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 Moderate (2). Human triggered avalanches are possible, natural avalanches are unlikely. During the warmest hours of the day today, it will be possible to trigger wet loose avalanches on very steep solar aspects. Choose your terrain wisely today. Wind slabs still lurk above 4000 meters in isolated areas. Both of these avalanche problems today are attributed to fairly small avalanches, with the main danger being the terrain you could be carried over, and not the avalanches themselves. High solar radiation accompanied with higher ambient temperatures than we’ve seen all season means the large cornices in the Gulmarg backcountry will be prone to collapsing today. Give them a wide berth, and do not travel underneath them today.
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 – Wet Loose
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 29/3/2016:
Phase 1 – 9:30am – 4:30pm (last cabin at 4:00pm)
Phase 2 – 10:00am – 4:00pm (last cabin at 3:30pm)
Chair Lift – 10:00am – 4:00pm (last chair at 3:30pm)
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.