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
12/19/2018 - 11:30 Ellis Peak Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation Intentionally triggered wind slab avalanche, D1. Another photo of same avalanche. Forecaster
12/19/2018 - 13:45 West ridge of peak 9,422’ Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/19/2018 - 15:00 Frog Lake Ridge Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/20/2018 - 09:45 E side Rose Knob Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars
12/20/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Active wind transport filling in the skin track near the ridge at 7800'. Thin wind slabs not showing much reactivity with snowpack tests. Forecaster
12/20/2018 - 12:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Very small amounts of blowing snow observed on foreground ridge, just above the highest trees. Transport occurring only during gusts to 60 mph. Rose Knob Peak No signs of blowing snow with ridge wind avg 40 mph, gusts to 60 mph on nearby Slide sensor. Ridgeline to the NW of Incline Lake Peak. This is the maximum extent of any cracking we saw today in areas of wind slab. 1 cm of wind drifted snow in our skin track set 2 hours prior. Forecaster
12/20/2018 - 12:00 Shirley Canyon Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation New Cornice In Shirley Canyon Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
12/21/2018 - 09:15 Powderhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Natural roller ball activity below treeline on Luther Pass. A good number of tree bombs were falling as snow became saturated. Widespread cracking near and above treeline. Very reactive wind slabs on small test slopes. Looking down this small test slope at the bed surface, stauch wall, and debris. Looking across bed surface at crown and flanks. Professional Observer
12/21/2018 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind loaded test slopes showing unreactive slabs. Minor cracking on old/new snow interface while breaking trail. Skier triggered rollerballs after about 2 hrs of very light rain. Forecaster
12/22/2018 - 11:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Wind scouring on a windward slope in near treeline terrain The largest wind slab we saw. It was only 3 to 4 inches deep and only extended 3 to 4 ft. downslope from the ridge. Forecaster
12/22/2018 - 11:30 Elephant's Back Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/22/2018 - 15:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
12/22/2018 - 15:00 Shirley Canyon Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
12/23/2018 - 11:00 Peak 8040' Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Several slope cuts did not produce any signs of instabilities. At 8000', 1'' rain crust existed near the surface with soft snow below. Forecaster
12/23/2018 - 14:00 Scott’s peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Public


Subscribe to Central Sierra Nevada / Lake Tahoe Snowpack, Weather, and Avalanche Observations for California and Nevada from SAC