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
11/29/2019 - 09:30 Frog Lake Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation View towards Elephants Back 55cm of light fist hard snow 10cm of facets at the bottom of the snowpack Closeup of the facets Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
12/05/2019 - 13:30 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
12/01/2019 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small cornice kicks on test slopes did not initiate any avalanches. HS=95cm Some starting zones not filled in yet with rocky terrain. Forecaster
11/20/2019 - 11:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Strong NE winds scouring northerly aspects on exposed ridge. Hourglass Bowl scoured down to mostly bare ground and rock. S-SW-W aspects getting wind loaded by strong NE winds right over the ridge of Hourglass Bowl. Minor cracking in fresh wind slabs formed today. Small areas of faceted snow from early season snow in September/October. Forecaster
12/03/2019 - 12:30 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Good snowcover at 8,000'. Snowpack height 1-1.5m on N aspect. Settlement around trees at ~8,600'. Wet snow with tree dripping and bombing at ~7,900' on W aspect. Wet surface snow, but supportable and over 1m deep at the start of the Castle Rd (~7,300'). Forecaster
12/05/2019 - 12:30 Carpenter Peak Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Minor cracking with small cornices built out due to recent wind loading. Small cracking on recent formed wind features. Soft available snow for wind transport as winds increase. Newly formed wind features overnight. Forecaster
11/26/2019 - 10:00 Spooner Summit/White Hill East Shore Area Snowpack Observation Thin patchy 0.5 to 2 inches of moderately faceted snow on N aspect. Thin patchy 0.5 to 2 inches of moderately faceted snow on NE aspect. Thin patchy 0.5 to 2 inches of moderately faceted snow on NE aspect. This photo shows how snow cover is limited to NW-N-NE aspects. W aspect in the forground. Forecaster
12/06/2019 - 12:30 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered cracking of wind pillow. P hard wind slab over 4F hard weaker snow. Minor amounts of drifting snow with soon to be cracked wind pillow near old track. Surface hoar 3 to 4 mm near pin drop. Surface hoar 3 mm just off N ridge of Incline Lake Peak. Surface hoar covering all of this ridgetop slope and nearly all other similar open northerly aspects. Forecaster
12/04/2019 - 11:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Light snowfall above 8000' with low clouds. HS>1m. Forecaster
11/21/2019 - 14:30 Barker Pass Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Less than one inch of snow below Ellis Peak. Less than one inch of snow below treeline at 8,000'. Forecaster
12/03/2019 - 13:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Forecaster
12/07/2019 - 11:45 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Ridgetop area where SH had been seen on 12/6 and now observed buried on 12/7. Location of buried SH. Forecaster
11/25/2019 - 11:30 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Wind scouring begins in the trees on northerly aspects as slopes get steeper. Near and above treeline terrain was scoured down to dirt and rocks from recent NE wind events. 1-2mm facets exist in below treeline terrain in a very shallow snowpack. 2-5'' snow coverage in below treeline terrain. Forecaster
12/05/2019 - 12:15 round top Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Round top avalanche, 18 inch crown Crack and crown of wind slab Pre slide Round Top avalanche, two observers bottom left of the chute, rider at trigger point. No one was caught, carried nor injured. Guide
Alpine Skills International (ASI)
11/27/2019 - 10:15 Ward Canyon Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation HS 55 @ 8k - east aspect Guide
Tahoe Mountain School


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