4 March, 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.

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gulmarg avalanche

Snowpack Discussion

4 March 2017 –  Avalanche danger in the Alpine (above 3000 meters) is Moderate (2) today. Wind slabs are the primary avalanche concern on Northerly aspects beneath ridgetops and in mid-slope isolated terrain. Natural avalanches unlikely, human triggered avalanches possible.   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. Skiers reported triggering a wind slab avalanche in South Apharwat Bowl yesterday at 3600 meters on a North aspect. Photo 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.


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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.

Danger Aspects

From yesterday:

A skier triggered wind slab avalanche in South Apharwat Bowl yesterday at 3600 meters on a North aspect.

Weather Forecast (link:http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Gulmarg/6day/mid)