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SnowFlurry 10 2016/17 | Miscellaneous

The snow is here, and so is the basic information.

by Lukas Ruetz 01/05/2017
In order to avoid overlapping or merely restating the current situation - which has already been analyzed in detail in the WeatherBlog, in PowderAlert and by the avalanche warning services - we turn to other topics.

How to avoid shark fins or avalanches?

In the Alps, the best way is below the tree line and on grassy ground. Alternatively, a trip to Monte Kaolino is a good option. The "Monte", as the locals affectionately call it, is a sand hill in the Upper Palatinate with an outdoor pool and campsite at its foot. There is a lift, an uphill conveyor belt and a downhill corridor with a gradient of around 35°, where the sand is pressed much harder and you can make decent turns in reverse. In addition, the quartz sand grains are round, so the skis run better on them. You don't need skins for climbing - simply switch the binding to downhill mode at the top. But the sand abrades everything that comes into contact with it. With skis and bindings that you can safely destroy, this is certainly more "sensible nonsense" than nonsense skiing at the moment.

Aaron Rice successfully completes his altitude meter project

The young American successfully completed his project of ascending and descending two and a half million feet on skis in the 2016 calendar year - as reported in the SnowFlurry a few weeks ago. This equates to 762,000 meters of ascent and represents a new world record. In December, Aaron was still talking about knee problems in his Instagram Stories. However, he is already back on the road in his home mountains around Alta.

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Linguistic differentiation of various types of snow in German

Partially taken from the EAWS glossary

  • Powder snow: fresh snow in a dry state, loose, the crystal form ranges from small platelets to needles and the classic dendrites. The nomenclature for this in a snow profile: "felt" or "fresh snow".

  • Champagne powder: very light, loose powder snow with a lower density.

  • Wild snow: powder snow with the lowest density of approx. 30kg/cubic meter. Usually only occurs in small quantities in extremely cold temperatures: As soon as snow crystals "flake out" from the moisture in the air. Most recently observed in large quantities in the Alps during the cold spell in February 2012.

  • Paper snow: various types of snow in a slightly moistened state, has a temperature of 0°C, mostly moist powder snow. Water cannot yet be squeezed out.

  • Sulz: Snow that is heavily soaked or soaked through by the influence of heat or radiation.

  • Faulschnee: Heavily soaked snow cover of various initial forms. You sink through to the ground.

  • Wet snow: soaked snow, water can be squeezed out by hand.

  • Harsch(lid): Superficial crust. Formed by the influence of wind or heat or both together. The term does not provide any information as to whether it is thick and hard enough to support a person. Can be found in snow profiles as very hard layers of "round-grained snow" (symbol .) or as a "melting crust" (glasses symbol).

  • Bruchharsch: A superficial hard cap with much softer snow underneath. It breaks when walked or skied on.

  • Windpress: Fresh snow or old snow pressed by the wind. The designation corresponds to a superficial, load-bearing wind crust.

  • Wind breakage: brittle wind crust.

  • Drift snow: New snow or old snow transported by the wind. Does not have to be pressed or noticeably compacted by the wind.

  • Floating snow, deep rime, semolina: Snow that has been heavily built up and transformed. Loose, sugar-like, large crystals with facets, edges or drinking cup-shaped.

  • Surface frost: Crystal forms that form on the (snow) surface due to cold air and high humidity.

  • Graupel: Special form of precipitation that forms in the atmosphere within shower cells due to the freezing of supercooled water droplets on snow crystals.

  • Firn: Snow from previous years (usually on glaciers), heavily transformed and compacted by melting and refreezing as well as by pressure from the overlying snow masses. Popularly also used for the superficially softened snow cover of the seasonal snowpack (see: sulcified snow)

  • Sulcified firn: Snow cover moistened on the surface. This sulz makes a particularly characteristic hissing sound with every turn.

  • Summer firn: Snow from the previous winter that becomes so compact due to repeated thawing and refreezing that it is no longer possible to break through.

  • Blood snow: red-coloured firn due to single-celled algae. Mostly found on summer firn.

  • Büßerschnee: also known as penitentes or jagged firn. Old snow that melts or sublimates irregularly due to low humidity and high sunlight, creating jagged formations. Mainly found in the Andes and other mountain ranges close to the equator.

  • Rounded-edged snow grains: layers that have been built up and then noticeably broken down again. This slowly reduces their angular structure and makes them rounder. Best felt by an increased layer hardness and a less pronounced tendency to "trickle away".

If you can still think of expressions for snow types, write a comment :-)

Note: The conditions are still unfavorable: The causes have shifted from pure lack of snow to hidden stones and avalanches - good conditions will come in March at the latest, winter has only just begun.

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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.

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