19 February, 2017

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 Advisory page on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2jowwOM.


gulmarg avalanche

Snowpack Discussion
19 February 2017 – History repeats itself.  Overnight we’ve had Intense wind loading into the start zones of the backcountry bowls of Mount Apharwat accompanied by new snowfall above the freezing level. On 5 February, we had a similar storm that produced the large avalanches in Drang, Khilanmarg, and the Shark’s Fin at the new snow/old snow interface. Avalanche danger above 3000 meters today is High (4), large natural avalanches possible going to likely. At Treeline (2500m-3000m), the avalanche danger is Considerable (3). Natural avalanches possible, human triggered avalanches likely at 3000 meters on steeper aspects with the main problem being Wet Loose avalanches. Below Treeline (<2500m), the avalanche danger is Moderate (2). Natural avalanches unlikely, human triggered avalanches possible with the main avalanche danger being Wet Loose avalanches on steeper slopes. Avoid travel beneath the bowls of Mount Apharwat today.

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.


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Avalanche Problem #1 – 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 19/2/2017:

Phase 1 – 8:15am – 4:30 pm (last cabin at 4:15pm)*
Phase 2 – CLOSED
Chair Lift – CLOSED

*Currently on wind hold (7:28 am)

Beacon TrainingToday there are (0) 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, 21 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.