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.
16 March 2017 – Avalanche danger above Treeline (>3000m) remains Moderate (2) today, natural avalanches unlikely, human triggered avalanches possible. We haven’t gotten the warming that is forecasted in the coming days with cool nights that will bond the small isolated wind slabs that remain to the underlying snow surface. The main avalanche concern is Wind Slab instability in the top 60 cms of the snowpack. Likely locations are beneath ridgetops and in mid slope isolated terrain features on Northerly aspects. See photo below. The slabs themselves are stiff and difficult to trigger in some locations. There are fresh deeper wind slabs beneath ridgetops that formed overnight two days ago. They are reactive and dangerous. To manage this avalanche danger choose terrain with a mind for terrain traps (rocks, gullies, trees). Getting caught in one of these small to medium sized avalanches could cause traumatic injury. The areas around the Shark’s Fin come to mind. At Treeline (2500-3000m) and Below Treeline (<2500m) , avalanche danger is Low (1), natural and human triggered avalanches unlikely. Normal caution advised. Watch out for unstable snow today on steeper Solar aspects at and below treeline. The skiing is widely variable right now, changing significantly from one elevation and aspect to another. Ski carefully to avoid knee or other injury. It is not a good idea to go backcountry skiing and snowboarding alone. We’ve received more than one report of people getting stuck in holes in the snowpack upside down in the past few days. If this happens to you while you are alone you may not live through it. It remains on the advisory below as it has for every day for the past three seasons here in Gulmarg.
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 and stream holes. 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.
Weather Forecast (link:http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Gulmarg/6day/mid)