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
02/24/2019 - 11:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation East bowl of Mt. Judah with active wind loading.  Small natural wind slab avalanche in upper middle of photo. Cornice along with wind slab failure from ski kick on small test slope at 7400'.  Wind slab up to 8-12'' deep. Firm rain crust exposed in some areas from wind scouring on ridges. Wind scoured ridge with still some snow available for transport.  Ski pen 0, pole pen 6''. Forecaster
12/17/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Small ski kick triggered wind slab on the edge of a wind loaded slope in near treeline terrain. Ski cuts triggered loose dry sluffs with the new snow sliding on the old near surface facets. Forecaster
03/29/2019 - 13:30 Galena Bowls - Mt. Rose Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered cracking on a previously undercut low angle wind-loaded slope. Cloud cover during the day in this area seemed to limit the formation of loose wet snow problems. Scoured area along the ridge with a deposition zone for wind transported snow below the skier. The arrow shows the direction that the wind transported the snow during the recent storm. 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
02/12/2019 - 11:45 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Moderate amounts of blowing snow noted as we approached near treeline terrain. Skin track refill in above treeline terrain. Skier triggered shooting crack 20 ft long and 1 ft deep in wind slab on test slope. Another party's snowboard cut did not produce results on this wind loaded slope. Forecaster
12/01/2018 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation One of several natural wind slab avalanches on Andesite Peak, E aspect, ~8,100'. Cracking triggered while breaking trail below treeline. Early signs of the instability in the area. The first wind loaded feature we approached at treeline, E aspect,~7,900'. Intentional remote skier triggered avalanche. View from triggering location. 20' shooting crack to where avalanche occurred. Pointing to far flank on the large bump in low visibility. 20' skier triggered shooting crack in near treeline terrain, ENE aspect. Another natural wind slab avalanche, above treeline terrain, ENE aspect, ~8,100'. Still another natural wind slab avalanche, above treeline terrain, ENE aspect, ~8,100'. Wide propagation with the far flank about 2/3rds of the way across the open slope in the background. Easily 200' wide. 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
02/13/2019 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Long shooting crack on storm snow instability. Natural avalanche that failed early this morning on a storm snow weakness at the beginning of the storm snow Forecaster
12/23/2018 - 11:00 Peak 8040' Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Several slope cuts did not produce any signs of instabilities. At 8000', 1'' rain crust existed near the surface with soft snow below. 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
01/16/2019 - 11:00 Hwy. 89 North of Tahoe City Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation 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
02/19/2019 - 13:00 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Very small loose dry on NE aspect, 46 degree slope angle, below treeline terrain. Pockets of upright surface hoar on shaded northerly aspects. Skinning through this S aspect wind slab produced no cracking. Minor wind scouring and blowing snow on the summit of Deep Creek Peak. Skin track refill after about 5 min on top of Deep Creek Peak. Wind scouring down to exposed rain crust near the ridgetop. Forecaster
12/09/2018 - 14:00 Mt. Tallac Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation Forecaster
01/05/2019 - 10:45 Fireplug Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster

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