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 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
12/15/2018 - 14:15 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
12/16/2018 - 10:00 Frog Lake into Red Lake Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Slide path 50yds from where avalanche was triggered The larger snow block is the size of a compact car for reference Public
12/16/2018 - 11:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation In a few locations we found small pockets of wind slab overlaying faceted snow. Evidence of previous blowing rocks on a lee slope. Professional Observer
12/16/2018 - 11:45 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind Transport on Castle Ridge Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
12/16/2018 - 14:30 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Increasing clouds and some light precipitation over the Sierra Crest in the late afternoon. ECTX when testing the lower layers of the snowpack. Forecaster
12/16/2018 - 16:30 Below Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
12/17/2018 - 11:45 Mt. Lola Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Active wind transport along ridge line @ 8000' Small loose dry avalanche Storm hung up on the HWY49/Yuba river drainage Public
12/17/2018 - 12:00 Round valley Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation New small cornice broke easily under a ski kick. Wind blown snow texture on NW side of ridge to Castle. On a few steeper switchbacks cracks propagated. Professional Observer
12/17/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Small ski kick triggered wind slab on the edge of a wind loaded slope in near treeline terrain. Ski cuts triggered loose dry sluffs with the new snow sliding on the old near surface facets. Forecaster
12/17/2018 - 13:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Small windslab under 4cm of soft snow cracking The wind affected layer that broke in the previous photo. Soft snow removed on left side to show the slab. ECTN 12 @ the new windslab layer. Public
12/18/2018 - 10:15 Shirley Canyon Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Avalanche Observation Shooting Crack Small windslab avalanche Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
12/18/2018 - 13:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation These wind slab avalanches along Mt. Judah were thought to have occurred mid morning. Shooting cracks in wind loaded terrain on small test slopes at lower elevation. Skier triggered reactive windslabs along Wildflower Ridge. Multiple natural wind slab avalanches along the East Face of Mt. Judah.  All D1 in size. Wind slab avalanches along Mt. Judah were up to 1-2' deep, but did not extend very far downslope. Forecaster
12/18/2018 - 15:00 After Party Independence Lake Area Avalanche Observation Public
12/19/2018 - 09:00 N of Twin Sentinels Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/19/2018 - 10:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Shooting Cracks in Wind loaded area Near Treeline Public

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