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
01/03/2019 - 11:00 Incline Lake Peak and Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/18/2019 - 13:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small natural cornice failure with small wind slab avalanche. Large and fragile cornices along ridgeline. Pointing to buried surface hoar down 140cm from surface. Large surface hoar under the DT that failed.  Forecaster
12/14/2018 - 12:30 Twin Peaks Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Lenticular clouds and some wind transport along the Sierra Crest near Twin Peaks. ECT test with no fractures from a near treeline line test slope. Small wind pillow with some cracking. The wind slab only extended a few feet downslope. Forecaster
04/03/2019 - 11:00 Ophir Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation ECTP-12 on wind slab 14'' deep.  N aspect, 9200'. At 9700', N aspect small loose wet activity started to occur with hybrid slab characteristics. A series of rain crusts/wet snow during the storm with 2'' of snow on top.  8500', N aspect. Widespread small roller ball activity with ski turns below 8600'. Forecaster
12/01/2018 - 10:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Avalanche Observation Mostly filled in crown line from a small skier triggered wind slab avalanche about 2 hours before we got there. NE aspect, 39 degree slope, 9100 ft. The crown goes from where I am taking the photo to where my partner is standing. Skier triggered shooting cracks resulting from a storm slab instability on an undercut slope. Skier triggered shooting cracks on a wind-loaded test slope. Lots of obstacles below 7500 ft. Forecaster
12/22/2018 - 11:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Wind scouring on a windward slope in near treeline terrain The largest wind slab we saw. It was only 3 to 4 inches deep and only extended 3 to 4 ft. downslope from the ridge. Forecaster
01/13/2019 - 12:00 Upper Cold Stream Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Very large cornice hanging over a steep slope. 1 to 2 cm large surface hoar grains. Old cornice and avalanche debris. What looked like an old avalanche crown on a steep low elevation slope. Forecaster
02/03/2019 - 12:00 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Blowing snow with limited visibility at 9200'. Shooting cracks off of skis while skinning up, at 9000' on a NE aspect. At 7600', around 4'' of wet snow on top of a supportable crust. Above 8200', 12'' of new snow. Forecaster
12/05/2018 - 13:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered loose dry avalanche (D1) on N aspect, near treeline, ~7,800'. New snow failing on the buried surface hoar with a shovel tilt test. Forecaster
03/24/2019 - 11:00 Slide Mountain Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small skier triggered wind slab with loose wet characteristics.  8600', south aspect, at 11:45am. Small loose wet avalanches on Fireplug.  E/SE aspect, 9200', 11am. Small wind slab cracking on test slope, 3-4'' deep, NE aspect, 9650'. Forecaster
12/27/2018 - 12:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation NE winds scouring cornices and drifting snow over the ridgetop. First signs of recent wind transport in textured surface upon reaching near treeline terrain. At 7,200', 8 inches of recent storm snow on top of 12/22 rain crust. No 12/24 rain crust present at and above 7,200'. ECTP-30 on 12/4 buried surface hoar layer. Forecaster
04/19/2019 - 10:30 Yuba Pass Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation 1.5 inches of very week surface crust remaining at 10 am. Deep boot penetration in sunny flats at 10 am. Wet snow surface sluffing, moving in the direction of loose wet instability. Deep, unsupportable wet snow with no signs of any remaining refreeze at 10:50 am. Forecaster
02/21/2019 - 12:00 Peak 9,269' West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Minor wind slab cracking as we first encountered wind loaded areas. Old cornice/wind pillow scoured back by NE winds on top of N-S oriented ridgetop. 1.5 cm thick sun crust on W aspect at ~9,200'. Crust under ~ 5 inches of recent new snow. Forecaster
02/04/2019 - 12:00 Mt. Rose Backcountry Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Mostly buried avalanche on Tamarack Peak Mostly filled in avalanche crown on Relay Peak Cornice debris from a mostly buried cornice collapse and wind slab avalanche on Tamarack Peak Forecaster
12/10/2018 - 11:00 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small snow squall moving into the area. Small cornice piece dropped onto a test slope with no results. Forecaster

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