The resulting heavy snow means that the avalanche situation is critical with the avalanche warning level at 5, the highest possible level, in the North Alps at present. Houses were evacuated and sections of important roads closed because of the avalanche risk. Some schools have closed and the Obersteiermark region has declared a state of emergency, the 750 inhabitants of Radmer were marooned when the road to their village was cut off.
For skiers it's great news for off-piste powder once the avalanche risk lowers, and even on the pistes there's great snow, which now looks certain to last well beyond the scheduled end of the season.
The Altaussee Loser-Sandling ski area received the most snow in the past week, a whopping 190cm (6.3 feet) and internationally better known resorts were not far behind with Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang adding 175cm (nearly six feet), Wilder Kaiser Brixental 165cm (5.5 feet) and Kaprun - Kitzsteinhorn 137cm (4.5 feet). Altaussee Loser-Sandling now has the most snow in the country with 450cm (15 feet) lying on upper slopes and Kaprun - Kitzsteinhorn not far behind with 407cm (13.5 feet).