Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Staying home.

And for the record,  yes things are looking much better in the head cold department,  although it seems that it’s made the tinnitus just that much worse.  I could have sworn yesterday that, in addition to the normal buzzing,  there was a computer fan operating somewhere nearby.  It was literally “all in my head”.   I suppose it’s a result of the nose blowing?  Whatever.

Moving right along…


There was a brief plan afloat in the early part of last week to nip over to Salzburg for the weekend,  since there’s a new train service that we thought we’d try out.  At the time,  Travelling Companion was in the throws of her own head cold conundrum, so I suggested that we should wait and see just how she was feeling on the weekend.   Little did I know it would be my turn.

It so happens that staying well away from most any place west of here is a pretty good idea for the foreseeable future.  Good luck and God bless to all the people who not only don’t mind making their way through the snow,  but can’t wait to get out on the slopes.  I’m not one of them.   The really,  really good part about that phenomenon though is,  the traffic here in Wienerland has been quite light over the last week and a half.  They’ve all gone skiing!  OK,  maybe “quite a few”,  not “all”. 

You don’t have to know exactly how high a metre is to know that five of them is a LOT of snow.  


You have to understand that this is up in the mountains for the most part.   But that’s the thing,  other than “Lower Austria”,  (note where it says “Wien, 0 Meter”?)  pretty much the rest of Austria consists of mountains.

There was a two page spread talking about folks gone missing.  Cars being completely buried.  Avalanches.  High winds. That kind of thing.

One of Travelling Companion’s associates, an avid skier and snow boarder who was somewhere out there over the weekend,  said that the roads are all cleared by the afternoon,  no matter how much snow comes down.  If you get that much snow,  I suppose you have to have the equipment to handle it.   He spent his afternoons snowboarding with little difficulty.   I’m not sure exactly where he was,  but it seems that some areas are harder hit than others.  I think the main thing is to stay on the groomed part of the slopes,  as you’ll see in the later of the article below.

I somehow suspect that this isn’t necessarily on the nightly news in some of the areas from which many of you might be tuning in,  so please bear with me.  I’m going to make you move your eyes back and forth now,  since I’ve plugged in a snippet from one of the online news rags.  Hyperlinks sometimes go by the wayside.


06. 01. 12. - 12:00

Ski resorts forced to close as a result of too much snow

Ski resorts forced to remain closed by a lack of snow in December have now been forced to close many runs because of too much snow.
Ski resorts across Austria and Switzerland say they are now struggling to cope after metres of snow combined with high winds and stormy conditions over the past 48 hours left runs blocked or in danger of avalanches.
Changeable temperatures combined with high winds and new snow has put many ski resorts across Tirol, Salzburg and Vorarlberg on high avalanche alert. Temperatures are expected to drop dramatically over the weekend and winds today (Friday) have already reached over 170 kph making conditions even more treacherous.
Avalanche experts are working around the clock to assess the risks and where necessary and possible are carrying out controlled detonations. Rudi Mair, manager of the avalanche action team in Tirol said: "With winds peaking at 170 kph we can safely talk about a hurricane. Heavy new snow, freezing temperatures and the hurricane we are talking about high risk. The avalanche risk across Tirol is high and it will rise.
The high winds in particular are a threat to ski lifts which have been forced to close as the winds from "Hurricane Andrea" are too high - making conditions highly dangerous. The high winds also risk dislodging snow from high peaks.
Herbert Kaufmann form Dornbirn Seilbahn AG - the lift company in Dornbirn, Voarlberg said: "We have around twenty people stuck in the restaurant at the top of the mountain still as we are unable to put the lifts back into action. But at least the chef is stuck too and he can make food."
Winter safety expert Erich Schwarzler from the Austrian province of Vorarlberg said: "We are on high alert, we have army helicopters and avalanche teams on 24 hour standby.
The avalanche risk in Tirol is already on the second highest risk level 4 and is expected to rise over the next 24 hours possibly to the highest risk level 5.
There has been a high number of avalanche deaths over the past few days in Austria and many others injured. Earlier this week a group of four ski guides from Vorarlberg, Austria, were buried beneath a mound of snow  whilst skiing in Graubunden, Switzerland and two of them died as a result.
Meanwhile Tirol rescuers reported yesterday (Thurs) they were attending an emergency call out nearly once a minute between 17.00 and 18.00 in the Austrian Alps due to the severe weather conditions. Police in Tirol confirmed thousands of households have been left without power as a result of the weather conditions.
Many roads have been blocked and passes are completely impassable in popular ski areas such as Lech, Zurs and Warth. People have had to be rescued form cars including four people who were rescued from their snow covered car in Upper Austria last night (Thurs).
Rescuers expect a busy weekend.  Anton Mattle, mayor of Galtuer and Paznaun in the Tirol has assured the region "is ready to cope with the conditions".
"In the worst case scenario we are ready to evacuate people living in affected areas. We have rescuers and helicopters on standby if the conditions deteriorate to dangerous levels in affected areas."

Austrian Times


OK then!  Just a normal day in the mountains!  (Well  maybe not quite.)

I’m content to sit here and read about it,  thanks.



We’re not exactly in need of any sun block in these here parts,  but just the same,  I’ll take a little dreariness compared to those conditions.  Jumpin’! 

I mean,  I spent the first 10 years of my life in rural Nova Scotia,  and we used to think we “got snow”.  *pfft* What fools!   Five metres??   Are you kidding?  (I don’t think they are…)


And there you have your latest useless update from Austria.  Glad to be of service.

If you’re shovelling remember,  bend from the knees. 


Thanks for stopping by.





  1. Yeah there is a lot of snow. Over 2 meters of snow in the valley which is usually the mountain measurement. My sister-in-law is actually stuck in Ischgl (Vorarlberg) because the roads are closed and there is no train station. Normally I wouldn't mind her being stuck somewhere, but the wife is in the hospital this week (hip replacement for a ski injury) and she was supposed to look after the baby while I work.

  2. I have trouble picturing that much snow and I'm from Montana. What a mess your weather is. Glad to hear you're staying away from it and we don't have to worry about you and avalanches. Hope you're feeling much much better today.

  3. I grew up in the Great Lakes snow belt. I now consider a dusting too much snow. So five meters is way off my chart. I would never head any wheres near that much snow now:)

  4. Sun: Good....
    Snow: Bad....
    that's all you need to know!!


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.