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
12/31/2019 - 10:30 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind scouring on numerous aspects at and above treeline. Small 4 inch thick hard wind slab failure on NW aspect test slope. Forecaster
01/22/2020 - 11:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Large cornice chunks did not initiate propagation or cracking on slopes below. Wind slab cracking in areas that were undercut.  Wind slabs up to 6'' deep. Wind scoured ridges offer no additional snow for wind transport. Mid and high level clouds this morning with increasing periods of sun. Forecaster
12/05/2019 - 12:30 Carpenter Peak Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Minor cracking with small cornices built out due to recent wind loading. Small cracking on recent formed wind features. Soft available snow for wind transport as winds increase. Newly formed wind features overnight. Forecaster
01/27/2020 - 11:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Cornice dropped onto a test slope that did not result in any signs of wind slab instability Skier triggered crack on another more N facing test slope. Breakable crust from light rain this morning, mainly below 7500'. Settlement cracks around trees showing new storm snow gaining strength. Poor visibility looking into the larger avalanche terrain. Forecaster
12/10/2019 - 14:00 Basin Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Ridgetop blowing snow at 2 pm. Ridgetop blowing snow at noon. Large surface hoar up to 2 cm in Round Valley, nil aspect at about 7,850' Forecaster
12/29/2019 - 12:30 Ophir Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Blown down 3-5mm surface hoar in open meadows at 8600'. Decomposing Dec 12 RC.  Upper snowpack made up of near surface facets and wind blown snow. Previous wind scouring on northerly near treeline terrain. Increasing clouds with very light snow starting at 12. Forecaster
01/20/2020 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation ECTP-14 on Jan 4 crust/facet layer. Wind transport starting at 11am this morning. Soft available snow along ridges for wind transport as winds increase. Forecaster
11/26/2019 - 10:00 Spooner Summit/White Hill East Shore Area Snowpack Observation Thin patchy 0.5 to 2 inches of moderately faceted snow on N aspect. Thin patchy 0.5 to 2 inches of moderately faceted snow on NE aspect. Thin patchy 0.5 to 2 inches of moderately faceted snow on NE aspect. This photo shows how snow cover is limited to NW-N-NE aspects. W aspect in the forground. Forecaster
12/06/2019 - 12:30 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered cracking of wind pillow. P hard wind slab over 4F hard weaker snow. Minor amounts of drifting snow with soon to be cracked wind pillow near old track. Surface hoar 3 to 4 mm near pin drop. Surface hoar 3 mm just off N ridge of Incline Lake Peak. Surface hoar covering all of this ridgetop slope and nearly all other similar open northerly aspects. Forecaster
01/02/2020 - 11:00 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Thin rain crust under a half inch of new snow at 8,500'. Breakable rain crust scoured of any new snow on SW aspect at 8,600'. Minor blowing snow with more downslope saltation than slab deposition at 9,700'. Forecaster
01/10/2020 - 12:45 Stoney Ridge/Meeks Ridge West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
12/21/2019 - 10:30 Upper Ophir Creek Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 6 inches of unconsolidated, slightly faceted surface snow. 6 inches of unconsolidated, slightly faceted surface snow. Signs of around 8 inches of snowpack settlement in the past week. Forecaster
12/04/2019 - 11:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Light snowfall above 8000' with low clouds. HS>1m. Forecaster
01/12/2020 - 11:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Wind scoured snow in below treeline terrain Variety of firm exposed crusts throughout this area due to wind and/or sun. Forecaster
12/18/2019 - 11:45 Elephants Hump Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Left side of wind slab avalanche Partially filled in crown. Hard wind slab debris down into trees Around corner on to adjacent aspect. Wind scouring down to the Dec 12 rain crust. Forecaster

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