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
02/05/2019 - 09:30 Davis Creek Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Avalanche below the drawn arrow. Crown with ski/snowboard tracks entering. Drawn arrows pointing to two tracks. Holes from minimal partial burials (circled). View from toe of debris. Crown refilled by 6 inches of storm snow. Entrance tracks faintly visible from upper right. Looking down right flank. Forecaster
02/07/2019 - 12:00 Davis Creek Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Davis Creek area as seen on Feb 7 with Feb 5 avalanche noted below arrow. Forecaster
12/26/2018 - 12:15 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation No signs of wind effect in open areas below treeline, ~7,900 N aspect'. Minimal signs of wind effect from NE winds on ridgetop at ~8,000'. F hard surface snow with micro-sastrugi. Some exposed rain crust just visible reflecting on the cornice top in upper Pole Creek. Forecaster
02/19/2019 - 13:00 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Very small loose dry on NE aspect, 46 degree slope angle, below treeline terrain. Pockets of upright surface hoar on shaded northerly aspects. Skinning through this S aspect wind slab produced no cracking. Minor wind scouring and blowing snow on the summit of Deep Creek Peak. Skin track refill after about 5 min on top of Deep Creek Peak. Wind scouring down to exposed rain crust near the ridgetop. Forecaster
12/14/2018 - 11:00 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Pit location above avalanche path below. Trim line and runout zone just visible in background. Minor amounts of blowing snow noted along the Sierra Crest between Tinker's Knob and Anderson Peak. Forecaster
01/07/2019 - 11:00 Deep creek drainage Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Ski cut above cat track produced failure on old snow rain crust/facet interface ~3’ down Public
12/24/2018 - 11:00 Donner Pass Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
01/13/2019 - 15:30 Donner Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
02/17/2019 - 13:00 Donner Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Skin track, ski pen 10-15cm, ski pole pen 110cm Wind scouring on ridge by Donner Rim trail Public
02/04/2019 - 11:00 Donner Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Widespread cracking of the upper snowpack from wind affected snow. Cracking around skis with thick dense wind affected surface snow, Forecaster
02/08/2019 - 13:00 Donner Summit Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
02/19/2019 - 13:30 Donner Summit Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered shooting crack on a low angle W aspect Skier cracking on a low angle slope wind-loaded by NE winds and previously undercut by the skin track. Variable wind scoured surfaces with exposed rain crust in some areas. Large surface hoar that was laying flat on many sheltered N-NE-E aspects. Forecaster
02/05/2019 - 15:00 Duane Bliss East Shore Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/09/2018 - 13:15 E of Boreal ski area Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars
12/20/2018 - 09:45 E side Rose Knob Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars

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