Please remember that these observations indicate what was going on in the snowpack at a single point in time and space. They may not represent conditions where you are or where you plan to be. They also come from a variety of sources. SAC cannot vouch for the quality or accuracy of any observations that come from the general public. Some of these may be professional quality observations; some may not. Please use observations listed on this page as part of your information gathering process, but as always don't make decisions based on a single piece of information.

If you are looking for more information on how to understand the information on this page, all of the pit data graphs and stability tests are part of what is presented in a Level II avalanche class that follows the American Avalanche Association (AAA) or American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) curriculum guidelines. All of the coding and abbreviations for data presented follows the publication Snow, Weather, and Avalanches: Observational Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the United States (SWAG) which is the standard for all professional avalanche programs in the US. An electronic copy is available here. Most of what you are looking for is in Chapter 2 and Appendix F part 1. We use a program called SnowPilot to create the snowpit graphs. This program is available as a free download at A video on how to download and use this program is available here. Please send us your observations using the buttons below.

Location Region Observation Type Date and time of observation or avalanche occurrence Avalanche observation video Avalanche photos Snowpit videos (tests, etc) Snowpack photos Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph Observation made by
Peak 9269' West Shore Area Snowpack Observation 04/09/2017 - 11:30 Signs of loose wet instability at 10am on ESE aspect at 7,000'. Skier triggered cracking of very small wind slabs near summit ridge, NE aspect. Roller ball activity below the cliffs to climbers right of the summit of Dick's Peak. Forecaster
Tram Ridge Squaw Snowpack Observation 04/09/2017 - 10:45 surface hoar hand shear Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
North Side Independence Lake Area Avalanche Observation 04/09/2017 - 08:30 Public
Poulsen Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation 04/08/2017 - 16:30 Hand shear showing no slab characteristics Minor wind loading Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
Jakes Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation 04/08/2017 - 12:30 ECTN23 on a N aspect at 8160 ft. ECTN 26 on an E aspect at 8800 ft. The line shows where the storm snow goes from fist-hard to four-finger-hard. Forecaster
Trimmer Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation 04/08/2017 - 12:00 Professional Observer
Peak 9,310' Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation 04/08/2017 - 12:00 Photo take from CHP helo, courtsey of Matt Calcutt.Photo taken from summit of Peak 9,269, just S of Rubicon Peak. Forecaster
Hourglass Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 04/08/2017 - 10:15 Program Manager
Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 04/07/2017 - 13:00 Stubborn wind slab triggered by repeated jumping on this NE facing test slope near the summit of Incline Lake Peak Forecaster
Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 04/07/2017 - 12:00 Shooting cracks on wind loaded ridgeline near peak.  8200', E aspect. Wind loading with large built out cornices along upper ridge. ECTN's with no propagation in wind loaded terrain, 8100', E aspect. Forecaster
Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation 04/07/2017 - 10:00 Snow levels increased substantially with elevation. This was from 8500 feet where about 10 inches of new snow was present on top of a still wet old snow interface. Wind effected snow surface in a below tree line opening. Although evidence of wind effect increased near 9000 feet, no significant propagation observed even on undercut test slopes. Wet snow under new cold snow at lower elevations created these frozen ice forms on pole tips. Professional Observer
Elephant's Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 04/06/2017 - 12:00 Cracking of thin and weak surface melt-freeze crust just beneath new snow. Roller balls from ski cuts on test slope. Forecaster
Jake's Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation 04/05/2017 - 12:00 2 to 4 inches of corn snow on top of a thin melt-freeze crust on a ESE aspect at 8000 ft. around 11:10 am Mid-shin deep wet snow on a SE aspect at 12:30 pm at around 7600 ft. Forecaster
S. Maggie's Peak Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation 04/05/2017 - 11:00 Large Glide Cracks on S. Maggie's Public
Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 04/04/2017 - 11:45 Deep holes down to flowing creeks 1 to 2 inches of corn snow on top of a supportable melt-freeze crust on a SW aspect at 8200 ft. around 11:45 am Ankle deep wet snow on a SW aspect around 7600 ft. around noon Widespread cloud cover looking south from Castle Peak around 11:40 am Sunny skies looking north from Castle Peak around 11:40 am Forecaster


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