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.
6 February 2017 – Avalanche danger above 3000 meters is Considerable (3) today. Natural avalanches possible, human triggered avalanches likely. Moderate to Strong winds in the past 36 hours have formed reactive Wind Slabs at ridgetops and in mid slope isolated terrain features on Northwest to Northeast aspects. At Treeline (~3000 meters) and Below Treeline, Avalanche danger is Moderate (2). Natural avalanches are unlikely, human triggered avalanches possible. Read more about today’s avalanche problems below.
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.
Avalanche Problem #2 – Storm Slab
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.
Gulmarg Ski Area (green zone) Timings for 6/2/2017:
Phase 1 – Opening after control till 4:30 pm
Phase 2 – Opening after control work till 4:00 pm* (last cabin at 3:45pm)
Chair Lift – Opening after control work till 4:00 pm
*The key is the winds currently. Let’s hope the winds calm and gondola operations can resume today. We are planning to open the first phase, second phase, and chair lift. The forecast looks good regarding wind, precipitation, and visibility to open all sections of the mountain. We will go up at 7:30am, do a bit of work on the first phase, and open it. Then, we will board the second phase and go for avalanche control work, which will take a couple of hours and we will likely open it along with the chair lift mid day. Models are conflicting yet the week looks good for keeping the second phase open.
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.