Rain Low, Snow High

January 25, 2024  |  Mayrhofen, Austria
Snowstorm clouds swirl off Grinbergspitze, as seen from the Mayrhofen ski area.

Snowstorm clouds swirl off Grinbergspitze, as seen from the Mayrhofen ski area.

A snowbow over Penkenjoch, as seen from Eggalm.

A snowbow over Penkenjoch, as seen from Eggalm.

This morning in Mayrhofen I walked to the Penkenbahn gondola in the rain, with some vague notion of just checking out if there was much snow up higher. By the time the gondola finished its nearly 1,200 m / 4,000 ft. ascent, it was snowing quite heavily up there... and I was delighted to find a lot more fresh powder than I expected in the trees! About 8-10" of thick but smooth snow with the still-soft base underneath made for yet another sneaky surprise powder day!

I met up with visiting Colorado skiers Ben and Jay and we did our best job of tracking out a whole gladed tree zone mostly by ourselves, while dodging the occasional barbed wire fences (a novel hazard you definitely would never encounter on ski slopes in the more litigious United States). The cherry on top to end the day was a long pristine line between hay barns at Eggalm - skiing with the scent of cows in the air.

What a day... my legs are toast!