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 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
12/24/2018 - 14:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/14/2019 - 11:00 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Surface Hoar was observed above approximately 8000 feet. Surface Hoar Professional Observer
03/17/2019 - 11:00 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Above 8600 feet on open east facing terrain the snow was very close to corn. A few shaded gullies held more wintry snow. Professional Observer
03/04/2019 - 12:00 Spooner thru Kingsbury East Shore Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/29/2018 - 14:00 South shoulder of Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Shady sheltered areas below tree line held very soft faceted snow. Sunny slopes are getting thin and starting to melt out in a few areas. Lots of evidence of previous wind activity. On a ridge area, firm slab over soft weak snow. Reverse skin track, with wind erosion on the east side due to NE winds. Professional Observer
02/19/2019 - 10:15 Flagpole Peak Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Sastrugi near ridgeline on Flagpole. Signs of settlement around trees Interesting evidence of previous avalanche activity. Interesting evidence of previous avalanche activity. The areas that slid were still soft, but less soft than areas that had not slid previously. Professional Observer
12/19/2018 - 15:00 Frog Lake Ridge Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
03/12/2019 - 12:00 Horse Meadow Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/30/2019 - 12:00 Angora Peak Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/02/2019 - 10:00 Porcupine Ridge Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation A thin wind slab over roughly 15cms of very weak NSFs The wind slab varied in thickness and strength, but did show ability to crack. A lot of Surface Hoar in this area. North facing slopes held some impressively large Surface Hoar. Professional Observer
01/18/2019 - 11:00 Near Frog Lake Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Settlement cone present first thing in the morning. Crown from a natural avalanche during storm. Several cornices were pulling away and revealing cracks. Down 70 cms adjacent to the old crown, 5-10mm surface hoar crystals. Around noon a wet fog rolled through coating everything in rain droplets. Professional Observer
03/10/2019 - 11:45 Castle Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Open areas below Castle Pass were holding several inches fresh snow on top of older soft snow. On the ridge heading towards Castle, the skin track in the middle of this photo was largely obscured by blowing snow after approximately 30 minutes. On a north facing test slope, a shallow but 40 foot wide wind slab occurred in response to a ski kick. Heavily rimed (and beautiful trees) on the NW slopes of Castle. Professional Observer
12/21/2018 - 09:15 Powderhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Natural roller ball activity below treeline on Luther Pass. A good number of tree bombs were falling as snow became saturated. Widespread cracking near and above treeline. Very reactive wind slabs on small test slopes. Looking down this small test slope at the bed surface, stauch wall, and debris. Looking across bed surface at crown and flanks. Professional Observer
12/06/2018 - 10:00 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Widespread surface hoar in open areas. Above the inversion. Professional Observer
03/04/2019 - 09:30 Carson Pass south Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation A few inches of soft snow, then a breakable crust, then more soft snow. Small chunk of cornice broke but didn't propagate on slope below. In some areas breakable crust and collapsing soft snow around it created a sinking "snowshoe" effect while skinning. There were multiple similar avalanches that occurred yesterday along this ridge. This is one of the larger ones. Backlit cross section of snow adjacent to avalanche crown. Professional Observer


Subscribe to Central Sierra Nevada / Lake Tahoe Snowpack, Weather, and Avalanche Observations for California and Nevada from SAC