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. It is available as an online tool or as a downloadable program at This website also has a quick video and user guide on how to use create snowpits. Please send us your observations using the buttons below.
Date and time of observation or avalanche occurrence Location Region Observation Type Photos Snowpack, Avalanche, Weather Videos Snowpit videos (tests, etc) Observation made by
12/01/2020 - 13:00 Porthole Gap Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/01/2020 - 11:15 Stoney Ridge West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Lots of granite boulders, but avoidable with care. Forecaster
11/30/2020 - 13:00 Blackwood Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Buried Surface Hoar Buried Surface Hoar Public
11/30/2020 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Large surface hoar buried just below surface. Forecaster
11/29/2020 - 11:30 NE of Mt. Lola Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation ~10 inches (25 cm) of settlement and consolidation Shallow but supportable snow in a meadow around 6900 ft. Forecaster
11/29/2020 - 06:45 Red Lake Peak (SW Shoulder) Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Tour objective and snow profile location (arrow) This thermapen has seen more snowpacks than turkeys Sastrugi snow was widespread Public
11/28/2020 - 10:15 Andesite Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Shallow supportable snowpack with numerous but avoidable hazards. Previous wind scouring on the ridgetop leaving behind sastrugi formations. Previous wind scouring on E aspects at treeline and above treeline. Ridgetop drifts perched above W aspect from previous E winds. W aspect pit location. Forecaster
11/27/2020 - 13:00 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Public
11/27/2020 - 11:00 Far East Ridge of Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Wind affected slopes in exposed terrain Lots of bushes and creeks at the lower elevations Snowpit showing a shallow but mostly supportable snowpack More creeks and bushes at low elevations Forecaster
11/26/2020 - 08:15 Castle Pass Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Graupel on small surface hoar in meadow area Public
11/25/2020 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Cloud cover along the Sierra Crest with mostly light SW winds below 8000'. Snow available for transport in near treeline terrain. Great opportunity for avalanche rescue practice. Avalanche rescue practice. Forecaster
11/24/2020 - 11:45 Elephant's Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Snow surface mix of 4mm graupel and 10mm SH. Snow surface mix of 4mm graupel and 10mm SH. Forecaster
11/23/2020 - 12:00 Incline Lake Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
11/22/2020 - 12:00 Becker Ridge Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Clearly define faceted layer that had sintered together quite robustly The snowpack was shallow at 36 cm, but quite firm Field notes on the snow profile, the sintered faceted layer was quite firm, and well bonded ECT produced no results The ECT column, seen here, was *quite* well bonded. The Rutschblock test (really just for practice/fun) produced no result despite much jumping Sintered faceted crystals between 10-16cm from the ground. Just a really nice day to get outside and get some practice before the season starts in earnest Public
11/22/2020 - 11:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Supportable snow with a thin layer of soft snow on the surface Wind sculpted snow along the ridgeline Soft snow on top of a supportable more dense layer of snow. Compression test on a NE facing slope at 7800 ft. this test did not produce unstable results (CTN). Forecaster