8 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

8 March 2017 – Avalanche danger today above Treeline (>3000m) is Considerable (3). Natural avalanches possible, human-triggered avalanches likely. The primary concern is medium to large Storm Slab avalanches on Northwest to Northeast aspects beneath the ridgetops at the tops of start zones in the high bowls of Mount Apharwat.  Greater than 30 cms of new snow overnight with winds in the catchments areas on top of Mount Apharwat has deposited fresh wind slabs as well. To manage the backcountry avalanche dangers today, choose lower angled slopes in well forested areas far below the large start zones of Mount Apharwat.  At Treeline and Below Treeline, avalanche danger is Moderate (2). At Treeline (2500-3000m) it’s possible to trigger small  storm slabs on isolated terrain features and where there are large unsupported slopes.  Choose well-forested areas with a mind for storm slab instability, which means a poor bond of the new snow with the old snow surface. Ski and snowboard in groups. Do not go alone in the Gulmarg backcountry.

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.

Danger Aspects

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