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
01/19/2019 - 12:30 ~30 meters SW of Lake Mary Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/09/2019 - 12:00 Wildflower Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation ECTN's in recent storm snow with no results on old faceted layer. Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
01/27/2019 - 14:30 White Rock Lake and surrounding are Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/19/2018 - 13:45 West ridge of peak 9,422’ Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/07/2018 - 12:00 West Grouse Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation SE aspect below Grouse Rock. 10cm artificial slab created PST 20/100 end on 12/4 SH layer. New surface hoar of 5 to 10 cm seen in West Grouse area. Forecaster
02/03/2019 - 12:00 Waterhouse proper E-SE side Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Public
01/10/2019 - 11:30 Waterhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Jumping on several summit ridge wind loaded test slopes produced little to no failure of wind slabs. Wind slab - very minor crack and the only cracking we could trigger on summit ridge test slopes. 2 to 5 mm surface hoar in upper elevation open areas, ~9,400', N aspect. 10 mm surface hoar along the summit ridge at ~9,480', N aspect. Forecaster
01/24/2019 - 13:00 Waterhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Cold snow with tree drippings on N aspects below treeline. Most prominent below 8,000'. Exposed rain cust visible above treeline in the distance on Steven's Pk, Red Lake Pk, and beyond. Cornices eroded by NE winds along the summit ridge. 1 cm melt freeze crust on S aspect at 9,490' Public
11/23/2018 - 15:00 Upper Ophir Creek Drainage Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Wind slab over storm slab (hand shear) HS 35-55 cm 4f over F Shooting cracks Public
01/13/2019 - 12:00 Upper Cold Stream Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Very large cornice hanging over a steep slope. 1 to 2 cm large surface hoar grains. Old cornice and avalanche debris. What looked like an old avalanche crown on a steep low elevation slope. Forecaster
12/29/2018 - 11:45 Upper Cold Stream Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Photo 1: Looking to the west at NE-E aspect near and above treeline terrain along the Sierra Crest, wind scoured snow surfaces and icy crusts were obvious. Forecaster
12/14/2018 - 12:30 Twin Peaks Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Lenticular clouds and some wind transport along the Sierra Crest near Twin Peaks. ECT test with no fractures from a near treeline line test slope. Small wind pillow with some cracking. The wind slab only extended a few feet downslope. Forecaster
01/19/2019 - 12:30 Trimmer Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Localized cracking on wind features Public
02/19/2019 - 13:45 Trimmer Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Public
02/08/2019 - 13:00 Trimmer Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Increasing clouds and wind transport observed along ridges near peak top. Skin track was filling in with light snow transport. Surface hoar was found in isolated areas in protected open below treeline terrain. Minor cracking was observed in wind loaded terrain as small wind slabs were forming. Forecaster


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