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 button above.
Date and time of observation or avalanche occurrence Location Region Observation Type Photos Snowpack, Avalanche, Weather Videos Snowpit videos (tests, etc) Observation made by
12/24/2019 - 12:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Blowing snow Wind loading Loose Dry Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
12/10/2019 - 10:00 Thopson Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Wind scouring on surface. 2-3cm breakable crust. Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
12/29/2019 - 13:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation light blowing snow over this cornice below treeline Educator
Alpenglow Expeditions
03/27/2020 - 10:30 N Aspect of Echo Peak Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Surface Hoar on the uptrack Large Surface Hoar on a small tree on the uptrack CTM(20) sudden planar at 59cm down Buried Surface Hoar at 59cm down Buried Surface Hoar at 59cm down Near Surface Facets at 150cm down below 1-finger hard snow Near Surface Facets at 150cm down Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
12/22/2019 - 13:15 Andesite peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Small windslab on test slope Shooting cracks on test slope prior to the small slab releasing Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
01/17/2020 - 14:45 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
12/21/2019 - 02:00 judah billboards Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Alpine Skills International (ASI)
04/12/2020 - 15:30 Ralston lightning strikes Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
01/05/2020 - 13:30 Castle Pass / Andesite peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 1mm surface hoar , NW aspect on andesite peak Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
01/15/2020 - 15:30 Powder house Meadow Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
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
03/25/2020 - 10:15 Powderhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Looking down from pit area Hand hardness x2 CTM(15) SP at 95cm down Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
12/14/2019 - 13:15 Andesite peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
12/05/2019 - 13:30 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
01/25/2020 - 15:00 Powderhouse Snowpack Observation Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education

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