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
01/17/2020 - 11:15 Waterhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Soft sastrugi on SE slope near the summit Compact car size cornice that broke easily from behind the small tree. Another easily broken cornice. Shooting cracks in wind slab terrain. Professional Observer
01/17/2020 - 12:45 Angora peak - North side Echo Summit Area Avalanche Observation Public
01/17/2020 - 13:00 Border Ruffian Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/17/2020 - 13:30 Waterhouse Snowpack Observation Public
01/17/2020 - 13:45 Carpenter Peak Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Minor wind slab surface instability, triggered by small natural cornice collapses. ECTP-22 on facets below Jan 4 crust. Hand hardness in pit with ECTP result. Snowpit location with ECTN, ECTX, and PST sf results. Forecaster
01/17/2020 - 14:00 Munchkins Area Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Ski kick triggered shooting cracks on ENE facing wind-loaded slope. Skier triggered shooting cracks on N facing wind loaded slope. Skier triggered shooting cracks on a NW facing slope. Forecaster
01/17/2020 - 14:00 Boulevard Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Public
01/17/2020 - 14:30 meadow north of webber lake Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/17/2020 - 14:45 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
01/18/2020 - 10:00 south of echo peak east trees Echo Summit Area Avalanche Observation Public
01/18/2020 - 10:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Red tracks the party before us, Green our tracks also where a large whumpf was triggered. Small windslab avalanche triggered by a cornice drop. Alternate view of the slide showing where the cornice easily broke with a single kick Public
01/18/2020 - 11:00 Echo Lake Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Looking up at Becker Peak PST 45/100 END just above 1/4 crust Hand hardness down to facet/crust layer Snow was rapidly melting off sun exposed trees by 1130. Professional Observer
01/18/2020 - 11:00 Chickadee and south Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/18/2020 - 12:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/18/2020 - 12:00 East side Mt Rose Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public


Subscribe to Central Sierra Nevada / Lake Tahoe Snowpack, Weather, and Avalanche Observations for California and Nevada from SAC