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
04/08/2019 - 23:00 Mt Judah Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Cornice collapses that triggered loose wet avalanches and a slab failure The other side of the slab Debris at the bottom of the slope form both loose wet and the slab avalanche Another cornice failure near the true summit of Judah. Large chunks of debris at the bottom of this slope. Forecaster
03/27/2019 - 12:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Mid to low level clouds with light snow on Incline Lake peak. Cracking around skis at the new snow/old snow interface. Small wind loaded test slopes showing no results with cornice kicks and ski cuts. N aspect, 9250', below treeline terrain. Forecaster
11/24/2018 - 12:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Pooling water along the Castle Valley Road from 7200-7800' Rain runnels with wet snow to the ground below 7800' Rain crust up to peak at 9100'. Forecaster
12/18/2018 - 13:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation These wind slab avalanches along Mt. Judah were thought to have occurred mid morning. Shooting cracks in wind loaded terrain on small test slopes at lower elevation. Skier triggered reactive windslabs along Wildflower Ridge. Multiple natural wind slab avalanches along the East Face of Mt. Judah.  All D1 in size. Wind slab avalanches along Mt. Judah were up to 1-2' deep, but did not extend very far downslope. Forecaster
01/09/2019 - 13:15 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/28/2019 - 12:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Looking south down the Sierra Crest.  High level cloud cover preventing widespread snow surface softening Forecaster
02/12/2019 - 12:00 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Strong winds were moving snow in below treeline areas Intense blowing snow and cornice formation near the summit of Hidden Peak Skier triggered cornice failure on a a test slope did not produce signs of instability in the wind slab on the test slope. Minor cracking down to the undercut part of the slope after repeated and aggressive ski kicks and jumps. Forecaster
03/03/2019 - 11:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation 6 inch wind slab failure on test slope triggered by intentional cornice colapse. Same 6 inch wind slab failure on test slope. Dryish loose wet avalanche intentionally triggered by ski cut on 38 degree N aspect slope below treeline at ~9,200'. At 9,200', wind protected N aspect, below treeline open area, 20cm storm snow. Top 70 cm all right side up. ECTN results on upper 70cm of the snowpack. HS>3.7m Forecaster
03/20/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation New snow became sticky when the sun came out with small roller balls. Up to 6'' wind slabs showed minor cracking in the most wind loaded areas. Thick high cloud cover existed throughout the morning hours. Periods of sun with blue skies started around 1pm. Forecaster
04/11/2019 - 11:30 Blackwood Ridge Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Thick frozen crust on top of wet snow. Scoured icy rain crusts on an E aspect. The crust was boot and ski supportable during our tour and showed no signs of melting as of noon. Cloud cover increased during our tour and light snow started to fall around noon. Forecaster
02/05/2019 - 09:30 Davis Creek Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Avalanche below the drawn arrow. Crown with ski/snowboard tracks entering. Drawn arrows pointing to two tracks. Holes from minimal partial burials (circled). View from toe of debris. Crown refilled by 6 inches of storm snow. Entrance tracks faintly visible from upper right. Looking down right flank. Forecaster
12/12/2018 - 12:00 Elephant's Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Newly formed pencil hard wind slabs at treeline. Widespread evidence of wind scouring. Elevated tracks on Elephants Back. Forecaster
01/08/2019 - 11:45 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Signs of up to 6 inches of storm snow settlement in this area. Multi-height ECTN results within the recent storm snow. Large cracks behind cornices from previous natural cornice failures. Forecaster
01/11/2019 - 11:00 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 4 to 6'' of recent storm snow over a supportable base. Forecaster
04/01/2019 - 11:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Ankle to shin deep boot pen at 9:30am at trailhead with a poor overnight refreeze. Cloud cover to the south of Rubicon Peak Cloud cover to the north of Rubicon Peak Forecaster


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