What does the scale above mean to you as a skier or rider in the Gulmarg backcountry? Read more here.
The avalanche danger above 3000 meters is Considerable (3), human-triggered avalanches are likely, natural avalanches are possible. Snow overnight above 3500 meters is forecasted to continue today with Storm slab formation, and Wind slab formation beneath ridgetops. Read more in the problems section below about Wind Slab and Storm Slab avalanche problems. Travel beneath the backcountry bowls of Mount Apharwat is not recommended today.
The avalanche danger below 3000 meters is Moderate (2), small human-triggered avalanches are possible at 3000 meters where new snow has fallen and there is a poor bond to the underlying snow surface. Natural avalanches are unlikely.
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 Decription – 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 26/3/2016:
Phase 1 – 9:30am – 4:30pm (last cabin at 4:00pm)
Phase 2 – CLOSED
Chair Lift – CLOSED
Next avalanche talk is Wednesday 30 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.