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PowderAlert 2 2022/23 | Dump or shower?

There is precipitation! But unfortunately in the wrong aggregate state.

by Lars Oelmann 12/22/2022
This freeride year is starting like the old one ended. Tough and with little snow. And Christmas brings little relief, because true to the motto "champagne or seltzer", seltzer or a shower is the order of the day for most of us. It rains all the way up and the almost non-existent snow cover continues to thaw. In the high mountains, the converted scrap is covered with drift snow. Fantastic views.... not!

There is at least a small ray of hope in the far west. A base may build up there in the high mountains, which at least allows a chance of usable conditions for the new year or the turn of the year.

Alert period and areas

The alert applies from the Arlberg to France, with the core in the lower Valais and France. All other areas will get wind, partly foehn and thaw. (Although, isn't there much there that could still thaw?)

The alert will last until Christmas Eve (24.12.) and unfortunately won't get us anything under the tree because it will take place above the tree line.


Ordinary storm that loads massive drifts onto the terrible foundations high above. This will certainly be exciting with the pressure of the holidays and Christmas vacation.

But almost full amounts will be pushed deep into the Valais and to the main French ridge on the border of Italy.

Snowfall line

High to very high. Small peripheral disturbances will continue to move across the Alps until Christmas and the limit will move in the "cool" phases between 1900-2100m or in the inner Alps in favorable locations and the warm phases between 2100 and 2500m.

In the south, it will always remain at the upper limit. In the north towards Arlberg it fluctuates up and down. I would see accumulation in the north from 2100m and in the south from 2300. Powder only from 2500-2600m.

The amounts

Above 2500m, a lot can come together. From the Arlberg to the Bernese Oberland it will probably be a good 40-70cm, although it will be difficult to find high alpine, protected west-facing accumulation locations to measure this. From the lower Valais to France, I expect 60-90cm and I can also see a good one meter of snow in the high alpine in the western snow jams.

Where should I go?

High alpine glaciers with trees? Well, during the "dump" it's not going to be fun anywhere. You'll be blown away at the top while you can't see anything and only water arrives at the bottom.

On December 24, it will probably crack open in the west and you could slide around on flat glaciers. Of course, it will be extremely unpleasant in terms of avalanches on the poor foundation. Or you could look for flat regions where there are few rocks underneath? After that, it will be warm and sunny before we land in the mid-term on 27.12.


At least there is a silver lining on the horizon. From 27.12. onwards, cooler air will return from the west and it should snow below the tree line. But it doesn't look like a massive dump. More like cosmetics for Christmas vacationers. Whether or not there will be a little more towards the turn of the year is still completely unclear.

Powder to the alpinists!

Your oracle, with no ski days so far this season.

Snow height prediction game

The snow height prediction game will take place at the "Glacier de Saleina (2800m)" station from 22.12. to 24.12. 22:00: Write your tip by Friday, 23.12. at 10:00am in the PowderGuide-Forum -> Sweepstakes !

This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

Show original (German)

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