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
12/23/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation ridgetop with little scouring faceted grains annotated pit Professional Observer
12/23/2019 - 12:15 Frog Lake area Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Loose dry slides ran fast and far, but didn't propagate wide at all. As of noon today the previous skin/boot track was almost entirely covered by new snow. Impressive loose dry slides in response to ski kicks. Snow rates were impressively high midday. Skinning around I uncovered several previously rocky areas were just covered by soft new snow. Professional Observer
12/23/2019 - 13:30 South of Webber lake, near the grills Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/23/2019 - 14:15 Rubicon West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Variation in snow density within the 12 inches of new snow Very minimal cracking within the new snow near the Rubicon summit. Public
12/24/2019 - 07:45 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation New snow on the Mt. Judah ridgetop, available for wind transport. New snow above cornince area on the approach from Old Hwy 40, available for wind transport. Fragile cornices  - Easy intentional collapses with minor entrainment. Typical entrainment of new snow from intentional cornice collapse. Forecaster
12/24/2019 - 10:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Moderate Sw winds transporting new snow Public
12/24/2019 - 10:30 National Geographic Bowl Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Active wind transport on ridgelines. Blowing snow Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
12/24/2019 - 12:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Blowing snow Wind loading Loose Dry Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
12/26/2019 - 08:00 Luther Pass Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Early morning was cold with a strong fog layer. Soft near surface faceted snow was present down about five inches on shady slopes. A few small test features had cohesive snow that broke with a ski kick. Professional Observer
12/26/2019 - 10:30 Blue Lakes Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/26/2019 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation E winds were wrapping around scouring the ridge on to NW/N terrain. New cornice formation building out on ridge. Skin track refill within an hour. Snowpit location with ECTN on small wind slab. Forecaster
12/26/2019 - 12:00 Indian Valley Ebbetts Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/26/2019 - 12:00 Little Round Top Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Snow transport over the saddle point between the ridges. The wind direction is ENE Small cracks in the snowpack near tree line. At this elevation the cracks are only between skis Wind erosion pattern near treeline. Wind direction is E Larger cracks in the newly forming slab above the treeline. The slab is anout 2-3 inch thick. Cracks did not propagate further than 2-3 feet Windblown structure at the pin drop location. The structures are facing east. Wind channel formed around the rock below the treeline. The channel is south of the rock Public
12/27/2019 - 10:15 Mt. Reba Bear Valley Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/27/2019 - 11:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation wind textured snow blowing snow small sensitive windslab Professional Observer

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