update 13.02.18 7:21 (Bernhard Niedermoser - translated by Jeffrey McCabe)
Snowdrift situation above treeline
Widespread 30-40 cm of fresh snow, more in northern barrier cloud regions. Below the loose powder is bonded snowdrift above the treeline, sometimes atop a loose base. Avoid very steep slopes, triggerings are possible in many places (NW/S/E). Loose sluffs and avalanches possible in extremely steep terrain, natural triggerings also possible. Experience, restraint are imperative.
The current conditions demand caution and restraint, a totally different situation from last week. Avalanche danger above the treeline is CONSIDERABLE (3); in the Nockberge just barely MODERATE (2).
Dry slab avalanches easily triggered in steep ridgeline terrain, esp. north and east facing slopes above 2200 m, more likely with ascending altitude, also on south-facing slopes. The weight of one sole skier is enough to trigger the snow masses. On the windy Main Alpine Ridge and in the Lungau, danger zones are easily recognized, everywhere else the wind indicators cannot be discerned, blanketed by 20 cm of fresh snow. Typical fractures are 40-70 cm deep. With the sunshine, naturally triggered, generally harmless loose-snow avalanches will trigger naturally in extremely steep, rocky terrain. Avoid those zones!
Over the last 30 hours there has been 30-40 cm of fresh snow registered, as much as 50 cm in barrier cloud zones. The first batch was compact amidst NW winds. The latter batch had less wind, was very cold and loose. Overall, the borderline to the old snow makes the snow masses easily triggered: the snow at that point is an unfavourable mixture of hoar and faceted, old powder snow crystals and thin old snowdrift accumulations from recent days.
Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG Salzburg)
Overcast skies to start with, some light snowfall in the northern barrier cloud regions, but not much fresh snow is anticipated. In Lungau and towards Upper Pinzgau, some sunshine in early morning, elsewhere not until later on. Northerly winds will be light for the most part, brisk in Lungau (30 km/hr). It is very cold. At 2000 m: -14 degrees; at 3000 m: -20 degrees.
Short Term Development
Snowdrift situation above the treeline requires continuing caution, although danger is receding. Danger level (as a measure of triggerability and frequency of danger zones) is MODERATE, in some places CONSIDERABLE.