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 Videos Observation made by
01/07/2016 - 10:50 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation
Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
02/12/2017 - 14:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
01/03/2016 - 13:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
02/03/2016 - 10:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
12/24/2016 - 11:30 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation
Forecaster
02/10/2017 - 12:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Cornice kicks on test slopes produced limited loose snow with no signs of slab propagation.2x ECTN's on wind slabs off summit.  8200', E aspect. Forecaster
02/17/2017 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind loading and cornice formation on W aspect from the SE winds.Small reactive wind slab on W aspect, 8200', 2-6'' deep.Cracking and shooting cracks on wind loaded test slopes. Forecaster
12/18/2016 - 14:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation NE wind scouring at 8200' Andesite Peak4'' recent storm snow over firm rain crust.  Faceting occuring around recent rain crust.NE wind scouring at 8200' E aspect of peak. Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
02/16/2017 - 11:30 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation
Split-board kicks triggered a refrigerator sized cornice failure onto the wind loaded test slope. This resulted in a 12-14 inch deep wind slab failure.
The other side of the wind slab that resulted from the cornice drop.
Wind slab cracking in an undercut wind-loaded slope
Forecaster
12/02/2017 - 12:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Photo 1: Average height of snow near summit of AndesitePhoto 2: South Face of Castle Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
01/06/2017 - 14:15 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Settlement crack Forecaster
12/21/2017 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind transport of snow at treeline.The maximum extent of cracking seen today in new wind slabs on W-NW aspects. Small 1.5m crack off tip of right ski.Cracking of undercut wind slab on NE aspect at treeline. Forecaster
12/26/2016 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/06/2016 - 10:30 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
12/14/2016 - 11:30 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Rain runnels existed up to Peak level (8200'). Forecaster

Pages

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