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 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
12/26/2019 - 08:00 Luther Pass Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Early morning was cold with a strong fog layer. Soft near surface faceted snow was present down about five inches on shady slopes. A few small test features had cohesive snow that broke with a ski kick. Professional Observer
01/04/2020 - 13:15 Waterhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Breakable crust on partially shaded NE 8500 foot slope. Limited snow coverage on SE aspect of Waterhouse summit area. Open east facing slopes on this ridge featured impressive sasgrugi and scoured surfaces. Surface quality became smoother as the slope angle increased. Breakable crust on this open east facing aspect at 9000 feet. Professional Observer
04/15/2020 - 09:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/20/2020 - 14:00 Stevens Peak North Bowl Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Steep terrain on Stevens Peak Loose facets just under 1/4 rain crust Professional Observer
02/05/2020 - 10:30 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Easy cracking in small lower elevation windslabs Test results limited to upper portion of snowpack with CT13s and ECTN 17s just below wind hardened snow. Poking around on north facing slopes near top of Stevens found some areas with large rounding facets. Professional Observer
03/20/2020 - 12:15 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Transitional conditions in sun exposed areas. The presence of icicles and snow on the sunny side of this tree were both likely gone an hour after I took this photo. This open clearing surrounded by trees at 8300 feet did not have surface hoar present, but larger clearings just above it did. An open north west facing ridge just above 8400 feet had widespread surface hoar. The largest surface hoar I found was on the north side of a northwest ridge at 8800 feet. Professional Observer
12/23/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation ridgetop with little scouring faceted grains annotated pit Professional Observer
12/09/2019 - 12:30 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Pit at 8800 feet near pin drop location. Small wind features broke easily. Reverse skin track showing extent of recent wind scouring. Exposed upper ridges showed evidence of recent winds. Recent natural avalanche. Large 6mm Surface Hoard widely visible below 8200 feet in this area. Professional Observer
01/23/2020 - 11:30 Talking Mountain Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Saturated wet snow Surface Hoar growing in flat and north aspects above 8500 feet Lingering clouds (and perhaps some smoke) over Tahoe indicating inversion Snow settlement crack Professional Observer
12/16/2019 - 12:15 Roundtop Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Easy cracking in wind blown snow above skin track. This ridge area was scoured of new snow down to old 12/12 rain crust. Great day to observe wind altered snow. Wind effected snow. Sastrugi More easy cracking in wind drifted snow above the skin track. Professional Observer
12/21/2019 - 12:00 Noble Canyon, Upper and Lower Kinney Lake, Kinney Reservoir Ebbetts Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
03/14/2020 - 15:00 Frog Lake Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Cracking in wind slab on a test slope. Winds were impressive and there were areas scoured down to a firm crust. Windy and snowing several inches an hour. Got multiple ECTNs at this wind loaded spot on the edge of the trees. The amount of new snow here was definitely on the high end due to wind loading. , Professional Observer
01/17/2020 - 10:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Blowing Snow Wind slab Avalanche Shooting cracks Cornice drop Snow pit Professional Observer
03/01/2020 - 13:00 Near Elephants Back Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation A ski kick on a steep somewhat wind protected slope created a small loose dry avalanche that ran until the slope angle lessened. Measuring new snow in a fairly wind protected area: about 22 cms Hand hardness in a quick pit. New snow F hard, then a decomposing crust, then more F hard then progressively firmer snow. Using a loaded PST to look at weak snow below crust: PST 10/100 END Many long shooting cracks in near and above treeline terrain. This one was about 15 feet. Professional Observer
04/13/2020 - 09:30 Angora Peak Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation Professional Observer


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