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 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
02/08/2019 - 13:00 Trimmer Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Increasing clouds and wind transport observed along ridges near peak top. Skin track was filling in with light snow transport. Surface hoar was found in isolated areas in protected open below treeline terrain. Minor cracking was observed in wind loaded terrain as small wind slabs were forming. Forecaster
04/18/2019 - 10:30 Rose Knob Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Knee deep wet snow on an ENE aspect at 8700 ft. at 10:45 am. Ankle deep wet snow at the trail head at 9 am. Boot top deep wet snow on a SE aspect at 8600 ft. at 9:45 am D1 Loose wet avalanche that happened yesterday afternoon. 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
01/22/2019 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Digging 2m deep test pit. Surface hoar still well preserved buried 1m down, but unreactive. NE winds scoured ridgetop and upper portion of N aspect start zones down to rain crust. Settlement of most recent storm snow. Forecaster
03/26/2019 - 11:30 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Avalanche Observation Ski cuts on several wind slab test slopes that produced no results. Size D1 loose wet, intentionally skier triggered on E aspect at about 8,200'. Another size D1 loose wet, intentionally skier triggered on ENE aspect at about 7,500'. Forecaster
03/31/2019 - 11:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Good snow coverage on south slopes on Castle Peak Thin breakable melt freeze crusts with colder unconsolidated snow below. Forecaster
01/14/2019 - 12:00 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 10 to 12mm surface hoar in open areas near and below treeline. Forecaster
03/17/2019 - 11:00 Upper Ginny Lake drainage. Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Thin melt freeze crust over dry snow on flat terrain at 8,350'. Thin melt-freeze crust over dry snow on SE aspect at 9,550'. Same thin melt-freeze crust over dry snow on SE aspect at 9,550'. Shallow wet snow over dry snow on SE aspect at 9,600'. Dry snow previously unaffected by melt on NNW-N-NNE aspects above 8,500'. Forecaster
04/07/2019 - 12:00 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Mostly sunny skies, warm temps, with thin high cloud cover and strong SW winds. ECTN on wind loaded test slope at 8900', NE aspect.  Roller ball activity along with some small loose wet avalanches. Weak wet snow that failed with a ski turn on lower angle terrain. 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
04/20/2019 - 11:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Morning sun prior to about 10:15 am. Wet snow with no refreeze on W aspect at about 7,300'. Thin, breakable surface crust (weak refreeze) on N aspects at 8,100' and above. Increase to 100% cloud cover and snow/rain showers at 10:30 am. Sluffing of wet surface snow on E aspect at 8,000'. Ski cuts on small test slopes showing the presence of the loose wet avalanche problem. Forecaster
03/27/2019 - 14:00 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Blowing snow along the summit ridge of Powderhouse. Shooting crack on a wind-loaded test slope on @ 9100 ft. on Powderhouse Smal ski cut triggered wind slab on a test slope on Powderhouse Peak. A lull in the storm over Luther Pass between 1 pm and 3 pm today. Forecaster
11/28/2018 - 12:00 NW Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Light wind loading occurring off of summit ridge with cornice development. Wind loaded pillows showed minor cracking.  Forecaster
03/12/2019 - 12:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation ECTP 17 on a small wind-loaded test slope. ECTP 19 on a small wind-loaded test slope. Small skier triggered cracking in a newly formed surface wind slab. Variable sun crust on a westerly aspect. Wind-affected snow surfaces. Blowing snow along the summit ridgeline of Mt. Judah Firm icy surface on a wind scoured W aspect. Large cornices overhanging Wildflower Ridge. I decided to go back and around them on the uphill side and stayed very far from the edge of the ridge when I did. Weather moving in from the West to the East. Forecaster
01/30/2019 - 12:00 Jakes Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation 1 to 2 inches of corn on a supportable surface at 11:15 am on a S aspect. 2 to 3 inches of corn snow on a supportable surface at 12:15 on the same S aspect. Cloud cover moved into the area around 1 pm and you can still see sunlight glinting off of exposed crusts in the distance. Smoke cloud with a flat top showing the height of the morning's inversion. Forecaster


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