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
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
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
01/26/2019 - 11:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Recent NE wind events have scoured near and above treeline terrain.  Northerly below treeline terrain like this provided wet and sticky surface snow by noon today below 8600'. On southerly aspects, 3-4'' of wet snow existed above a supportable snow surface. Forecaster
11/23/2018 - 12:30 Far East Ridge of Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Some skier triggered cracking on a small wind-loaded test slope Representative snow coverage in non-wind-loaded terrain. There were numerous exposed and barely covered rocks. Wind-loaded areas held more snow coverage, but the coverage decreased quickly below the ridges with many areas of bare ground still present. Numerous bushes, stumps, rocks, and other obstacles still exposed. Many areas of bare ground still remain due to a combination of wind-scouring and a lack of snow. Forecaster
01/30/2019 - 11:45 Rose Knob Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Ascending through 7,900' on open ESE aspect terrain at 10:15 am found 4 cm wet snow on top of 12 cm of 1 F hard melt-freeze crust. Open fracture behind cornice at ~8,900'. Conditions becoming unsupportable to travel on skis in treed SE aspect terrain at ~7,600' at 11:45 am. Forecaster
02/03/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Wind slab failure on a N-NE facing test slope on the far east ridge of Tamarack. Shooting cracks on a wind-loaded test slope. Forecaster
12/21/2018 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind loaded test slopes showing unreactive slabs. Minor cracking on old/new snow interface while breaking trail. Skier triggered rollerballs after about 2 hrs of very light rain. Forecaster
01/16/2019 - 11:00 Hwy. 89 North of Tahoe City Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation Forecaster
12/27/2018 - 11:00 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Wind exposed areas scoured from the recent NE winds. ECTN at pit location.  Lower snowpack mostly faceted and weak. Skin track refilled within 2.5 hours from wind transport in open below treeline terrain. Forecaster
01/23/2019 - 11:30 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind scoured N aspect terrain. Looking S along Andesite Ridge. Significant wind scouring across the ridgetop. Eroded cornices above SE aspect terrain. Wind scoured N aspect terrain at treeline. Significant settlement of recent storm snow on E side of Andesite. Forecaster
01/10/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small inconsequential cracking on a wind-loaded test slope. The shiny track in front of my ski is not the track of a giant snow snail, but rather surface hoar that collapsed as a small cornice piece slide down the slope. 4 to 8 mm surface hoar was present on most open slopes at all elevations. Settlement crack around the base of a tree. Forecaster
11/29/2018 - 10:15 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Forecaster
12/19/2018 - 11:30 Ellis Peak Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation Intentionally triggered wind slab avalanche, D1. Another photo of same avalanche. Forecaster
01/15/2019 - 12:00 Mt. Rose Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Surface hoar buried under ~2-3 cm (~1 inch) of new snow. Small failure on a wind-loaded test slope that we think failed on the buried Surface Hoar. Forecaster
02/04/2019 - 11:00 Donner Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Widespread cracking of the upper snowpack from wind affected snow. Cracking around skis with thick dense wind affected surface snow, Forecaster

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