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
03/19/2019 - 12:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Signs of creep behind cornices. S aspect test slope at ~8,100' showing the presence of loose wet avalanche problem at noon. 6" thick surface melt-freeze layer with supportable crust separating wet snow from dry snow below. Wet snow surface layer at 7,800' on S aspect barely still ski supportable but with near boot top penetration at 12:30pm. Forecaster
02/18/2019 - 13:30 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Cornice drop on a test slope that did not trigger any slab instabilities but did cause a sluff. Rain crust exposed by scouring on the ridge. Settlement cone on a tree in below treeline terrain. Deep crack behind a cornice that has pulled away from the ridge. ECTN on a sheltered slope. The rain crust / rain layer has started to refreeze but still had some wet snow at the bottom of the layer. Forecaster
12/06/2018 - 11:45 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Fog conditions below 7,700'. Sunny skies above the inversion layer. Rimed surface snow and plenty of snow available on W aspects for future wind transport. Rimed surface snow. Rimed surface snow. 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
03/06/2019 - 11:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Large shooting cracks with wind slab release in near treeline wind loaded terrain. Small wind slab avalanche intentionally triggered on a test slope.  Crown 12-16'' deep. Sensitive wind slab avalanche intentionally triggered on small test slope. Natural wind slab avalanche mostly covered up.  East Ridge Tamarack, 9600', N aspect Natural storm slab avalanches on a N aspect at 8700 ft. with ~1 ft crown. , Forecaster
12/28/2018 - 12:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Blowing snow over Jobs/Freel as seen from Hwy 89. Coverage below 7200 ft. remains sparse. Forecaster
04/13/2019 - 11:00 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Fully boot supportable 9 inch thick K hard crust at 6,560' at 9:40 am. Still ski supportable but not boot supportable 9 inch thick 1F hard crust at 7,420' at 10:15 am. Fractures behind cornices, common in this climate. 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
01/04/2019 - 11:15 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation NE aspect wind scoured terrain at/just above treeline. Exposed rain crust on upper start zone, wind scoured mid slope, unconsolidated snow at treeline. Established tree well hazard if the forecasted 1-2+ feet of new snow verifies. Forecaster
03/27/2019 - 12:00 Elephants Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered sluff of wet heavy snow on a small test slope below 8000 ft. Wind scoured ridgeline Small cracking above the skin track on a sheltered slope. 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
04/08/2019 - 23:00 Donner Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Forecaster
12/30/2018 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Signs of wind scouring on an exposed ridge. Forecaster
01/27/2019 - 11:30 Mt. Judah Snowpack Observation Small skier-triggered rollerballs and pinwheels on a S facing slope @ 11:45 am. Large crevasse formed as the cornice pulls away from the ridge during the warm weather. Variable firm surfaces on exposed N-NE aspects due to wind scouring. Forecaster
04/16/2019 - 11:00 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Avalanche Observation Intentionally skier triggered loose wet avalanche size D1.5.  E aspect, 8500', 35 + degree slope. Small roller ball activity from ski turns involving the recent 3-4'' of new snow. Below 8000' at 10am, 2-3'' of new snow on top of 4F wet snow.  Little to no overnight refreeze at lower elevations below 8000'. Minor cracking in wind loaded terrain.  Wind transported snow was limited to near ridgelines and did not extend downslope very far. E face of Crag Peak.  Small D1 natural loose wet avalanches that occurred by 11am this morning. Forecaster

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