What does the scale above mean to you as a skier or rider in the Gulmarg backcountry? Read more here.
Overall avalanche danger rating above 3000 meters is Moderate. Natural avalanches not likely, human-triggered avalanches possible. Small wet loose avalanches can potentially be triggered on East to Southeast facing aspects between the hours of 12 pm – 4pm. Regarding Wind Slabs, they are confined to lee aspects near the top of alpine backcountry bowls, and should be expected on similar aspects and elevations further afield. Once again, fairly small avalanches, but if you triggered one in steep terrain with rocks and cliffs underneath, it could cause injury if you were carried over this terrain. As always, choose your terrain wisely today for both of these avalanche problems. Below 3000m, avalanche danger is Low. Natural avalanches unlikely, human triggered avalanches unlikely. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. It appears our deep slab cycle has passed. Light snowfall forecasted for Wednesday.
Choose to ride in groups in the forests of Gulmarg. http://www.deepsnowsafety.org/index.php/. We now have enough snow in the conifer forests above 3200 meters for skiers and riders to get trapped in tree wells. Read more about this phenomenon in the link above. It causes several fatalities each year in other ski regions of the globe.
Avalanche Problem #1 – Wet Loose
Problem Description – Release of wet unconsolidated snow or slush. These avalanches typically occur within layers of wet snow near the surface of the snowpack, but they may quickly gouge into lower snowpack layers. Like Loose Dry Avalanches, they start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. They generally move slowly, but can contain enough mass to cause significant damage to trees, cars or buildings. Other names for loose-wet avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs. Loose Wet avalanches can trigger slab avalanches that break into deeper snow layers.
Travel when the snow surface is colder and stronger. Plan your trips to avoid crossing on or under very steep slopes in the afternoon. Move to colder, shadier slopes once the snow surface turns slushly. Avoid steep, sunlit slopes above terrain traps, cliffs areas and long sustained steep pitches.
Avalanche Problem #2 – Wind Slab
Problem Description – Release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) formed by the wind. Wind typically transports snow from the upwind sides of terrain features and deposits snow on the downwind side. Wind slabs are often smooth and rounded and sometimes sound hollow, and can range from soft to hard. Wind slabs that form over a persistent weak layer (surface hoar, depth hoar, or near-surface facets) may be termed Persistent Slabs or may develop into Persistent Slabs.
Wind Slabs form in specific areas, and are confined to lee and cross-loaded terrain features. They can be avoided by sticking to sheltered or wind-scoured areas.
Weather Forecast (link:http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Gulmarg/6day/mid)