Headwind

The original plan has been a 2-day trip to the southern Alps but due to adverse weather forecast and avalanche levels, I went with Stefan to Vorarlberg/Bregenzerwald for a short tour. The current foehn was supposed to keep up until afternoon, so at least the weather should be fine. It was indeed, but also extremely warm. We had about 15 °C in the valley in the afternoon. It’s mid February, damn! Of course we came prepared this time and had chosen a north side tour atop the Toblermann (2010 m), that has ridges to the west and south to protect us and the snow from sun and wind. Well, the first half an hour made us doubting quite a bit .. but improved soon. The upper two thirds even turned out to be a potential nice ride later. Arriving at the Hochalpe, we saw and feet a decent storm sweeping across the ridge. So we decided to have our lunch in lee of the hut and just have a quick run to the top and ride down immediately after reaching it. The wind was strong indeed. I had to kneel and ram my sticks into the ground with each strong squall in order to prevent been knocked down and dragged away. Remember, I carry my board on my backpack .. Stefan on the other hand was fighting to get a grip with his splitboard skis and even got knocked down. Atop the ridge we decided to spare the last 50 m in altitude as it consisted of a giant cornice and we would have had to walk up and down instead of riding. As mentioned before, to top two thirds of the downhill were quite a nice ride. Not the best snow, but consistant. Though we found a nice line, that tour had some flat areas which made it definitely more suitable for skis.

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