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
01/06/2019 - 12:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation One of many easily triggered windslabs today Shooting cracks were common today Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
12/09/2018 - 13:15 E of Boreal ski area Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars
01/07/2019 - 14:00 Andesite Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars
11/26/2018 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation True north aspects have the most snow with other aspects showing numerous rocks and bare patches. Looking down the Hourglass from the top of Tamarack Peak. Looking across at Relay Peak. Top of the Proletariat looking down. Forecaster
01/15/2019 - 12:00 Mt. Rose Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Surface hoar buried under ~2-3 cm (~1 inch) of new snow. Small failure on a wind-loaded test slope that we think failed on the buried Surface Hoar. Forecaster
12/02/2018 - 13:00 Elephants Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 2mm surface hoar found throughout area Loose dry sluffing on a steep test slope Wind slab avalanche with debris covered up by additional snow Forecaster
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
01/17/2019 - 11:00 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Cornice collapse and wind slab avalanche. Shooting crack around rock following collapse with whumpf. Whumpf triggered by skier at that location. Frozen rain on tree branch. Forecaster
12/06/2018 - 12:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 8-10mm surface hoar in Round Valley at 7900'. Rimmed surface snow above 8000', up to 10mm in size. Forecaster
01/28/2019 - 10:30 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Cloudy skies kept the snow surfaces firm and frozen. Mostly supportable but sometimes breakable sun crusts existed on E aspects. Firm uneven surfaces including exposed rain crusts existed on E-NE aspects. Small pinwheels and rollerballs triggered by a ski cut on an ENE facing slope around 8200 ft. Forecaster
01/16/2019 - 11:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Shooting crack triggered while breaking trail. Connects ski pole to ski pole and beyond for a total of ~20'. Digging out the crack to look at the weak layer of buried surface hoar and density change. Forecaster
12/03/2018 - 12:30 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 10 - 15 mm surface hoar was widespread in the Mt. Judah area. IT did start to melt some on slopes with direct sun-exposure later in the day. Cornice pieces and loose dry surface hoar sluffs on Wild Flower Ridge. Cloud cover rolling into the area in the afternoon. Forecaster
02/12/2019 - 10:00 Munchkins Area Sawtooth Ridge to Tahoe City Snowpack Observation Intense snow transport over the 8000'+ peaks to the North. ECTX on SE aspect, 6750', 27 degree slope, with no defined sun crust below recent storm snow. Forecaster
12/13/2018 - 12:00 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Near surface facets on ENE aspect at about 7,200'. S aspect surface wet snow. Forming melt freeze surface crust on flat terrain at 7,600'. Forecaster
01/11/2019 - 11:00 North Side Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Debris pile. Crown as see from the ridgetop to the east. Crown as see from the ridgetop to the east. Looking E along the crown at the point of the collapsed cornice. Spot where footprints close to the edge triggered the cornice collapse. Forecaster


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