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
03/31/2019 - 11:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Good snow coverage on south slopes on Castle Peak Thin breakable melt freeze crusts with colder unconsolidated snow below. Forecaster
01/30/2019 - 12:00 Jakes Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation 1 to 2 inches of corn on a supportable surface at 11:15 am on a S aspect. 2 to 3 inches of corn snow on a supportable surface at 12:15 on the same S aspect. Cloud cover moved into the area around 1 pm and you can still see sunlight glinting off of exposed crusts in the distance. Smoke cloud with a flat top showing the height of the morning's inversion. Forecaster
03/17/2019 - 11:00 Upper Ginny Lake drainage. Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Thin melt freeze crust over dry snow on flat terrain at 8,350'. Thin melt-freeze crust over dry snow on SE aspect at 9,550'. Same thin melt-freeze crust over dry snow on SE aspect at 9,550'. Shallow wet snow over dry snow on SE aspect at 9,600'. Dry snow previously unaffected by melt on NNW-N-NNE aspects above 8,500'. Forecaster
01/14/2019 - 12:00 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 10 to 12mm surface hoar in open areas near and below treeline. Forecaster
04/07/2019 - 12:00 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Mostly sunny skies, warm temps, with thin high cloud cover and strong SW winds. ECTN on wind loaded test slope at 8900', NE aspect.  Roller ball activity along with some small loose wet avalanches. Weak wet snow that failed with a ski turn on lower angle terrain. Forecaster
12/11/2018 - 12:00 Carpenter Ridge Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Small wind slab at treeline on NE aspect. Unconsolidated snow along the ridgetop, still available for future wind transport. Forecaster
04/20/2019 - 11:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Morning sun prior to about 10:15 am. Wet snow with no refreeze on W aspect at about 7,300'. Thin, breakable surface crust (weak refreeze) on N aspects at 8,100' and above. Increase to 100% cloud cover and snow/rain showers at 10:30 am. Sluffing of wet surface snow on E aspect at 8,000'. Ski cuts on small test slopes showing the presence of the loose wet avalanche problem. Forecaster
03/27/2019 - 14:00 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Blowing snow along the summit ridge of Powderhouse. Shooting crack on a wind-loaded test slope on @ 9100 ft. on Powderhouse Smal ski cut triggered wind slab on a test slope on Powderhouse Peak. A lull in the storm over Luther Pass between 1 pm and 3 pm today. Forecaster
11/28/2018 - 12:00 NW Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Light wind loading occurring off of summit ridge with cornice development. Wind loaded pillows showed minor cracking.  Forecaster
03/12/2019 - 12:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation ECTP 17 on a small wind-loaded test slope. ECTP 19 on a small wind-loaded test slope. Small skier triggered cracking in a newly formed surface wind slab. Variable sun crust on a westerly aspect. Wind-affected snow surfaces. Blowing snow along the summit ridgeline of Mt. Judah Firm icy surface on a wind scoured W aspect. Large cornices overhanging Wildflower Ridge. I decided to go back and around them on the uphill side and stayed very far from the edge of the ridge when I did. Weather moving in from the West to the East. Forecaster
03/14/2019 - 12:30 Incline Lake Peak and Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Scoured surfaces on a NE aspect along the summit ridge of Incline Lake Peak. Raised ski tracks on an E aspect near the summit ridgeline ECTP on a test slope wind-loaded by the NE winds. Ski kick triggered shooting crack on a previously undercut test slope wind-loaded by the NE winds. ECTN on a test slope wind-loaded by SW winds. Scoured slopes and large cornices on the summit of Incline Lake Peak. Settlement crack in below treeline terrrain. Tiger striping indicating cross-loading on a W / NW aspect. Forecaster
12/20/2018 - 12:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Very small amounts of blowing snow observed on foreground ridge, just above the highest trees. Transport occurring only during gusts to 60 mph. Rose Knob Peak No signs of blowing snow with ridge wind avg 40 mph, gusts to 60 mph on nearby Slide sensor. Ridgeline to the NW of Incline Lake Peak. This is the maximum extent of any cracking we saw today in areas of wind slab. 1 cm of wind drifted snow in our skin track set 2 hours prior. Forecaster
01/12/2019 - 13:00 Carpenter Ridge Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Large cornice we attempted to drop on steep N aspect Cornice we were unsuccessful in dropping.  Large cornice chunks dropped on slope with no results. Forecaster
04/03/2019 - 14:30 Tamarack Lakes Trailhead Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Human triggered loose wet avalanches on Prolitariate Bowl. Loose wet avalanche activity on Fireplug. Forecaster
12/04/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation 10-15mm surface hoar in open areas near and below treeline This type of open below treeline terrain has even distribution of large surface hoar across slope. Forecaster

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