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
03/29/2020 - 11:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Small wind slab triggered by ski cut on N end of Wildflower Ridge. Snowpit (N aspect, ~7,500') with well developed SH layer, ECTN and PST 100/100. Rollerballs on E aspect terrain from snow surface heating during minor sun breaks. Pit near 3/27 snowboard triggered persistent slab avalanche (NE aspect, ~7,800') with ECTN results. Large cornices above E face of Mt. Judah. Forecaster
03/29/2020 - 09:30 Grouse Rock Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation Public
03/28/2020 - 13:30 Galena Bowls Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Upper snowpack on NE aspect at 9100' Creeks and other hazards at lower elevations Public
03/28/2020 - 11:30 Tallac Summit Snowfield Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation Public
03/28/2020 - 11:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 1 of several ECTN results on the old snow/new snow interface. Breakable crust conditions developing on E/SE aspects at lower elevations. Forecaster
03/28/2020 - 10:30 NE-facing slope Mt Rose Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
03/27/2020 - 15:30 Johnson Canyon Zone, Horse Range Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Public
03/27/2020 - 15:00 Chickadee Ridge Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Settlement cones and cracking Minor cracking on wind-loaded test slope Top 12" is rightside up (F, 4F, 1F) above a 1" crust Public
03/27/2020 - 13:00 Becker Ridge Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Mix of blue sky and clouds. The only signs of instability I encountered today was on this south facing steep roll. Lots of graupel near the faint crust below the recent storm snow. ECTN 16 down 40 cms I tried to create a thin wall of snow to look at the melt freeze crust and weak layer. Professional Observer
03/27/2020 - 12:30 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Public
03/27/2020 - 12:30 Past Silver Peak Into the Granite Chief/Shirley Drainage Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Avalanche Observation Public
03/27/2020 - 12:00 Little Truckee Summit Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Roller balls from snow disturbed by snowmobiles Some wind scouring Public
03/27/2020 - 12:00 Squaw Ridge Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
03/27/2020 - 12:00 Carson May's Knob Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Public
03/27/2020 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Avalanche Observation Wind slab avalanche that failed on a buried surface hoar layer on Wed. March 25 ECTP 15 on a N facing below treeline slope. The test failed on a layer of buried surface hoar. Forecaster