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.
7 February 2017 – Avalanche danger above 3000 meters is Moderate (2) today. Natural avalanches unlikely, human triggered avalanches possible. Moderate to Strong winds in the past 48 hours have formed very shallow reactive Wind Slabs beneath ridgetops and in mid slope isolated terrain features on Northwest to Northeast aspects. Avoid very steep terrain on these aspects. At Treeline (~3000 meters) and Below Treeline, Avalanche danger is Low (1). Natural avalanches are unlikely, human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Normal caution is advised. Watch out for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. 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.
The images below are of avalanches that ran during the most recent storm cycle, which was accompanied by strong winds. Gulmarg received 50 cms of new snow from 9am 4 February to 6pm 5 February with Strong winds from the South/Southwest. These avalanches occurred during this storm.
Gulmarg Ski Area (green zone) Timings for 7/2/2017:
Phase 1 – 7:30am – 4:30 pm (last cabin at 4:15pm)
Phase 2 – 8:00am – 4:00 pm (last cabin at 3:45pm)
Chair Lift – 8:00am – 4:00 pm (last chair at 3:45pm)
Beacon TrainingToday there are (1) beacons buried on Merry Shoulder today. The beacon training area here in Gulmarg is located on Merry Shoulder. The orange dot (see photo below) indicates where a red flag is next to a large birch tree. This is the “point last seen”. Start your search here. We have one, two, and three beacons buried here daily. Please do not dig up the beacons, simply cycle through your Primary (signal) search, Secondary (flux line) search, Pinpoint search, and then Probing. A probe strike indicates the end of your search. If you’re interested in learning more, please come by Gulmarg Ski Patrol base at the bottom of the chair lift.
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.