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
01/10/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small inconsequential cracking on a wind-loaded test slope. The shiny track in front of my ski is not the track of a giant snow snail, but rather surface hoar that collapsed as a small cornice piece slide down the slope. 4 to 8 mm surface hoar was present on most open slopes at all elevations. Settlement crack around the base of a tree. 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
03/09/2019 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Wind slab on NE aspect that we carefully avoided while ascending to the east ridge. Blowing snow on east ridge, transporting left to right onto N aspect terrain. ECTP-22 on wind slab down 1.5 ft, 1F hard over 4F hard. ECTP-25 on wind slab down 1.5 ft, 1F hard over 4F hard. Old avalanche debris below NE-E aspect wind loaded terrain, likely from natural wind slab on March 6. Forecaster
12/14/2018 - 11:00 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Pit location above avalanche path below. Trim line and runout zone just visible in background. Minor amounts of blowing snow noted along the Sierra Crest between Tinker's Knob and Anderson Peak. 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
02/11/2019 - 11:45 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Blowing snow along a sub-ridge of Tamarack Peak. The arrow is pointing to a person standing on the ridge. Skier-triggered cracks in a wind-loaded test slope that was undercut. Wind-scoured features along a ridge. Macro ripples (aka tiger stripes) across a slope near the summit of Tamarack. Our skin track refilled quickly with wind loading. Forecaster
03/11/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Thick low to mid level clouds during the morning hours on Tamarack Peak. East Ridge of Tamarack Peak with cornices and some recent NE wind scouring. Cornice collapses partially covered by additional new snow. Forecaster
01/16/2019 - 11:00 Hwy. 89 North of Tahoe City Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation Forecaster
02/15/2019 - 12:00 Little Truckee Summit Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Small wind slab avalanche intentionally triggered. Storm snow weakness around 1' deep with cracks on low angle terrain. Small wind slabs kicked off wind loaded ridgeline. HS=310cm.  Rain layer with rain crust forming on top.  Storm snow up to 3' in wind protected areas. Forecaster
03/16/2019 - 11:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Thin surface melt-freeze layer over dry snow (not yet a corn setup). Thin surface melt-freeze layer over dry snow (not yet a corn setup). Wet snow over dry snow without a melt-freeze crust in between. Small surface hoar on N aspect terrain near Mt. Judah summit. Breakable crust on N aspect around 7,100'. Forecaster
03/01/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Large cornices over Hourglass Bowl Relay Peak Forecaster
03/22/2019 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Cloud cover over the forecast area limiting snow surface melt. About 1 cm on recent storm snow over crust on N-NE aspects. Forecaster
04/14/2019 - 11:30 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Mostly cloudy skies with some sun breaks. Looking south along the Crest through the Tahoe Basin. Potentially more sun further south. Thick cloud cover to the west of the Silver Peak at 11:20am. Forecaster
12/11/2018 - 12:00 Carpenter Ridge Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Small wind slab at treeline on NE aspect. Unconsolidated snow along the ridgetop, still available for future wind transport. Forecaster
03/10/2019 - 12:00 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small loose dry sluffing in steeper terrain. Cold temperatures with periods of snowfall throughout the day. Forecaster

Pages

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