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
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
02/11/2020 - 12:30 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Wind scoured and firm snow conditions above 8000'. In wind protected, but open, northerly treed terrain, relatively consistent soft snow was found. Forecaster
04/22/2020 - 09:30 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Recent loose wet avalanche activity and cornice collapses. Deep unsupportable snow at 9:30am on E aspect at 7600'. Knee deep boot pen at 9:30am on E aspect at 7600'. Recent cornice fall on Mt. Judah Large cracks developing behind cornices as they sag from ridges. Forecaster
02/16/2020 - 12:15 Rose Knob Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Warm temperatures with some clouds, but plenty of sun. Snow coverage below 7800' getting thin on solar aspects. Forecaster
05/01/2020 - 10:30 Mt. Houghton Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation A thin layer of ice over running water at 9:15 am from last night's refreeze. Open water at 9400 ft. Clear skies and decent snow coverage on high elevation northerly aspects. Areas of exposed rocks and dirt. The beginnings of sun cups on the snow surface. Areas of exposed dirt and running water in a creek. Forecaster
01/10/2020 - 12:45 Stoney Ridge/Meeks Ridge West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
03/16/2020 - 12:00 Andesite Ridge Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Ski kick triggered avalanche on a NE-ENE aspect at 7850 ft Same avalanche from the top of the slope. Note the crack on the left flank. Same avalanche from the top of the slope. Note the crack on the right flank. More views of the avalanche. More views of the avalanche The amount of snow that accumulated on the top of the truck during our 4 hr tour Forecaster
02/24/2020 - 12:30 Rose Knob Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Very small sluff of wet snow on a S aspect at 12:20 pm at around 8000 ft. Uneven sun-sculpted surface on a ridge at about 8800 ft. ~2 inches of corn snow on top of a 12 inch thick refrozen melt-freeze crust on a S aspect at 9000 ft. Coverage is getting thin below 7500 ft. Forecaster
03/23/2020 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Cloudy skies and intermittent snow showers at 10 am Breakable crust on all aspects except steep true north facing slopes Small runnels left over from previous warming Forecaster
02/01/2020 - 12:30 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Frozen crust on shady slopes this morning. Frozen and firm crust on shady slopes in the morning 2 cm of soft wet snow on a supportable base by midday on a SW aspect. Signs of recent cornice failures. Forecaster
04/09/2020 - 11:00 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Doing snowpit tests in the crown of yesterday's avalanche. Windy conditions on the ridge. There are still cornices over E facing slopes. Looking up from the toe of the debris. Notice the large blocks of debris. Forecaster
12/21/2019 - 10:30 Upper Ophir Creek Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 6 inches of unconsolidated, slightly faceted surface snow. 6 inches of unconsolidated, slightly faceted surface snow. Signs of around 8 inches of snowpack settlement in the past week. Forecaster
12/04/2019 - 11:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Light snowfall above 8000' with low clouds. HS>1m. Forecaster
02/07/2020 - 10:45 South ridge of Rose Knob Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Well developed facets below surface rain crust on NNW aspect. Snowpit location Thin, breakable melt freeze crust over dry snow on E aspect under forest canopy. Forecaster
04/15/2020 - 11:30 Mt. Tallac Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation Main bowl of Tallac with previous loose wet activity. The bottom of Corkscrew Forecaster


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