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.
3 March 2017 – Avalanche danger in the Alpine (above 3000 meters) is Considerable (3) today. Wind slabs are the primary avalanche concern on Northerly aspects beneath ridgetops and in mid-slope isolated terrain. Natural avalanches possible, human triggered avalanches likely. Storm slab avalanches are also possible today on all aspects above treeline. Avalanche danger at Treeline (2500m-3000m) is Moderate (2). Natural avalanches unlikely, human triggered avalanches possible. Small dry loose avalanches are possible on steeper Northerly aspects, which can entrain more snow than you may expect. Choose lower angled terrain with a mind for terrain traps to avoid the dangers of this avalanche problem at Treeline. Below Treeline (<2500m), avalanche danger is Low (1). Natural and human triggered avalanches unlikely. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. If you choose to go into the Alpine (above 3000m), it is a day to ski in the ski area and allow the snow pack to adjust to the new snow on the surface. A D2 sized wind slab was triggered on a North aspect beneath a ridgetop during avalanche control work yesterday. This same instability remains in the Gulmarg backcountry 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.
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.
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.