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
01/16/2019 - 11:00 Hwy. 89 North of Tahoe City Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation Forecaster
01/16/2019 - 11:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Shooting crack triggered while breaking trail. Connects ski pole to ski pole and beyond for a total of ~20'. Digging out the crack to look at the weak layer of buried surface hoar and density change. Forecaster
01/16/2019 - 11:30 Below Scott Peak Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Surface hoar buried under 65cm of new snow Surface hoar grains removed from bottom of slab on ECTP6 Public
01/16/2019 - 12:45 Slide Mountain Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Avalanche on Slide Mountain Public
01/16/2019 - 13:00 near Frog Lake Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Crown at midpoint of avalanche. Lowest portion of the debris. Looking up towards the start zone. Snow pushed up against tree by slide. Looking down from where the cornice broke that triggered this slide. Profile of avalanche crown. Facets are by fingers of glove. Shovel blade is roughly at bed surface. Professional Observer
01/16/2019 - 13:00 2.5k west of peak 8740 Independence Lake Area Avalanche Observation Test slope avalanche on small wind loaded cornice Shooting crack from snowmobile ski tip Shooting crack from snowmobile track Public
01/16/2019 - 15:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Look closely and you can see a size 2 avalanche below the ridge Shooting Cracks from Ski Tips Can you Spot the Surface Hoar? Obvious layer found about 65cm Down Public
01/17/2019 - 11:00 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Cornice collapse and wind slab avalanche. Shooting crack around rock following collapse with whumpf. Whumpf triggered by skier at that location. Frozen rain on tree branch. Forecaster
01/17/2019 - 13:00 Brockway Summit Sawtooth Ridge to Tahoe City Snowpack Observation Isolating the column took some digging. The layer of with potential buried surface hoar was knee level Public
01/18/2019 - 10:15 Shirley Canyon Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Minor wind slab cracking Large cornice drop, no slab failure Early stage settlement ring Roller Balls Profile Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
01/18/2019 - 11:00 Near Frog Lake Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Settlement cone present first thing in the morning. Crown from a natural avalanche during storm. Several cornices were pulling away and revealing cracks. Down 70 cms adjacent to the old crown, 5-10mm surface hoar crystals. Around noon a wet fog rolled through coating everything in rain droplets. Professional Observer
01/18/2019 - 12:30 Powderhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Public
01/18/2019 - 13:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small natural cornice failure with small wind slab avalanche. Large and fragile cornices along ridgeline. Pointing to buried surface hoar down 140cm from surface. Large surface hoar under the DT that failed.  Forecaster
01/19/2019 - 11:15 Chief Creek drainage Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation buried surface hoar propagation saw test (pst 20/130 end) Snowpack settlement


Alpenglow Expeditions
01/19/2019 - 11:45 Mt. Rose Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public


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