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
04/18/2020 - 09:30 Elephant's Graveyard Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
04/17/2020 - 11:00 Tallac Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation Public
04/17/2020 - 10:30 Jakes Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Boot top deep wet snow at 8500 ft. at 10:30 am. Patchy snow coverage below 7200 ft. Overview of the east side of Jakes above 7200 ft. Forecaster
04/16/2020 - 11:00 Mt. Houghton Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Runnels on the snow surface indicating water draining through the snowpack. Some clouds starting to build during the late morning. 2-3 inches of soft wet corn snow on top of a supportable melt freeze layer @ 10:20 am at 9800 ft. Creeks with flowing water are starting to melt out even at the upper elevations. Forecaster
04/16/2020 - 09:00 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Solid overnight refreeze Despite an abundance of previous ski traffic, only a few loose wet slides at mid slope rocky rollover on an East aspect of Stevens. Many previous loose wet slides on steep rocky terrain on more North East aspects of Stevens. Skies were clear over Stevens for the duration of my tour but clouds were present to the south east. Professional Observer
04/16/2020 - 01:30 Donner Peak/Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Comparison snowpit. Two previous pits in foreground. Skier triggered cornice collapse from 4/15. Snowpit location Forecaster
04/15/2020 - 11:30 Mt. Tallac Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation Main bowl of Tallac with previous loose wet activity. The bottom of Corkscrew Forecaster
04/15/2020 - 09:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
04/14/2020 - 12:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Strong and thick mf crust on the surface with some wet snow below on top of the buried surface hoar layer. Previous loose wet roller balls and cornice collapses. Forecaster
04/13/2020 - 10:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Debris from recent cornice fall, likely occurred on Apr 10 or 11. Deep almost unsupportable wet snow on ESE aspect at about 8,000' around 11 am. Forecaster
04/13/2020 - 09:30 Angora Peak Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
04/12/2020 - 15:30 Ralston lightning strikes Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
04/12/2020 - 14:00 Mt. Price Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation Forecaster
04/12/2020 - 11:00 Yuba Pass Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Breakable surface crust from weak refreeze. Surface crust nearly all melted in sunny areas at 9:45 am. Easily triggered roller balls and pinwheels on a NE aspect at about 7,000'. Large pinwheel intentionally triggered from the slope above. March 24 buried surface hoar layer still a concern. March 24 surface hoar crystals under 10x magnification. Forecaster
04/11/2020 - 11:00 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation ECTX on persistent weak layer at site of skier triggered avalanche on April 8. Recent NE winds have scoured most exposed terrain near and above treeline. Light wind drifting along ridges. A thin, but firm crust softened quickly this morning. Forecaster