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 Videos Observation made by
11/09/2015 - 11:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
02/27/2017 - 09:00 Peak 9269' West Shore Area Avalanche Observation
E to SE aspect, 9.000'
Skin track barely visible exiting upper climbers right just below crown.
Skin track barely visible exiting upper climbers right just below crown.
Debris piles.
Forecaster
04/22/2017 - 09:50 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Strong snow surface refreeze of the top 4 to 5 inches on SE aspect at 8,600' at 9:25 am.Thin breakable crust over recent storm snow unaffected by melt on NE aspect around 9,100'.Small lose wet avalanche on test slope along summit ridge, NE aspect at 9,500' at 9:50am. Forecaster
11/08/2016 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/09/2018 - 11:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small wind slab failure resulting from a ski cut on a small wind-loaded test slope near the ridge at 9700 ft. on a NE aspect.ECTN on a N aspect at 10200 ft. on My Houghton. This test was representative of the other snowpit tests we performed today. Forecaster
12/11/2017 - 13:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation ECTP on a NW test slope with a hard wind slab. See pit for more details.ECTN on the same test slope. See pit for more details.Spring-like snow conditions and patchy snow coverage on SW aspects.Scoured surfaces on exposed northerly aspects. Forecaster
02/07/2018 - 10:35 Lincoln Valley Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Thin melt-freeze crust on shaded N aspect at ~7,350'.Cold unconsolidated snow under the melt freeze crust on same N aspect at ~7,350'. Forecaster
12/26/2015 - 13:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
03/22/2016 - 12:00 Mt. Tallac Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation Forecaster
12/16/2016 - 07:00 Bronco Chutes Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation
Looking up at several crowns that likely happened on 12/16 at the end of the recent storm.
A closer look at some of those crowns.
Forecaster
12/04/2015 - 11:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/15/2016 (All day) Hidden Peak West Shore Area Avalanche Observation
Forecaster
03/02/2016 - 13:30 Third Creek Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/04/2016 - 12:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
02/10/2016 - 10:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster

Pages

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