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
12/27/2019 - 11:45 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation 15mm surface hoar in open below treeline terrain. Widespread surface hoar covering open below treeline avalanche terrain. Surface hoar on wind textured surface in ridgetop avalanche start zone. Ridgetop wind feature covered in surface hoar. More wind affected than 24 hours ago, but covered in surface hoar. Minor cracking at edge of ridgetop wind slab. Forecaster
12/28/2019 - 12:30 Incline Lake/Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation NNW aspect near treeline with signs of wind effect and drifting on snow surface but no wind slab. Right side up surface snow progressively F to 4F in nearly all areas with the occasional 1 cm surface wind skin as seen here. Forecaster
04/10/2020 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Ski kick triggered small loose wet snow avalanche on a small test slope at 11:15. ECTN on a N facing slope. We had an ECTX at another location on north facing terrain. Runnels on the snow surface on N-NE facing slopes. Breakable crust on top of wet snow was widespread on northerly aspects. Forecaster
12/13/2019 - 05:00 The Grill (aka Toms Valley) Independence Lake Area Avalanche Observation A mix of recent loose wet avalanches and day or two old wind slab avalanches. Pit location, open below treeline terrain. Forecaster
03/02/2020 - 12:30 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Upper elevation wind scouring near peak. Wind scouring on the ridge. Low elevation wind features. Slow moving loose dry avalanche on wind protected northerly terrain. Forecaster
04/16/2020 - 01:30 Donner Peak/Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Comparison snowpit. Two previous pits in foreground. Skier triggered cornice collapse from 4/15. Snowpit location Forecaster
01/11/2020 - 11:45 Tamarack Pk/Galena Cr Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation PST with artificial 10 cm load ready to test. Clean propagation. Signs of mixed scouring and drifting. Open areas previously scoured by NE winds. Forecaster
02/07/2020 - 12:15 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Firm textured snow on the ridge Soft wet corn snow on a S aspect at around 12:15 Forecaster
01/14/2020 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Moderate to intense drifting snow onto N side of the E ridge of SIlver Pk. Lower end of drifting amounts experienced today. Cracking down to Jan 4 layer while breaking trail in wind protected below treeline terrain. Cracking down to Jan 4 layer while breaking trail in wind protected below treeline terrain. Forecaster
04/02/2020 - 15:00 Webber Peak and Lake of the Woods Little Truckee Summit Areas Snowpack Observation Snowpit near Lake of the Woods Snowpits on Webber Lake Snowpit neat Webber Lake One of many ECTX's Recent roller balls and pinwheels on a NE aspect around 7400 ft. One of the pavement patches in the first few miles of the Jackson Meadows Rd. Forecaster
12/24/2019 - 07:45 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation New snow on the Mt. Judah ridgetop, available for wind transport. New snow above cornince area on the approach from Old Hwy 40, available for wind transport. Fragile cornices  - Easy intentional collapses with minor entrainment. Typical entrainment of new snow from intentional cornice collapse. Forecaster
01/18/2020 - 12:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
03/19/2020 - 12:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Partially covered avalanche crown. Partially covered right flank. Avalanche debris ran downslope through the first set of trees. Forecaster
02/29/2020 - 12:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wet surface snow on top of a thick refrozen melt freeze crust on top of more wet snow on a SE aspect at 8000 ft at 10:40 am Firm refrozen melt-freeze conditions on a S aspect at 8300 ft. @ 11:00 am Corn snow conditions on a SE aspect at 8000 ft at 10:30 am. Raised tracks and firm scoured surfaces on an exposed NE aspect at 8200 ft. Forecaster
04/12/2020 - 11:00 Yuba Pass Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Breakable surface crust from weak refreeze. Surface crust nearly all melted in sunny areas at 9:45 am. Easily triggered roller balls and pinwheels on a NE aspect at about 7,000'. Large pinwheel intentionally triggered from the slope above. March 24 buried surface hoar layer still a concern. March 24 surface hoar crystals under 10x magnification. Forecaster

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