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
12/04/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation 10-15mm surface hoar in open areas near and below treeline This type of open below treeline terrain has even distribution of large surface hoar across slope. Forecaster
01/15/2019 - 11:00 Jakes Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Buried surface hoar was both widespread and reactive in this open terrain both below treeline and near treeline. , Forecaster
02/04/2019 - 12:30 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
12/09/2018 - 12:00 Castle - Basin Peak Area Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind slab failure on buried surface hoar on a wind-loaded test slope. Shooting cracks triggered by a ski cut on a near treeline wind-loaded test slope. This slab failed on buried surface hoar. Large surface hoar on the snow surface in a sheltered area , Forecaster
03/03/2019 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Avalanche Observation Forecaster
04/17/2019 - 11:30 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation D1 loose wet on an E facing slope on Stevens Skier triggered rollerballs and pinwheels Boot top deep wet snow with a ski supportable but not boot supportable crust. Wind affected colder snow on the ridge above 9300 ft. Forecaster
02/10/2019 - 12:30 Andesite Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Active wind-loading on Donner Summit Small skier triggered cornice failure causing a loose snow sluff on a test slope. Skin track refilled by wind loading. ECTN on the flank of a natural avalanche that occurred last night. Forecaster
11/26/2018 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation True north aspects have the most snow with other aspects showing numerous rocks and bare patches. Looking down the Hourglass from the top of Tamarack Peak. Looking across at Relay Peak. Top of the Proletariat looking down. Forecaster
01/10/2019 - 11:30 Waterhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Jumping on several summit ridge wind loaded test slopes produced little to no failure of wind slabs. Wind slab - very minor crack and the only cracking we could trigger on summit ridge test slopes. 2 to 5 mm surface hoar in upper elevation open areas, ~9,400', N aspect. 10 mm surface hoar along the summit ridge at ~9,480', N aspect. Forecaster
01/29/2019 - 11:30 Slide Mountain Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation After a period of morning sun the clouds rolled back into the area around 11 am. It looked like periods of sun also occurred in the afternoon hours. Ankle to boot-top deep wet snow on solar aspects below 8200 ft. Below 8000 ft. numerous shrubs and bushes still remained exposed. Forecaster
12/02/2018 - 13:00 Elephants Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 2mm surface hoar found throughout area Loose dry sluffing on a steep test slope Wind slab avalanche with debris covered up by additional snow Forecaster
04/06/2019 - 10:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation About 4 inches of storm snow on top of weak crust and F hard wet snow at 7,300'. Minor cracking of wind slab. 35 cm of wind slab on top of weak crust and F hard wet snow. E aspect at about 8,100' in terrain with above treeline characteristics. Repeatable ECTP-12 down 25 cm within 35 cm of wind slab on E aspect at 8,100'. Foggy conditions above about 7,800'. Forecaster
12/06/2018 - 12:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 8-10mm surface hoar in Round Valley at 7900'. Rimmed surface snow above 8000', up to 10mm in size. Forecaster
03/21/2019 - 12:00 Elephants Back Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Very small roller balls as daytime warming occurred at noon. Sun patches throughout the day with periods of full sun. Very small cracking in wind loaded terrain. Minor wind scouring along Frog Lake Ridge. Forecaster
02/06/2019 - 13:00 Blackwood Ridge Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Signs of storm snow settlement, approaching 10 inches in some areas. Signs of previous wind transport near treeline. Wind loaded features that were unreactive to skier weight. Forecaster


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