10 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

10 March 2017 – Avalanche danger above Treeline is High (4) today, natural avalanches likely, human triggered avalanches very likely.  The main concern is a poor bond at the new snow/old snow interface. We have greater than 70 cms of new snow (a Storm Slab) sitting on top of a slippery crust that formed on many aspects during the most recent clear weather. Avoid travel beneath the bowls of Mount Apharwat today. At Treeline (2500-3000m), avalanche danger is Considerable (3), natural avalanches possible, human triggered avalanches likely. Dry loose avalanches likely on all aspects, with Storm Slab avalanches possible as well on larger unsupported slopes in steeper terrain. Below Treeline (<2500m), avalanche danger is Moderate (2), natural avalanches unlikely, human triggered avalanches possible. Choose well-forested terrain today on slopes less than 30 degrees with a mind for terrain traps (gullies) beneath you. Travel in groups, do not go alone in the Gulmarg backcountry. Ski and snowboard short pitches and regroup, keep a  close eye on each other. Tree Well immersion is possible today. Read more below about this.

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)