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 button above.
Date and time of observation or avalanche occurrence Location Region Observation Type Photos Snowpack, Avalanche, Weather Videos Snowpit videos (tests, etc) Observation made by
04/09/2020 - 15:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Avalanche Observation D1.5 - D2 Skier triggered loose wet avalanches Sluffs of loose wet snow near rocks. Smaller loose wet avalanches near rocks. Forecaster
12/13/2019 - 12:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Cracking in a new 6 inch think wind slab at midday. More wind slab cracking at midday. Forecaster
03/26/2020 - 12:15 Tallac Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation One whumpf triggered while skinning along the ridge Buried surface hoar Buried surface hoar Coverage at the lower elevations Forecaster
02/06/2020 - 14:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Forecaster
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
04/16/2020 - 11:00 Mt. Houghton Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Runnels on the snow surface indicating water draining through the snowpack. Some clouds starting to build during the late morning. 2-3 inches of soft wet corn snow on top of a supportable melt freeze layer @ 10:20 am at 9800 ft. Creeks with flowing water are starting to melt out even at the upper elevations. Forecaster
02/12/2020 - 12:15 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation N-NE aspects remain variable. SE aspects softened around midday on slopes around 9000'. 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
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
02/03/2020 - 12:00 Stoney Ridge West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Dust on breakable crust Dust on supportable crust Wind effects on a more exposed ridgeline The largest of the small snowdrifts we found 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
03/04/2020 - 12:30 Incline Peak/Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation N aspect pit with no signs of instability at old/new interface. Ski cut on S aspect test slope around 9,500' at 12:30pm producing minor loose wet. Ski cut on another upper elevation S aspect around 12:30pm producing loose wet.. Forecaster
02/09/2020 - 12:00 Elephants Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Pine needles and other debris blown onto the snow surface by the strong NE winds. One of the largest drifts of wind blown snow that we saw. Wind scouring on an exposed slope on Elephant's Hump. Wind scouring on a test slope at Elephant's Hump. Large NE wind created waves crashing into the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Forecaster


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