25 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

26 March 2017 – Avalanche danger above Treeline today is Moderate (2), natural avalanches unlikely, human triggered avalanches possible.  Active wind loading during the most recent storm cycle from the South/Southwest in the start zones of the bowls of Mount Apharwat and at higher elevations has deposited deep reactive wind slabs that are stiff and difficult to trigger.  It is possible to trigger one of these small to medium-sized slabs at a shallow trigger point today, especially above 3800 meters. The terrain around the Shark’s Fin comes to mind.  Trigger points include just beneath ridge lines at convexities and near rocks. See which aspects in the avalanche problems section below. Snow pits recently revealed signs of bonding at the new snow/old snow interface at 3800 meters on a North aspect.   Be careful around cornices today, travel on the rocks away from them. It is wise to avoid travel beneath them during the warmest hours of the day.  At Treeline and Below Treeline, avalanche danger is Low (1), natural and human triggered avalanches unlikely. Watch out for unstable Wet loose snow during the warmest hours of the day today below treeline.

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.


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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

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