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 http://www.snowpilot.org/. This website also has a quick video and user guide on how to use create snowpits. Please send us your observations using the button above.
Date and time of observation or avalanche occurrence Location Region Observation Type Photos Snowpack, Avalanche, Weather Videos Snowpit videos (tests, etc) Observation made by
04/19/2020 - 10:00 Peak 9452 Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Firm surface conditions before 9am on open south facing slopes. While conditions were mostly supportable for ascending on skis, a few areas in dense treed areas were non-supportable. From the ridge looking into Meiss country, I spotted this one small previous loose wet slide on north facing slope. Descending around 10am, most aspects had about an inch of soft snow. Professional Observer
04/19/2020 - 10:30 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Mostly cloudy skies did not appreciably slow snow surface melt on E-SE aspects this morning.. Open creeks with flowing water prior to the start of today's melt cycle. Drooping cornices with icicles from previous melt. E aspects in the 9,100' to 9,600' elevation range losing supportability around 10:30 am. Forecaster
04/20/2020 - 10:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Snow surface melt occurring despite substantial cloud cover. 5 inch surface melt-freeze crust over 3 feet of residual wet snow to ground. 2 inches of surface wet snow and a still ski supportable but weakening crust on E aspect at 8,000' at 10 am. Snowcover starting to increase at 7,000'. Forecaster
04/21/2020 - 10:30 Ralston Peak Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation At 8300 feet on an open south facing slope at 900am surface snow was firm, but softer wet snow was present below. Looking at the NW bowl of Ralston and previous loose wet activity. Possible baby glide cracks emerging from the lower portion of Ralston Bowl. Ascending towards Echo Peak around 1015am surface snow was softening so that boot were not always supportable. The large cornice just north of Echo Peak proper is dripping, sagging, and terrifying. Looking back from Echo at a recent avalanche near Ralston. The exit from Echo Peak requires some whitethorn wrangling and dirt walking. Professional Observer
04/21/2020 - 11:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Ankle deep boot pen before 11am on E aspect, 8200'. Rapidly warming and deteriorating, but still supportable conditions before 11am. Glide cracks developing out in Desolation Wilderness. Forecaster
04/21/2020 - 11:15 Ralston Peak Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation Fresh avalanche in the bowl between Ralston and Baldy/Peak 9155 Zoomed in view from Echo Peak. Photo of the area of the avalanche from the summit of Ralston about an hour before slide. Professional Observer
04/21/2020 - 12:00 East side Ralston Pk, Desolation Wilderness Echo Summit Area Avalanche Observation Public
04/22/2020 - 09:30 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Recent loose wet avalanche activity and cornice collapses. Deep unsupportable snow at 9:30am on E aspect at 7600'. Knee deep boot pen at 9:30am on E aspect at 7600'. Recent cornice fall on Mt. Judah Large cracks developing behind cornices as they sag from ridges. Forecaster
04/22/2020 - 11:00 Forestdale Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
04/23/2020 - 09:45 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Creeks with flowing water melting out above 9000 ft. Punchy wet snow on the S/SE aspects (looker's left) - Still ski supportable snow on the SW aspect (looker's right) 3-4 inch refrozen crust this morning with several feet of wet snow below it.  Forecaster
04/23/2020 - 10:30 Little Roundtop Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Crack near cornices. Cornices along the ridge to Little Roundtop. Boot penetration just after 11am on a NE aspect at 8700 feet. Previous broken cornice chunks along the ridge. Professional Observer
04/23/2020 - 12:30 Tallac - Cathedral Bowl Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation , Public
04/24/2020 - 10:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation A ski cut on a small test slope triggered a small loose wet slide involving the top 6 inches of snow. A mix of wet spring snow and melted out areas on southerly aspects at 8600 ft. Wet snow on an E aspect at 9000 ft at 9:30 am. It was still ski supportable but not boot supportable. Forecaster
04/25/2020 - 10:30 Donner Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Recent loose wet avalanche activity and cornice collapses. Recent cornice fall. Soft edgeable snow at 8:30am on W aspects Deep wet snow on E aspects at 9:30am Forecaster
04/26/2020 - 09:45 Job's Peak Jaws Couloir East Shore Area Avalanche Observation Public

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