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
12/24/2018 - 11:00 Donner Pass Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
12/24/2018 - 11:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Stormy conditions at Tamarack. Skier triggered crack on a small wind loaded test slope. New wind slab on top of older hard wind slab on top of old weak surface snow. 3 inches of snow on the hood of the truck after we returned from the tour. Forecaster
12/24/2018 - 14:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/25/2018 - 03:00 Fireplug Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/25/2018 - 11:30 1.2 miles west of white rock lake Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/25/2018 - 12:00 Thunder Mtn Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/25/2018 - 15:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation ECTP 12 on the summit pitch ascending Castle Peak The slab above the pit cracked quite easily. Another quick pit. ECTP 18 farther up in the NW trees of castle peak. 200 vertical feet below the highest trees on that slope skiers right side. Public
12/26/2018 - 12:15 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation No signs of wind effect in open areas below treeline, ~7,900 N aspect'. Minimal signs of wind effect from NE winds on ridgetop at ~8,000'. F hard surface snow with micro-sastrugi. Some exposed rain crust just visible reflecting on the cornice top in upper Pole Creek. Forecaster
12/26/2018 - 14:00 Munchkins Zone - East Bowl Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Looking south down the ridge. Scoured western slopes and small cornices on the eastern slopes Small cornice broke easily after second kick. Cornice break from underneath. Public
12/27/2018 - 11:00 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Wind exposed areas scoured from the recent NE winds. ECTN at pit location.  Lower snowpack mostly faceted and weak. Skin track refilled within 2.5 hours from wind transport in open below treeline terrain. Forecaster
12/27/2018 - 12:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation NE winds scouring cornices and drifting snow over the ridgetop. First signs of recent wind transport in textured surface upon reaching near treeline terrain. At 7,200', 8 inches of recent storm snow on top of 12/22 rain crust. No 12/24 rain crust present at and above 7,200'. ECTP-30 on 12/4 buried surface hoar layer. Forecaster
12/27/2018 - 13:00 Trimmer Bonus Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/28/2018 - 12:00 Chickadee Ridge Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/28/2018 - 12:00 Angora Peak Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/28/2018 - 12:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Blowing snow over Jobs/Freel as seen from Hwy 89. Coverage below 7200 ft. remains sparse. Forecaster


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