What does the scale above mean to you as a skier or rider in the Gulmarg backcountry? Read more here.
Cloudy skies with rain and snow showers forecasted today. Yesterday afternoon a few centimeters of snow fell at mid-mountain. Moderate Southerly winds deposited drifts up to 15cms in depth in some locations above 3000m (according to an observer). Overall avalanche danger above 3000 meters is Moderate (2). Natural avalanches are unlikely, human-triggered avalanches are possible. New Wind slabs exist on leeward aspects from 3500-4200 meters beneath ridge tops and in mid-slope isolated terrain features.
Avalanche danger below 3000 meters is Low (1). Natural and human-triggered avalanches are unlikely.
Radar models are currently showing snow and rain coming in this morning, with freezing levels around 2800 meters.
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 – 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.
Avalanche Problem #2 – Dry Loose
Problem Description – Release of dry unconsolidated snow. These avalanches typically occur within layers of soft snow near the surface of the snowpack. Loose-dry avalanches start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. Other names for loose-dry avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs. Loose-dry avalanches can trigger slab avalanches that break into deeper snow layers.
Loose Dry avalanches are usually relatively harmless to people. They can be hazardous if you are caught and carried into or over a terrain trap (e.g. gully, rocks, dense timber, cliff, crevasse) or down a long slope. Avoid traveling in or above terrain traps when Loose Dry avalanches are likely.
Weather Forecast (link:http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Gulmarg/6day/mid)