What does the scale above mean to you as a skier or snowboarder in the Gulmarg backcountry? Remember, this advisory is for the Gulmarg backcountry, which means the terrain that is outside of Gulmarg Ski Area. The red areas in the photo below are the Gulmarg backcountry, and the green area is Gulmarg Ski Area. This advisory does not apply to the green zone ski area. Read more here.
For ski area updates during the day please join Gulmarg Avalanche Conditions page on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2jowwOM.
1 February 2017 – Avalanche danger above 3000 meters is Moderate (2) today. Natural avalanches unlikely, human triggered avalanches possible.
At Treeline (3000m) and below, the avalanche danger is Low (1). Natural and human triggered avalanches unlikely. Normal caution advised. The #1 avalanche problem for today is Wind Slab avalanches. Reactive Wind Slabs can be expected above 3000 meters on all aspects with the most likely locations being Northerly aspects. Control work yesterday in the ski area revealed widespread small wind slabs that were reactive to a ski cut on North and East and South facing aspects. These slabs formed over the past few days and were 15-45 cms in thickness, failing on a wind crust that formed in the days prior. Skiers and snowboarders that chose to go in the Mount Apharwat backcountry yesterday reported triggering wind slab avalanches that “were not small” on Northerly aspects just beneath ridgelines on convexities (rollovers) at 3400 meters. This same instability can be expected today. Choose terrain wisely with a mind for terrain traps (rocks, gullies, cliffs) beneath you. To avoid triggering avalanches you can keep your slope angles low, avoid large unsupported slopes, and stick to the top of ridgelines. Avoid skiing and snowboarding above other groups, choose another route or wait for them to clear the route. Great skiing in the ski area currently.
http://www.deepsnowsafety.org/index.php/. We now have enough snow in the conifer forests 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
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.
Weather Forecast (link:http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Gulmarg/6day/mid)
Gulmarg Ski Area (green zone) Timings for 1/2/2017:
Phase 1 – 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Phase 2 – 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Chair Lift – 8:00am – 4:00 pm
Next avalanche talk is Tuesday, 7 February 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.