In December 2019, I had the privilege to be one of the winners (4th position) of the X-Particles Challenge 2019 with this work.
The idea is inspired by a Houdini course by Steven Knipping, but I created this using X-Particles instead, and added some layers of complexity by mixing volumetric, grains and fluids workflows. Indeed, this simulation combines 4+ layers of snow (all custom-designed shaders). I also came up with a neat compositing trick to create believable avalanche-like powder snow: layering multiple simulations at different FPS rates.
iMac Pro 3Ghz 10 Cores with 128Gb Ram and external GTX 1080Ti (High Sierra OSX)
Final simulation calculation: 5 hours (after serious optimization and tricks)
Rendering time: approx 140 hours
X-particles dynamics with grain simulation, xpFluidFX + explosiaFX + xpConstraints + multiple C4D volumes and fields.
Displacement maps sculpted in Zbrush for Cycles4D.