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
01/08/2020 - 12:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
01/08/2020 - 12:00 Becker Peak Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/08/2020 - 10:30 Mt Judah Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Wind Loaded Pillow Intentionally triggered wind slab avalanche Intentionally triggered wind slab avalanche Intentionally triggered wind slab avalanche Professional Observer
01/07/2020 - 14:00 Elephant's Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/07/2020 - 12:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Surface Hoar right next to Hwy 88. Surface Hoar growing in lowest clearing along Crater Lake road. Previous loose wet activity. Impressive to see this smooth icy sheen on a north facing slope. Hand hardness on a north facing slope near 8800 feet. The crust was strong but brittle and I struggled to cut it with my saw without breaking it. It also moved very easily on the NSFs below. Professional Observer
01/07/2020 - 11:30 Meeks Ridge West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Jan 4 rain crust with advanced facets below crust. Forecaster
01/06/2020 - 13:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation North aspect mix of wind drifted snow and crust Coarse grained faceted snow Faceted grains South aspect mix of crust and soft snow Professional Observer
01/06/2020 - 11:45 Rose Knob Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Upper Rose Knob with supportable snow conditions above 8000'. At 8000' and below, deeper wet snow existed by 12 noon. Previous small point releases on SW aspects near 8000'. Previous small additional loose wet activity. Jan 4 rain crust.  Variable from strong and up to 2'' thick to thin and breakable.  Facets developing below the crust. Forecaster
01/05/2020 - 13:30 Castle Pass / Andesite peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 1mm surface hoar , NW aspect on andesite peak Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
01/05/2020 - 12:00 Mt Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
01/05/2020 - 11:30 Slide Mountain Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Soft supportable spring snow on southerly aspects below 8600'. Open areas near treeline terrain with wind scouring. S side of Slide with mostly adequate snow coverage. Thin surface rain crust with buried surface hoar and facets below crust. Forecaster
01/05/2020 - 11:30 Horse Canyon (Bear Valley) Bear Valley Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/04/2020 - 13:15 Waterhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Breakable crust on partially shaded NE 8500 foot slope. Limited snow coverage on SE aspect of Waterhouse summit area. Open east facing slopes on this ridge featured impressive sasgrugi and scoured surfaces. Surface quality became smoother as the slope angle increased. Breakable crust on this open east facing aspect at 9000 feet. Professional Observer
01/04/2020 - 12:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Fragile cornice with unreactive 4 inch thick wind slab below. Forecaster
01/03/2020 - 11:30 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer