What does the scale above mean to you as a skier or rider in the Gulmarg backcountry? Read more here.
Continued snowfall overnight and forecasted for the day today keeps the avalanche danger at Considerable (3) above 3000 meters, and Considerable (3) below 3000 meters. Backcountry travel is not recommended today. Avoid travel beneath the backcountry bowls of Mount Apharwat.
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)
Gulmarg Ski Area (green zone) Timings for 19/3/2016:
Phase 1 – 10:30am – 4:30pm (last cabin at 4:00pm)*
Phase 2 – CLOSED
Chair Lift – CLOSED
*The first phase of the gondola is operating under new hours as of 15 March, 2016. It begins operating at 9:30am, ski patrol goes for control work on phase one, and then we open thereafter. After yesterday’s wind event that caused large deep slab avalanches from Drang to G4, we had to check the lines to make sure trees were not hanging on them. Today, that is not the case. There are variables (wind, mechanical failures, power cuts) that could delay the operation of the gondola today, and that is the nature of operating a ski area in the Himalayas.
Beacon Training Center on Merry Shoulder is CLOSED. Come by Gulmarg ski patrol base at mid mountain to learn the location of the beacon training area on Merry Shoulder and hone your search skills and times.
Next avalanche talk is Wednesday 23 March, 2016 at 7:30pm at Hotel Hilltop. Hotel Hilltop is located across from the ice skating rink in Gulmarg meadow. Talks will continue every Wednesday night at 7:30 pm through 30 March, 2016.