update 07.12.17 7:20 (Bernhard Niedermoser - translated by Jeffrey McCabe)
Latest snowdrifts easily triggered
Heading into backcountry requires a trained eye and disciplined restraint. Very steep drifted N/E facing zones should be avoided. Hoar beneath drifts is trigger-sensitive. Slab avalanche danger is MODERATE; above 2000 m CONSIDERABLE. Critical: gullies, bowls, very steep leeward slopes (distant from ridgelines), esp. edges of drifts and transitions. Isolated gliding avalanches below 2100 m.
The hoar and the soft layers beneath the firm snowdrifts are the problem, creating CONSIDERABLE (3) slab avalanche danger above about 1900-2200 m; MODERATE danger below that altitude.
The snowfall and drifting from Monday/Tuesday has settled. In wind-exposed zones and in high alpine regions in general, wind crusts tend to dominate the scene. Exposed terrain is bare of snow, completely windblown. The drifts are relatively compact, were often deposited on a layer of hoar or loosely-packed powder. The proneness to triggering is slowly diminishing, but yesterday’s skier-induced releases prove that minimum additional loading is still enough to do the trick. In unskied terrain, settling noises can be heard. In high alpine regions, fresh snowdrifts accumulated yesterday anew.
Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG Salzburg)
Sunshine today, and it will remain dry. Winds will be light up to 2200 m, further up and in the foehn lanes of the Tauern sometimes reaching 40-50 km/hr. At 2000 m, +2 degrees; at 3000 m, -4 degrees.
Short Term Development
The likelihood of avalanches triggering from older snowdrifts will diminish somewhat. In the afternoon, new snowdrifts will accumulate. The danger on Friday will be mostly MODERATE (2), in some isolated mountain massifs CONSIDERABLE (3). Very steep, wind-loaded zones should be avoided.