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 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
03/07/2020 - 11:30 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Trace of new snow at the trailhead at 10 am. Thin layer of new snow on very supportable refrozen old snow surface. No new drifting prior to 11 am in traditionally wind loaded areas near the ridgetop. Forecaster
12/18/2019 - 11:45 Elephants Hump Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Left side of wind slab avalanche Partially filled in crown. Hard wind slab debris down into trees Around corner on to adjacent aspect. Wind scouring down to the Dec 12 rain crust. Forecaster
01/17/2020 - 13:45 Carpenter Peak Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Minor wind slab surface instability, triggered by small natural cornice collapses. ECTP-22 on facets below Jan 4 crust. Hand hardness in pit with ECTP result. Snowpit location with ECTN, ECTX, and PST sf results. Forecaster
02/20/2020 - 11:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation E aspects near 9000', thin breakable crust with moist faceted snow beneath.  Transitional snow on E aspects, 8500', at noon. Forecaster
04/04/2020 - 10:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Incoming storm at 10am. Breakable crusts were widespread Some softening on sun exposed wind protected slopes. Forecaster
01/12/2020 - 11:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Wind scoured snow in below treeline terrain Variety of firm exposed crusts throughout this area due to wind and/or sun. Forecaster
04/26/2020 - 10:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation 2 inch overnight surface refreeze with deep residual wet snow below. 145cm pole was easily pushed in. Still barely ski supportable on E aspect at ~8,800' at 10:30 am. 3 areas of glide cracks seen out in Desolation WIlderness. The closest, lowest one has enlarged in recent days. Rough snow surfaces on the northerly aspects of Rubicon Peak. Forecaster
03/09/2020 - 11:30 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Cloud cover and winds started increasing around 11 am Some signs of warming snow in the form of small roller balls on a small E aspect at 7400 ft. Wind textured snow surfaces on the exposed ridgeline 6 inch deep soft slab of wind drifted snow sitting on soft snow on a N aspect at 7840 ft. Ski cut on a wind-loaded N aspect at 7860 ft that did not produce signs of instability Snow coverage was patchy on the approach and exit below 7000 ft. Forecaster
04/29/2020 - 10:30 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Suncups on all aspects and elevations. Thin high cloud cover. Snowpack rapidly melting Forecaster
03/13/2020 - 13:00 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation One inch of wet surface snow on wind protected S aspect at  about 9,950' at midday. Forecaster
01/16/2020 - 14:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Very minor cracking down to the Jan 4 crust. Forecaster
03/31/2020 - 11:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Avalanche Observation Reactive dense wind slab with wide propagation on small test slope. ECTP-13 on buried surface hoar. Buried surface hoar, some up to 10mm + Forecaster
02/23/2020 - 11:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Breakable crust with facets below them a north aspect Soft corn snow on a S aspects @ 10:30 am Uneven sun sculpted surfaces Forecaster
01/19/2020 - 12:00 Stoney Ridge West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/31/2020 - 11:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Roller balls on an E aspect at 8800 ft. A ski kick next to these roller balls triggered a D1 loose wet avalanche. See video. Breakable crust on a shady slope with dry snow underneath it. Wind textured firm snow on a NW aspect Forecaster

Pages

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