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
03/09/2019 - 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
12/14/2018 - 12:30 Twin Peaks Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Lenticular clouds and some wind transport along the Sierra Crest near Twin Peaks. ECT test with no fractures from a near treeline line test slope. Small wind pillow with some cracking. The wind slab only extended a few feet downslope. 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
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
02/28/2019 - 11:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Large reactive cornices along with active blowing snow. Shooting cracks in wind loaded terrain. ECTP-27 on a wind slab down 22cm. ECTP-29 on a wind slab down 55cm. Looking along the Mt. Judah ridgeline with blowing snow and limited visibility. Cracking within the new upside down storm snow. 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
03/22/2019 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Cloud cover over the forecast area limiting snow surface melt. About 1 cm on recent storm snow over crust on N-NE aspects. Forecaster
04/14/2019 - 11:30 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Mostly cloudy skies with some sun breaks. Looking south along the Crest through the Tahoe Basin. Potentially more sun further south. Thick cloud cover to the west of the Silver Peak at 11:20am. Forecaster
03/08/2019 - 13:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation A ski cut on this ridgeline test slope triggered a ~8-12 inch deep wind slab Large cornices existed along the summit ridgeline Ski kicks did not trigger any cracking on this test slope until it was undercut. Then ski kicks could trigger shooting cracks. Settlement cracks existed around trees in more sheltered terrain. A Test pit from a N aspect below treeline slope sheltered from the wind. Tests did not show signs of instability. Forecaster
03/10/2019 - 12:00 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small loose dry sluffing in steeper terrain. Cold temperatures with periods of snowfall throughout the day. Forecaster
03/28/2019 - 12:00 Jakes Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation High thin clouds with lots of sun on the west shore this morning. Cracking on small wind loaded test slope Small loose wet avalanche off of rocks on east aspect around 11am. Pinwheels on SE aspect at noon. Forecaster
03/15/2019 - 12:45 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation NE aspect side of summit ridge. ECTN on wind slab. NE aspect, above treeline terrain. P hard slab over 1F hard older rounds. SW aspect side of summit ridge. ECTN on wind slab. SW aspect, above treeline terrain. 1F+ hard slab over 4F+ older rounds. Glide crack Wet surface snow at about 7,000' on SE aspect micro feature. Pinwheels on SE aspect at about 8,400'. Forecaster
03/19/2019 - 12:30 Slide Mountain Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small loose wet instability on a S facing test slope at 9200 ft at 12:50 pm. Ankle deep wet snow on a S facing slope at 8000 ft. at 1 pm Wind affected snow on a N - NW aspect at around 9400 ft. Breakable crust on a N facing slope at 9000 ft. Forecaster
02/05/2019 - 01:00 Crag Peak West Shore Area Avalanche Observation Crown line visible mid slope on Crag Peak.  Seen from Jakes Peak View into Desolation Wilderness and Dicks Peak.  Some avalanche activity could be made out in the distance but most was covered up by additional snow. Forecaster
02/18/2019 - 13:30 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Cornice drop on a test slope that did not trigger any slab instabilities but did cause a sluff. Rain crust exposed by scouring on the ridge. Settlement cone on a tree in below treeline terrain. Deep crack behind a cornice that has pulled away from the ridge. ECTN on a sheltered slope. The rain crust / rain layer has started to refreeze but still had some wet snow at the bottom of the layer. Forecaster

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