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
02/20/2019 - 12:30 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Newly fallen graupel. Wind features pointing both directions with cornices in the background. Our skin track refilled within an hour from a combination of new snow and light wind loading. New snow had barely covered the previously scoured surfaces leaving variable dust on crust conditions in some exposed areas. Settlement cracks indicating consolidation in the recent snow. Forecaster
02/09/2019 - 12:00 Carpenter Ridge Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Reactive wind slab avalanche intentionally triggered by ski kick.  N aspect, 8600', wind loaded 35 degree slope.  D1 R4, 100' wide x 50' downslope. Other side of wind slab avalanche Avalanche debris down into trees. Skin track refill was almost immediate in near treeline terrain and very fast in below treeline terrain. Shooting cracks up to 20-30' in wind loaded terrain. Storm slab development in below treeline terrain with cracking around skis. 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
02/26/2019 - 12:00 Polaris Point Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation 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
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
02/22/2019 - 12:00 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Raised tracks on Northerly aspects near ridgeline from the recent NE winds. Wind scoured terrain on upper Northerly aspects in this area from the recent NE winds. 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
02/04/2019 - 12:30 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
02/25/2019 - 11:00 Peak 9269' West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Intense blowing snow in below treeline areas at 8000'. 1cm layer of 2-3mm graupel on top of the 2/14 rain crust. Right side up snowpack with the thick 2/14 rain crust down 78cm. Forecaster
03/11/2019 - 10:00 Anderson Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Avalanche Observation Wind slab avalanche size D1 on NE aspects triggered by intentional cornice collapse. ECTP-18 down 40 cm on WNW aspect. Fresh wind slab P hard aver 4F-. Melt freeze crust on solar aspects from March 10 at about 7,500'. Forecaster
01/21/2019 - 11:00 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Wind created surface textures on near the summit of Hidden Peak Small cracking on a wind-loaded test slope. Surface hoar buried about 4 ft. below the surface. Forecaster
12/20/2018 - 12:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Very small amounts of blowing snow observed on foreground ridge, just above the highest trees. Transport occurring only during gusts to 60 mph. Rose Knob Peak No signs of blowing snow with ridge wind avg 40 mph, gusts to 60 mph on nearby Slide sensor. Ridgeline to the NW of Incline Lake Peak. This is the maximum extent of any cracking we saw today in areas of wind slab. 1 cm of wind drifted snow in our skin track set 2 hours prior. Forecaster
01/25/2019 - 11:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Thin melt-freeze crust on the snow surface. E aspect at ~9,000'. Limited, minor previous roller ball/loose wet instability on E aspects in Desolation Wilderness. Wind scouring down to exposed rain crust on NE side of Peak 9,269'. Forecaster
02/20/2019 - 11:00 Polaris Point Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Periodic snow showers S1 to S5. S5 in this photo at 11:15 am. Forecaster

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