What does the scale above mean to you as a skier or rider in the Gulmarg backcountry? Read more here.
Above 3000 meters, the avalanche danger is Moderate (2). Natural avalanches are unlikely, human-triggered avalanches are possible. Below 3000 meters, the avalanche danger is Low (1). Natural and human and triggered avalanches are unlikely. Watch out for unstable snow on isolated terrain features beneath 3000 meters.
Significant warming in the daytime followed by colder nights is rapidly stabilizing the snowpack here in the Gulmarg backcountry. Reactive wind slabs can be expected beneath ridgetops and in mid-slope isolated terrain features above 3000 meters, and the bond of the new snow to the old snow surface may not be strong just yet. Choose your terrain wisely today in the alpine. The second phase will be likely be open until Thursday so today is a good day to ski in the ski area and give the backcountry snowpack a day to settle and bond.
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 27/3/2016:
Phase 1 – 9:30am – 4:30pm (last cabin at 4:00pm)
Phase 2 – Opening after avalanche control work
Chair Lift – Opening after avalanche control work
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.