I think I know where you are not "entirely happy". The snow is too grey - but if you pull the curve higher, you are loosing details.
Have you tried a coloured background for the image? A dark red could work better than grey.
I chose option 2, but I am not sure if there are ways around the banding problems I had with option 3, or if that is a limitation of working with 8 bits in GIMP.
I never thought about making the background coloured or tinted! That's a good suggestion.
Photographing snow, especially snow in the forest, continues to be a challenge for me.
The problem is the dynamic range of the camera too, not only the 8 bit limit of GIMP.
Did you shoot in RAW? Then you could try to make a pseudo HDR. Develop one image for the sky, one for the snow and one for the wood. And then combine them with masks.
Look at http://meetthegimp.org/episode-025-a-winter-morning/ for how to that if you are not sure.
Actually, the whole issue of colour management confuses me. And since I have red-green colour blindness, I am wondering if it is worth the effort to attempt to master colour profiling.
I haven't tried the pseudo HDR route yet, but several other people have also told me this was the best way to process snow photos, so I guess this is the next step.
Rolf, I have learned more about using the GIMP in the last couple of weeks since discovering your podcasts than I have in the past 10 years of blundering about with it. Many thanks!