What does the scale above mean to you as a skier or rider in the Gulmarg backcountry? Read more here.
Avalanche danger is Considerable (3) above 3000 meters, with the main avalanche concerns being widespread shallow small to medium-sized reactive wind slabs beneath leeward ridgetops and mid-slope isolated terrain features in the Gulmarg backcountry. See the problem description below to understand this avalanche problem. Gulmarg received 153 cms of snow fall since 3 January 2017, with Moderate to Strong winds from the South transporting snow. On small test slopes wind slabs were still reactive to a ski cut yesterday afternoon. This instability still exists today in the Gulmarg backcountry. Additionally, there is instability within the layers of the recent storm snow (Storm Slab). Today is not the day to test the strength of these layers. If you choose to venture into the Gulmarg backcountry today, stick to ridgelines, keep your slope angles low, and avoid large unsupported slopes. Be careful near rocks and just over the apex of ridgelines. Small to medium-sized wind slabs are waiting for a trigger in these areas. It’s a great day to ski in Gulmarg ski area and wait for another day to go into the Gulmarg backcountry.
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 11/1/2017:
Phase 1 – 9:30am – 4:30pm (last cabin at 4:15pm)
Phase 2 – 10:00am – 4:00pm (last cabin at 3:30pm)
Chair Lift – opening after shoveling is complete at mid and top stations
Next avalanche talk is Tuesday 17 January, 2017 at 7:30pm at Pine Palace Resort. Pine Palace Resort is located in Gulmarg meadow. Talks will continue every Tuesday night at 7:30 pm through 28 March, 2017.