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
12/08/2019 - 13:30 Tram Ridge Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/08/2019 - 15:45 Incline Lake Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/09/2019 - 11:00 Jake's Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/09/2019 - 11:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation The line in photo pointed to is buried surface hoar. 4-6mm buried surface hoar down 1.5' Previous cornice failure and wind slab avalanches Plenty of soft snow available for transport along ridges if winds increase tomorrow. Forecaster
12/09/2019 - 12:00 Forestdale Creek Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/09/2019 - 12:00 Castle/Basin Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Human triggered avalanche.  200' wide. 12/9 photo The failure layer appears to be buried surface hoar. 12/9 photo SAC Forecaster standing at burial location.  2 main debris paths. 12/10 photo 200' wide, 1-2' deep, failing on a covex rollover. 12/10 photo Mid slope crown. 12/10 photo Looking downslope at the terrain. Debris visible below. 12/10 photo Large shooting cracks out into less steep terrain. 12/10 photo Hole from full burial excavation. 12/10 photo Forecaster
12/09/2019 - 12:30 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Pit at 8800 feet near pin drop location. Small wind features broke easily. Reverse skin track showing extent of recent wind scouring. Exposed upper ridges showed evidence of recent winds. Recent natural avalanche. Large 6mm Surface Hoard widely visible below 8200 feet in this area. Professional Observer
12/09/2019 - 13:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Crowns on NE Face Castle Peak Annotated graupel Professional Observer
12/09/2019 - 14:00 Waterhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Public
12/10/2019 - 10:00 Thopson Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Wind scouring on surface. 2-3cm breakable crust. Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
12/10/2019 - 10:30 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation NE face of Judah Public
12/10/2019 - 14:00 Becker Ridge Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Trees holding snow and receiving afternoon sun were melting rapidly. Shaded areas were still holding onto cold wintery snow. In open areas up to high point of 8000 feet, Surface Hoar was widespread. Several noticeable rain crusts were observed, but no weak layers stood out. Professional Observer
12/10/2019 - 14:00 Basin Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Ridgetop blowing snow at 2 pm. Ridgetop blowing snow at noon. Large surface hoar up to 2 cm in Round Valley, nil aspect at about 7,850' Forecaster
12/11/2019 - 11:30 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation E side of Stevens Pk showing wind scouring and deposition zones. Recent enhancement of wind sculpted features. Sastrugi on low angle leeward side of ridge. Approaching treeline, the existing skin track we were following became drifted in. Typical of the small, up to 4 inch thick, new wind slabs we saw in the area. Forecaster
12/11/2019 - 11:30 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation refilled skin track wind transport and building cornices minor cracking in wind slabs Professional Observer

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