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
12/12/2018 - 12:00 Elephant's Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Newly formed pencil hard wind slabs at treeline. Widespread evidence of wind scouring. Elevated tracks on Elephants Back. Forecaster
12/02/2018 - 13:00 Elephants Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 2mm surface hoar found throughout area Loose dry sluffing on a steep test slope Wind slab avalanche with debris covered up by additional snow Forecaster
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
01/19/2019 - 12:00 English Mountain Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Roller balls on the west side of Jackson Meadows Reservoir from rain on snow. Small crown from wet snow avalanche near noted lat/long. Another small crown from wet snow avalanche near noted lat/long. Fog and light rain on NE side of English Mtn. Forecaster
11/23/2018 - 12:30 Far East Ridge of Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Some skier triggered cracking on a small wind-loaded test slope Representative snow coverage in non-wind-loaded terrain. There were numerous exposed and barely covered rocks. Wind-loaded areas held more snow coverage, but the coverage decreased quickly below the ridges with many areas of bare ground still present. Numerous bushes, stumps, rocks, and other obstacles still exposed. Many areas of bare ground still remain due to a combination of wind-scouring and a lack of snow. Forecaster
12/25/2018 - 03:00 Fireplug Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/05/2019 - 10:45 Fireplug Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
11/30/2018 - 11:30 Frog Lake cliffs Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Hard hardness of pit wall Evidence of previous wind effect on the snow surface even in near treeline terrain. Professional Observer
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
12/19/2018 - 15:00 Frog Lake Ridge Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/01/2018 - 12:15 Gareth Feldstein Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind loading - small cornice 125cm weak top layer roughly 35cm Checking the crust @ 55cm - 30cm Crust @ 55cm Joe - extended column test (Low angle probably prevented negative test results) Wind loading along the ridge-line Lots of wind on the ridge-line Public
11/30/2018 - 13:30 Grouse Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Public
11/23/2018 - 10:30 Grouse Rock Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Public
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
01/14/2019 - 11:00 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Surface Hoar was observed above approximately 8000 feet. Surface Hoar Professional Observer


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