fri 2-01-15 14:08; edited 3 times in total
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Feast wrote:
Redwine wrote:
Avi backparcks on those guys?


No. It doesn't look like it. Why?


The guy in yellow had an ABS pack on.
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I wouldn't advise anyone going to these remote places unless they have a guide, there's some very big cliffs, terrain traps and dead ends and it is very dangerous if you don't know the area. I've skied almost 30 years in the Arlberg and am discovering new stuff every day, but wouldn't go to exposed places like that alone@Redwine, Andy Thurners Guide is the go-to local guide, suggest any person considering getting into the back country should study this before they go out and cross-reference with the 1:25,000 green maps.

Regards ABS, personally I always wear one, plus beeps, shovel and probe every time I'm off piste, like @sah, says. Most do, not just locals. Also know how to use them.

All that said above there's plenty of slack off piste but you do have to be up early on a sunny pow day! These are ones we try keep secret eh @sah, wink
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Just spent a very frustrating twenty minutes on the phone to Swiss trying to explain I'll be bringing an airbag week after next - I'd have thought they would be used to it, but no, endless waits, checks with supervisors, "just bear with me"s etc etc.

Still not convinced I'm not going to have to re-explain things at Manchester...

Bizarrely, Easyjet were far better with this than Swiss.
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Quote:

Folks.

Some nice New Years Days Zurs Powder Fotos

over on the German Forum.

http://alpinforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=52553&p=5009416&hilit=Arlberg#p5009416


Thanks stanton, that's better than any forecast.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Yes on the guide. It's a given in my book. I even suggest it out in the Rockies, where it's less perilous. I booked Torben gregerson based on some recommendations I got from the informative folk here.

I dont think I have seen anyone with an avi bag here in states here, but then again, I'm not too much of an out of resort back country person (yet!). I don't think we need them within the resorts here.
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@Redwine, Torben's a great guide, but I think he's injured atm...

When you say avi bag, do you mean an airbag, or just a standard pack to carry safety kit? Almost everyone skiing offpiste uses backpacks to carry shovel/probe/etc, but plenty don't use airbags.
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clarky999 wrote:
@Redwine, Torben's a great guide, but I think he's injured atm...

When you say avi bag, do you mean an airbag, or just a standard pack to carry safety kit? Almost everyone skiing offpiste uses backpacks to carry shovel/probe/etc, but plenty don't use airbags.


Sorry. Probably bad use of acronyms. I meant the inflatable bags (abs?).

Re: Torben. I hope he is back in the saddle. I have him for 2 days during 1/2 term week. Maybe I should reach out and make sure he is not out for the season?
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Markymark29 wrote:


All that said above there's plenty of slack off piste but you do have to be up early on a sunny pow day! These are ones we try keep secret eh @sah, wink


Happy
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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.
Any of you guys got a reliable way of contacting the folks at the Rodelalm? On @Markymark29's recommendation we're hoping to go for tea next Thursday whilst sledging, but can't seem to get a reply by email or phone call - would just try on spec but there's 12 of us!
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andy from embsay wrote:
Just spent a very frustrating twenty minutes on the phone to Swiss trying to explain I'll be bringing an airbag week after next - I'd have thought they would be used to it, but no, endless waits, checks with supervisors, "just bear with me"s etc etc.

Still not convinced I'm not going to have to re-explain things at Manchester...

Bizarrely, Easyjet were far better with this than Swiss.


I just emailed Swiss this morning for the same reason, via their website, got a reply back within an hour saying no problems. Try emailing contactus@swiss.com perhaps? There should be no need to explain anything else at the airport - make sure it is checked in (technically you can carry it on, I doubt that would be an easy thing to do in reality), and also make sure all the bits are together (bag, canister, trigger) but obviously not connected up.

Make sure you say it is an "avalanche rescue backpack", do not use any other words to describe it, especially not words like "compressed gas" or "explosive trigger"!!!
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You know it makes sense.
I emailed them about four days ago via the website, and got no reply which was why I rang them. Might try the email route again as it's helpful to have something in writing (as easy jet were happy to provide!).

Cheers
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Redwine wrote:
clarky999 wrote:
@Redwine, Torben's a great guide, but I think he's injured atm...

When you say avi bag, do you mean an airbag, or just a standard pack to carry safety kit? Almost everyone skiing offpiste uses backpacks to carry shovel/probe/etc, but plenty don't use airbags.


Sorry. Probably bad use of acronyms. I meant the inflatable bags (abs?).

Re: Torben. I hope he is back in the saddle. I have him for 2 days during 1/2 term week. Maybe I should reach out and make sure he is not out for the season?


I'm not 100% on his situation currently, but it's probably worth getting in touch with him.

I always read avi as short for avalanche. ABS is one airbag brand, though sometimes used just to mean airbag pack (similar to hoover for vacuum cleaner).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@andy from embsay, suggest you fire them another email could have got snarled up in Christmas mayhem, that said Swiss are pretty au fait with airbags, it's good to have something in writing though so pre-armed if a jobs-worth kicks off at check-in I guess. TBH last few trips we've done with EJ and LUfthansa I don't bother, Swiss can be picky though......
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@clarky999, kind of like generic then?! wink


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Fri 2-01-15 18:22; edited 2 times in total
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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?
Yeah, have sent one @Markymark29, as it's the baggage folks at Manchester who're likely to need convincing. Have had several lengthy conversations with people at Leeds Bratfud - amazed that by now they haven't all come across one at least once.
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@andy from embsay, MAN always OK IME, I never even say anything at check-in, it's hand luggage security checks where they take a good luck. I always put canister in my ski boot in hold, never in hand luggage btw.
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Swiss lady said it has to be in the bag, so I can't use my rucsac as hand luggage like I usually do as it'll all have to go in my hold bag. I think this is based on the wording in the IATA regs, which talk about it being ok to take an "avalanche rescue backpack", so they convince themselves that the 'sac has some sort of magical properties. So I'll maybe be taking a separate bag for hand luggage (although to be honest I've got in the habit of checking in my hand luggage these days if I have a hold bag or a bike, as Jet2 let you do that for nowt - so usually I just carry an iPad and some headphones onto the plane).
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Quote:

Swiss lady said it has to be in the bag


This seems to be the "approved" way these days, I've had this from Swiss, BA, check-in at Heathrow and check-in at Munich. At Munich they even told me to take all through as hand luggage which was interesting... got through though.

Quote:

so they convince themselves that the 'sac has some sort of magical properties


Yes, I think they think the system is safe if the canister is in the rucksac - they make quite a big deal about the airbag having a pressure relief valve, although why that matter when the canister isn't connected is beyond me. Remember, these are people trained to enforce security rules, they take the wording of the rules literally.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@sah, they need to read rule 5 eh?!
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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!
Folks.
Snow on the way Saturday night & allday Sunday

96hour Snow Forecast

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That doesn't look to shabby. Although I am partial to the color hot pick, or whaever that color is, that equals a meter of snow Cool . Hopefully the temps stay down. Seems to be some mixed temp forecasts floating around.
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andy from embsay wrote:
Just spent a very frustrating twenty minutes on the phone to Swiss trying to explain I'll be bringing an airbag week after next - I'd have thought they would be used to it, but no, endless waits, checks with supervisors, "just bear with me"s etc etc.

Still not convinced I'm not going to have to re-explain things at Manchester...

Bizarrely, Easyjet were far better with this than Swiss.



Seems to be a potential good biz model out there for renting Avi airbags in the Euro Alps, no?

After a particularly deadly Avi here in Washington state a few years back, in which a well known ski pro was caught in one, but had an airbag, and survived; while 3 over here ski partners did not. Since that episode the avi airbag sales have gone up over 100%. Technology seems to be getting better, and prices might start to come down a bit.

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/snow-sports/Tunnel-Vision-November-2012.html

Edit to add: Definitely don't go touring about in the backcountry without a guide, but even then, familiarity, can lead to complacency. But that stuff is for a different thread. Meanwhile, bring on the Arlberg pow train!
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@Toadman, freezing level looks a bit touch and go on Saturday, but Sunday should be fine with freeze level down to 1000m by the morning in Austria


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Sat 3-01-15 10:04; 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.
Looks like a decent fall forecast for tomorrow.....
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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
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@Toadman,

You can rent airbags.

If you go with organised guides they supply them.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Toadman wrote:


Seems to be a potential good biz model out there for renting Avi airbags in the Euro Alps, no?


You can rent them, but if you ski off piste more than a few times a year it's more economical to own. There is no reason not to fly with them, they are perfectly safe, the cylinders are built to withstand far more than the pressure difference in an aircraft, it's just the security theatre and general paranoia that makes it difficult.

I think you can also rent just the cylinders, but I'm not 100% sure how available they are.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Play safe - we got a BIG whompf from the snowpack today in Montafon, despite being on a semi weight bearing (and so presumably load-spreading) crust. If the snowpack is funky it's likely funky in the Arlberg too. Watch out on north facing stuff particularly.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looks a bit rainy on St Anton webcams - hopefully cool down soon and turn to snow.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Rain is good for the season to compact the snowpak.

It is snowing now.

A lot of you folk didnt trust my reports especially
the high freeze level before Xmas followed by snow
Which U got spot on!!

Its full moon tonight. Snow Tomorrow
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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?
@stanton you said we'd have three very warm days from 23-25 December with a freezing level of 3000m. We didn't. But good that snow is arriving.





.
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Ola amigos, I am in full ski mode now, anyone visiting this season, hit me up, I may be begging for people to ski with me!!

@stanton, I hope you are right about the rain, worried if this short term rain doesn't permeate the pack enough it will create another weak layer with the new snow falling straight after it... watching and hoping!

My point of view so far;

very sharky (lots of hidden rocks, bring your old rockhoppers), thin base, but its a base none the less, rain crust can be a great second ground layer if the snow manages to to bond with it (i.e. what stanton said)

Sure you have all seen the pictures and posts, lots of mean slips around on that old rain crust from a week or so ago, but the patrol are doing their best to blast the sketchy in bound bits away... hoping all will be safer for my first proper outing on Monday! Will make sure to dig a couple of pits and see what's really going on. Will post my findings on here completely over selling my knowledge and guestimates so take it with a pinch of salt.

on lots of the easy inbound off-piste in St Anton it looks like the sheer number of riders on it has beaten it down a bit, feel relatively safe on that stuff, shouldn't need to fret if you are out next week and want to play on some stuff there.

Will try to be a little more active around resort, feel free to drop me a private message if you would like to meet up... no promises, but it's generally nice to meet you guys

Peace Homeys snowHead
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@dulcamara, are you keeping your place in Feldkirch, or are you based in Anton now? I've got 3 days in the Arlberg on my pass so I'll be round at some point, but I'll wait for better conditions!!
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clarky999 wrote:
@dulcamara, are you keeping your place in Feldkirch, or are you based in Anton now? I've got 3 days in the Arlberg on my pass so I'll be round at some point, but I'll wait for better conditions!!


@clarky999 I hope the wait is very short.
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nozawaonsen wrote:
@stanton you said we'd have three very warm days from 23-25 December with a freezing level of 3000m. We didn't. But good that snow is arriving.





.


We did..

You were incorrect.
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@stanton, no. You did not have three days of freezing levels of 3000m.

It was warm in the run up to Christmas, but no one was suggesting it would not be.

You can't have it both ways.

Either you claimed it was going to be a freezing level of 3000m for three days (23-25 December) and people didn't trust you (in which case they were right). In which case you were wrong and your self congratulatory post above is a bit daft.

Or people didn't disagree with your suggestion it was going to be warm before Christmas. Which they didn't. In which case your self congratulatory post above is a bit daft.

Either way your self congratulatory post above is a bit daft.
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@nozawaonsen,


You can talk all you want..

But you got it wrong

We had freeze levels 2800-3000M before Xmas as i predicted.


I may add that this was the worse start to the
season since ....1964!!
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Er. It's easy enough to see what you said before, it's there in the thread for all to see! What did I get wrong?

I can't see where you were talking about a freezing level of 2800m-3000m "as [you] predicted." (you seem to have shifted that to suit your argument).

You initially said it was going to go above 3000m for a few days and then three days of 3000m. No one at the time was disputing that it was going to be very warm (or necessarily that it would be above 3000m for a few days, just that you provided no evidence). So it's misleading of you to claim they were and on the basis of that give yourself credit.

It was very warm. It did reach 3000m on one day I think, but I don't think anyone actually said it wouldn't. So why do you claim a lot of people did not trust you? It wasn't that they didn't trust you.

stanton wrote:
Next few days will see freeze line rise above 3000M.


nozawaonsen wrote:
... although it then warms I can't really see much too indicate a FL above 3000m.


stanton wrote:
@nozawaonsen,

You are entitled to your views.

23,24,25th wil be very warm . Freeze level 3000Metres


nozawaonsen wrote:

Please show me any evidence you have that there will be a sustained period of FL of 3000m?

I'm not saying it won't happen. Just that I've not seen anything suggesting it will. If you have it please share it otherwise it looks groundless.


stanton wrote:

As for the freeze level here is a widely used site by many tourists ( i never used it)

Since yesterday it has changed little the situation is fluid.
http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/St-Anton/6day/mid
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