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 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
11/19/2020 - 11:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation The thin but supportable snowpack still has numerous things poking through it. A wind-loaded test slope on the Castle Peak ridge Wind scoured surfaces along Castle Peak ridge A possible small wind slab from during the storm Location of a pit where we got an unstable test result (ECTP23) on a weak layer near the ground. Forecaster
11/19/2020 - 11:15 Tamarack peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Snow pit Buried weak layer 15cm Public
11/19/2020 - 12:00 Mt Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
11/19/2020 - 14:00 Meiss Meadow Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation debris cornice was that dropped was 30ft long, 5 ft wide and 4 ft deep 3rd block rolled into the woods Chunks the size of a small car Public
11/20/2020 - 02:30 Mt Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation surface hoar near trail head pit layering pit surface graupel pit surface knocked down hoar crusts Public
11/20/2020 - 09:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Surface Hoar Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
11/20/2020 - 11:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Settlement Top foot of snowpack Wind scouring and firm wind transported snow at ridgetop Public
11/20/2020 - 11:30 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 2' of snow on northerly aspects with many exposed obstacles. ECTX on faceted layer near ground. Forecaster
11/21/2020 - 08:00 Incline Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Large surface hoar crystals at Incline Lake. Near flat terrain, open meadow below treeline. Surface hoar this large wasn't observed in tree-covered areas. Public
11/21/2020 - 11:00 Black Butte Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
11/21/2020 - 12:00 Mt. Lola Far NE Ridge Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Supportable travel conditions. Signs of some previous scouring and snow transport along the ridgetop. Evidence of several inches of post storm snowpack settlement. Areas of impressive surface hoar up to 3 cm. Forecaster
11/22/2020 - 09:00 Donner Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Public
11/22/2020 - 09:00 Sunrise Bowl Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Public
11/22/2020 - 11:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Supportable snow with a thin layer of soft snow on the surface Wind sculpted snow along the ridgeline Soft snow on top of a supportable more dense layer of snow. Compression test on a NE facing slope at 7800 ft. this test did not produce unstable results (CTN). Forecaster
11/22/2020 - 12:00 Becker Ridge Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Clearly define faceted layer that had sintered together quite robustly The snowpack was shallow at 36 cm, but quite firm Field notes on the snow profile, the sintered faceted layer was quite firm, and well bonded ECT produced no results The ECT column, seen here, was *quite* well bonded. The Rutschblock test (really just for practice/fun) produced no result despite much jumping Sintered faceted crystals between 10-16cm from the ground. Just a really nice day to get outside and get some practice before the season starts in earnest Public


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