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
02/23/2020 - 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
01/11/2020 - 17:00 Wildflower Ridge / Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation D2 wind slab avalanche on the E face of Judah Wind slab avalanche on Wildflower Ridge 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
01/16/2020 - 14:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Very minor cracking down to the Jan 4 crust. Forecaster
01/18/2020 - 13:45 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Thin breakable crust on sun-exposed aspects by 3 pm. Forecaster
02/13/2020 - 12:00 Mt. Houghton Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Two distinctly different snow surfaces on either side of the gully. Forecaster
04/24/2020 - 10:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation A ski cut on a small test slope triggered a small loose wet slide involving the top 6 inches of snow. A mix of wet spring snow and melted out areas on southerly aspects at 8600 ft. Wet snow on an E aspect at 9000 ft at 9:30 am. It was still ski supportable but not boot supportable. Forecaster
01/07/2020 - 11:30 Meeks Ridge West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Jan 4 rain crust with advanced facets below crust. Forecaster
03/19/2020 - 13:00 Incline Peak/Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation A good 2 feet of snow on the ridgetops available for drifting with the next moderate or stronger wind event. Developing sun crust in the early afternoon on solar aspects. Skier/snowboarder triggered hybrid loose wet/dry on SE aspect Incline Peak. Forecaster
04/03/2020 - 11:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Firm icy surfaces were widespread, especially on ridges and north facing slopes Buried surface hoar layer. Snowpit tests and general observations indicated that it had gained strength. Forecaster
02/19/2020 - 12:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 3 cm of corn on top of a P to I hard surface melt-freeze layer over 15 cm thick. Decent snowcover holding on S to SW aspects of Castle Peak. Forecaster
11/21/2019 - 14:30 Barker Pass Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Less than one inch of snow below Ellis Peak. Less than one inch of snow below treeline at 8,000'. Forecaster
03/03/2020 - 12:30 Rubicon peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Warm and wet midday turns on east aspects. View towards Desolation Wilderness. Forecaster
02/08/2020 - 12:30 Waterhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Coverage is getting thin below 7500 ft. Breakable crust and weak snow near surface snow on shaded cold aspects Wind affected firm snow surfaces on exposed ridgelines Wet surface snow on a ski supportable base on a sunny ESE aspect at 12:45 pm Forecaster
04/18/2020 - 10:15 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Valley fog early this morning with building clouds. Small loose wet on E aspect at 10:15am. Wet unsupportable snow at 10am. Large sagging cornices along ridgelines. Cornice collapses and loose wet activity along the Lincoln/Anderson ridge. Forecaster


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