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
12/01/2018 - 10:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Avalanche Observation Mostly filled in crown line from a small skier triggered wind slab avalanche about 2 hours before we got there. NE aspect, 39 degree slope, 9100 ft. The crown goes from where I am taking the photo to where my partner is standing. Skier triggered shooting cracks resulting from a storm slab instability on an undercut slope. Skier triggered shooting cracks on a wind-loaded test slope. Lots of obstacles below 7500 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
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
02/20/2019 - 11:00 Polaris Point Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Periodic snow showers S1 to S5. S5 in this photo at 11:15 am. Forecaster
12/07/2018 - 12:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Very large surface hoar was widespread in the Tamarack Peak area. More surface hoar on in an open area on Tamarack Peak Early season conditions still exist especially at the lower elevations. Forecaster
03/09/2019 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Wind slab on NE aspect that we carefully avoided while ascending to the east ridge. Blowing snow on east ridge, transporting left to right onto N aspect terrain. ECTP-22 on wind slab down 1.5 ft, 1F hard over 4F hard. ECTP-25 on wind slab down 1.5 ft, 1F hard over 4F hard. Old avalanche debris below NE-E aspect wind loaded terrain, likely from natural wind slab on March 6. Forecaster
01/07/2019 - 08:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Several natural avalanches on Mt. Judah occurring at different times throughout the 1/5-1/7 storm cycle.  Some avalanches ran full path to bottom flats.  8100', E aspect. Different angle of Mt. Judah avalanches.  Some debris mostly covered and some looks to have occurred towards the end of the storm. Multiple natural wind slab avalanches on Wildflower Ridge, 7800', NE aspect. Forecaster
03/11/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Thick low to mid level clouds during the morning hours on Tamarack Peak. East Ridge of Tamarack Peak with cornices and some recent NE wind scouring. Cornice collapses partially covered by additional new snow. Forecaster
02/25/2019 - 11:00 Peak 9269' West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Intense blowing snow in below treeline areas at 8000'. 1cm layer of 2-3mm graupel on top of the 2/14 rain crust. Right side up snowpack with the thick 2/14 rain crust down 78cm. 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
01/31/2019 - 10:15 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 2 inches of corn on a supportable melt-freeze layer on a W aspect at 1:15 Crack in the snowpack as a cornice pulls away from the ridge. Forecaster
03/16/2019 - 11:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Thin surface melt-freeze layer over dry snow (not yet a corn setup). Thin surface melt-freeze layer over dry snow (not yet a corn setup). Wet snow over dry snow without a melt-freeze crust in between. Small surface hoar on N aspect terrain near Mt. Judah summit. Breakable crust on N aspect around 7,100'. Forecaster
11/29/2018 - 11:30 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation High intensity wind loading at ridge top above treeline. High intensity wind loading at ridge top above treeline. Minor skier triggered cracking of newly formed wind slabs. Forecaster
03/20/2019 - 12:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation 4 inches of wind affected snow near the summit of Rubicon Small inconsequential wind slab near the summit of Rubicon Upper snowpack at around 8000 ft. on an E aspect on Rubicon Cloudy skies looking N from Rubicon. Forecaster
02/04/2019 - 12:00 Mt. Rose Backcountry Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Mostly buried avalanche on Tamarack Peak Mostly filled in avalanche crown on Relay Peak Cornice debris from a mostly buried cornice collapse and wind slab avalanche on Tamarack Peak Forecaster

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