What does the scale above mean to you as a skier or rider in the Gulmarg backcountry? Read more here.
Greater than 30 cms of new snow at the mid-mountain snow study plot in the past 24 hours. Skies are clearing today, the first clear day after a 4 day storm cycle. Remember the “blue sky phenomenon” we’ve talked about in the avalanche talks. Everyone including us has been waiting for the skies to clear and to get up into the Alpine to ski and ride, but today is a good day for the snowpack to heal, settle, and start to bond to the underlying snowpack. Our main concerns today are Wind Slabs, Storm Slabs, and Deep Persistent Slabs. If you were to trigger an avalanche today within the new storm snow, or trigger a wind slab at the top of a ridgeline, it is very possible that it will step- down to the deep persistent slab that lurks more than a meter beneath the surface in some locations. Many of the backcountry bowls of Mount Apharwat have not slid yet on this layer. Today is a day to stay out of the Gulmarg backcountry in the Alpine.
Above 3000 meters, the avalanche danger today is Considerable (3). Below 3000 meters, the avalanche danger today is Moderate (2).
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 – Storm Slab
Problem Description – Release of a soft cohesive layer (a slab) of new snow that breaks within the storm snow or on the old snow surface. Storm-slab problems typically last between a few hours and few days. Storm-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.
You can reduce your risk from Storm Slabs by waiting a day or two after a storm before venturing into steep terrain. Storm slabs are most dangerous on slopes with terrain traps, such as timber, gullies, over cliffs, or terrain features that make it difficult for a rider to escape off the side.
Weather Forecast (link:http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Gulmarg/6day/mid)