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
01/29/2019 - 11:30 Slide Mountain Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation After a period of morning sun the clouds rolled back into the area around 11 am. It looked like periods of sun also occurred in the afternoon hours. Ankle to boot-top deep wet snow on solar aspects below 8200 ft. Below 8000 ft. numerous shrubs and bushes still remained exposed. Forecaster
04/19/2019 - 10:30 Yuba Pass Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation 1.5 inches of very week surface crust remaining at 10 am. Deep boot penetration in sunny flats at 10 am. Wet snow surface sluffing, moving in the direction of loose wet instability. Deep, unsupportable wet snow with no signs of any remaining refreeze at 10:50 am. Forecaster
12/14/2018 - 11:45 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation NE side of Silver Peak as viewed from ridge between Pole Creek and Deep Creek. Forecaster
03/26/2019 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Widespread skier triggered roller balls and pinwheels Clouds moving in and strong SW winds blowing snow. ECTN on a N facing slope at 8000 ft. Forecaster
02/25/2019 - 11:00 Peak 9269' West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Intense blowing snow in below treeline areas at 8000'. 1cm layer of 2-3mm graupel on top of the 2/14 rain crust. Right side up snowpack with the thick 2/14 rain crust down 78cm. Forecaster
12/17/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Small ski kick triggered wind slab on the edge of a wind loaded slope in near treeline terrain. Ski cuts triggered loose dry sluffs with the new snow sliding on the old near surface facets. Forecaster
02/06/2019 - 13:00 Blackwood Ridge Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Signs of storm snow settlement, approaching 10 inches in some areas. Signs of previous wind transport near treeline. Wind loaded features that were unreactive to skier weight. Forecaster
12/01/2018 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation One of several natural wind slab avalanches on Andesite Peak, E aspect, ~8,100'. Cracking triggered while breaking trail below treeline. Early signs of the instability in the area. The first wind loaded feature we approached at treeline, E aspect,~7,900'. Intentional remote skier triggered avalanche. View from triggering location. 20' shooting crack to where avalanche occurred. Pointing to far flank on the large bump in low visibility. 20' skier triggered shooting crack in near treeline terrain, ENE aspect. Another natural wind slab avalanche, above treeline terrain, ENE aspect, ~8,100'. Still another natural wind slab avalanche, above treeline terrain, ENE aspect, ~8,100'. Wide propagation with the far flank about 2/3rds of the way across the open slope in the background. Easily 200' wide. 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
01/19/2019 - 12:00 English Mountain Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Roller balls on the west side of Jackson Meadows Reservoir from rain on snow. Small crown from wet snow avalanche near noted lat/long. Another small crown from wet snow avalanche near noted lat/long. Fog and light rain on NE side of English Mtn. Forecaster
04/03/2019 - 11:00 Ophir Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation ECTP-12 on wind slab 14'' deep.  N aspect, 9200'. At 9700', N aspect small loose wet activity started to occur with hybrid slab characteristics. A series of rain crusts/wet snow during the storm with 2'' of snow on top.  8500', N aspect. Widespread small roller ball activity with ski turns below 8600'. Forecaster
12/09/2018 - 14:00 Mt. Tallac Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation Forecaster
01/05/2019 - 10:45 Fireplug Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/31/2019 - 13:00 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 4mm surface hoar on N aspect terrain showing signs of lasting through the day. Shallow surface facets on NNE aspect terrain, unaffected by previous melt. We were breaking trail for this skin track. Forecaster
12/15/2018 - 12:45 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered cracking in a small shallow slab on a wind-loaded pocket. Clouds moving into the area ahead of tomorrow night's storm. Forecaster

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