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
01/11/2019 - 10:30 Bronco Chutes Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/11/2019 - 10:30 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Skiers right side of the crown drawn in pink. Slide appeared to start close to the ridge Small newly formed cornices easily breaking on the way up. 3x3 foot 4 inch deep wind slab breaking, near cornice photo, on the ascent. A crown from a smaller slide was seen in close proximity to where the larger avalanche occurred. Photo taken prior to the large slide.  Public
01/11/2019 - 11:00 North Side Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Debris pile. Crown as see from the ridgetop to the east. Crown as see from the ridgetop to the east. Looking E along the crown at the point of the collapsed cornice. Spot where footprints close to the edge triggered the cornice collapse. Forecaster
01/11/2019 - 11:00 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 4 to 6'' of recent storm snow over a supportable base. Forecaster
01/11/2019 - 11:45 Little Alaska, Ward Canyon, Lake Tahoe Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Location where large, overhanging cornice broke off today. Public
01/12/2019 - 10:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/12/2019 - 11:00 Needle Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Strong winds and wind transport on Needle Peak this morning Some windslab cracking near the ridgeline A fairly large old crown at Needle Lake. Debris have since been buried under new/blowing snow Some roller balls at 2:30 on south aspects Public
01/12/2019 - 12:45 Mt. Rose Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/12/2019 - 13:00 Carpenter Ridge Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Large cornice we attempted to drop on steep N aspect Cornice we were unsuccessful in dropping.  Large cornice chunks dropped on slope with no results. Forecaster
01/13/2019 - 11:30 Needle Peak area Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Cornice collapse and wind scour Surface hoar


Alpenglow Expeditions
01/13/2019 - 12:00 Heavenly Ski Area East Shore Area Snowpack Observation A view of the pit with distinct layers CT16 Q1 A view of the bottom of the block that released in the CT. Debris from a major wind event is evident. Public
01/13/2019 - 12:00 Becker Peak Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/13/2019 - 12:00 Upper Cold Stream Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Very large cornice hanging over a steep slope. 1 to 2 cm large surface hoar grains. Old cornice and avalanche debris. What looked like an old avalanche crown on a steep low elevation slope. Forecaster
01/13/2019 - 13:30 East of Grouse Rock Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation Crown of a slide on north facing slope Public
01/13/2019 - 15:30 Donner Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School


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