New Snow

/New Snow
New Snow 2017-10-20T13:15:57+00:00

The avalanche problem is related to current or most recent snowfall. The amount of additional loading by new snow onto the existing snowpack is the crucial factor of the new snow problem. How critical the loading is depends on various factors such as temperature or characteristics of the old snow surface.

Tactics: Wait! Reduce slope angle. Use small terrain without terrain traps.

Duration: 1-3 days

Typical signs:

  • Critical new snow depth
  • Alarm signs (e.g. recent slab avalanches)

Typical distribution:

  • Dangerous areas cover a wide area
  • Danger often increases with altitude


  • Few avoidance possibilities
  • Wait 1-3 days before commiting into big terrain
  • Manage with slope angle

Critical new snow depths

  • 10-20 cm unfavorable conditions
  • 20-30 cm mixed conditions
  • 30-50 cm favourable conditions

Favourable conditions

  • Light snowfall rates
  • Light winds (
  • Air temperatura close to 0ºC
  • Air temperatura estable or descending along the snowfall
  • Irregular previous snow surface
  • Heavily skied slope

Unfavourable conditions

  • Heavy snowfall rates
  • Strong winds (>40 km/h)
  • Low temperatures (below -5 to -10ºC)
  • Air temperature rising along the snowfall
  • Loose or smooth previous snow surface
  • Rarely skied slope