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
12/12/2018 - 12:30 South Ridge Houghton Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/13/2018 - 11:30 Talking Mt. Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation This small mound on the approach ridge held very soft surface snow on the shady aspects but a thin breakable crust on the solar aspects. Beneath the crust similar very soft snow (NSFs) was present. Stomping on small cornices on the ridge produced small breaks that didn't produce much excitement. In more open areas some wind slab was present. This was sitting on top of 20cms of very soft snow. The wind slab was very easy to remove and expose the soft SH and NSFs below. Despite a small wind slab, ECTs did not produce propagation. Ski cuts on small test features also did not produce results in this area. Program Manager
12/13/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation 12/4 surface hoar is preserved in this area Wind scouring on a northerly slope from yesterdays NE/E winds. Forecaster
12/13/2018 - 12:00 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Near surface facets on ENE aspect at about 7,200'. S aspect surface wet snow. Forming melt freeze surface crust on flat terrain at 7,600'. Forecaster
12/14/2018 - 10:30 Anderson Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation High winds but minimal local ridge top transport wind scoured and side loading below the ridge thin and non-reactive wind loading at 10:30a Public
12/14/2018 - 11:00 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Pit location above avalanche path below. Trim line and runout zone just visible in background. Minor amounts of blowing snow noted along the Sierra Crest between Tinker's Knob and Anderson Peak. Forecaster
12/14/2018 - 11:00 Approach to Meiss Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/14/2018 - 11:00 Pole creek road Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/14/2018 - 11:45 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation NE side of Silver Peak as viewed from ridge between Pole Creek and Deep Creek. Forecaster
12/14/2018 - 12:30 Twin Peaks Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Lenticular clouds and some wind transport along the Sierra Crest near Twin Peaks. ECT test with no fractures from a near treeline line test slope. Small wind pillow with some cracking. The wind slab only extended a few feet downslope. Forecaster
12/15/2018 - 09:30 Trimmer Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Small wind slabs in below tree line areas Long shooting crack in near treeline area. About 300' down from ridge. Public
12/15/2018 - 12:15 Castle Peak NE Face Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation NE Slopes on Castle Peak Steep entrance with cornice NE face access trough hole in rock band Large cornices on N ridge Public
12/15/2018 - 12:45 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered cracking in a small shallow slab on a wind-loaded pocket. Clouds moving into the area ahead of tomorrow night's storm. Forecaster
12/15/2018 - 14:00 Castle Pass Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/15/2018 - 14:15 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School


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