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
01/22/2018 - 12:00 Castle Pass/Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars
12/08/2017 - 14:00 Granite Chief Snowpack Observation E/SE ridge on the approach to Granite Chief.Granite Chief to Needle Ridge. Educator
Alpenglow Expeditions
03/10/2018 - 10:15 Negro Canyon Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation These once faceted snow grains have now become large rounded grains. Obvious runnel indicating drainage in the snowpack. Forecaster
11/24/2017 - 13:30 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Moist snow near the bottom of the snowpack on a north aspect at 9500'. Snow coverage in the Roundtop area on north aspects. 5-10 cm (2-4") of wet snow on a south aspect at 9000' at 1:30 pm.Patchy snow coverage on the SW-SE aspects of Red Lake Peak Forecaster
03/27/2018 - 13:00 Mt. Tallac Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation Signs of past and present warming and loose wet instability on E aspect at 8,000'. Not visible in this photo, but some blowing snow and scouring of slope and cornices in the summit bowl. Scouring to very firm rain crust along summit ridge at 9,200'. Test slope failure as loose wet and rollerballs. Micro NE aspect within greater E aspect terrain at 7,900'. Forecaster
02/04/2017 - 14:30 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation ECTP 16 28cm below the surface at a density change between a dense heavy wind slab and softer storm snow2m long ECTN 16 on the same layer as the ECTPRain runnels and wet sticky snow existed on slopes below 7000 ft. Settlement cracks around a tree at 7500 ft. on a N aspect Forecaster
03/28/2016 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
02/25/2018 - 11:00 East Ridge Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Near surface facets buried under recent storm snow at pit location.  N aspect, 9600', NTL terrain. Wind textured snow surface at 9600', N aspect, just off ridgeline. E aspect wind effected snow at 9600'. Forecaster
11/09/2015 - 10:20 Castle Peak, SW ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/11/2017 - 12:00 Mt. Rose Highway Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation
Relay Peak.  East Face, 10,200'.
Fireplug.  E/SE. 9200'.
Rose Knob/3rd Creek. S aspect. 9400'.
Incline Lake Peak.  SE aspect, 9200'.
Mt. Houghton.  S/SE aspect, 10,000'.
Mt. Houghton.  SE aspect, 8800'.
11/29/2017 - 12:45 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation 4mm surface hoar noted in below treeline openings.One of several hand pits indicating good bonding of recent storm snow to the rain cust below. Forecaster
02/08/2016 - 11:15 Mt. Lola Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
03/08/2016 - 12:00 Jakes Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/03/2018 - 13:10 Contact Pass Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Minor cracking around my skis on a N_NE aspect at 9200 ft. Looking up at the coverage on N-NE aspects between 8800 and 10000 ft. while standing at 8600 ft. Coverage on E aspects between 8600 and 9600 ft. Forecaster
04/07/2016 - 11:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster


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