Finally - first local POWPOW day 2014

Finally the first POW day of 2014 in the local mountains :-)

With the worst snow conditions since years and no decent snowfall for almost 6 weeks in the easternmost part of the alps, the required ingrediants to make that happen were a "bit" more complex then usual:

#1 we needed a night and a morning of gale force winds on the schneeberg summit to transfer enough of the sparse snow from the west side into the east facing couloirs, but not too much in order to make the couloirs safely skiable without extreme avalanche danger #2 it needed to be warm enough in 2000m the evening before, so the windswept snow would bond sufficiently to the existing 100% blue / black ice layer in the east-facing couloirs.

It would be a right time right place thing and we would only know for sure until we set the first turn into the rote schütt flanke couloir ...

For the way up we opted for the long, strainous and windy climb up the icy nandlgrat ridge and almost couldn't believe our eyes when we found perfect looking 40 cm of fresh windblown pow in the entrance of the rote schütt flanke couloir. The pow extended all the way down the couloir and  into the breite ries bowl lining up into an almost perfect 700hm powder snow run with just a few easy to avoid icy patches in between.

It almost felt like a miracle regarding the snow conditions around us and the obvious lack of snow everywhere in the area.

On the entrance of the couloir we met two other mountaineers who almost went crazy over the fact they didn't bring their skis. We felt really sorry for them as they took off on foot witout beeing able to enjoy the +/- 700 hm of pow with us.

The facts: Losenheim > Nandlgrat > Rote Schütt Flanke > Breite Ries > Losenheim / 6 hrs roundtrip, apprx. 1100 hm of absolute elevation gain on foot (roughly half of it climbing with crampons), apprx. 700 hm of skiable terrain on the way down - much better then expected regarding the miserable snow conditions (5cm base layer at best) in the local mountains at the moment :-)

upper half nandlgrat

half way down the rote schütt flanke couloir

norbert on fire

entering the breite ries bowl

illuminated clouds rushing over the summit

Great day out in the mountains !