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
12/12/2018 - 12:00 Elephant's Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Newly formed pencil hard wind slabs at treeline. Widespread evidence of wind scouring. Elevated tracks on Elephants Back. Forecaster
02/06/2019 - 13:00 Blackwood Ridge Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Signs of storm snow settlement, approaching 10 inches in some areas. Signs of previous wind transport near treeline. Wind loaded features that were unreactive to skier weight. Forecaster
01/19/2019 - 12:00 English Mountain Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Roller balls on the west side of Jackson Meadows Reservoir from rain on snow. Small crown from wet snow avalanche near noted lat/long. Another small crown from wet snow avalanche near noted lat/long. Fog and light rain on NE side of English Mtn. Forecaster
02/14/2019 - 11:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation PST slab fracture result on buried graupel layer. ECTN results at multiple heights within the storm snow. Minor wind slab cracking on a small ridgetop test slope. Forecaster
01/10/2019 - 11:30 Waterhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Jumping on several summit ridge wind loaded test slopes produced little to no failure of wind slabs. Wind slab - very minor crack and the only cracking we could trigger on summit ridge test slopes. 2 to 5 mm surface hoar in upper elevation open areas, ~9,400', N aspect. 10 mm surface hoar along the summit ridge at ~9,480', N aspect. Forecaster
02/17/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation ECTN on a sheltered NE facing slope in below treeline terrain. Small skier-triggered cracking on a steep wind-loaded test slope Refrigerator sized cornice dropped onto a wind-loaded test slope with no results. Large cornices looming over heavily wind-loaded slopes. Some mostly buried debris is barely visible on the slope below the largest cornice. Forecaster
01/29/2019 - 11:30 Slide Mountain Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation After a period of morning sun the clouds rolled back into the area around 11 am. It looked like periods of sun also occurred in the afternoon hours. Ankle to boot-top deep wet snow on solar aspects below 8200 ft. Below 8000 ft. numerous shrubs and bushes still remained exposed. Forecaster
03/04/2019 - 12:00 Becker Ridge Echo Summit Area Avalanche Observation Loose wet avalanches occurring yesterday during rapid warming conditions near Hwy 50 below Echo Pass. Loose wet activity from yesterday on Ralston Peak Loose wet activity from yesterday off of Becker Ridge. Forecaster
02/19/2019 - 13:30 Donner Summit Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered shooting crack on a low angle W aspect Skier cracking on a low angle slope wind-loaded by NE winds and previously undercut by the skin track. Variable wind scoured surfaces with exposed rain crust in some areas. Large surface hoar that was laying flat on many sheltered N-NE-E aspects. Forecaster
12/08/2018 - 10:45 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Surface hoar still present on the summit ridge of Judah indicating that the winds did not get strong enough to destroy it last night. Ski tracks on the windward side of Judah indicating that soft snow is still available for transport if the winds increase. Forecaster
03/08/2019 - 11:15 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation One of many large cornices in this area. Sustained moderate to intense blowing snow on the ridgetop. Forecaster
02/24/2019 - 11:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation East bowl of Mt. Judah with active wind loading.  Small natural wind slab avalanche in upper middle of photo. Cornice along with wind slab failure from ski kick on small test slope at 7400'.  Wind slab up to 8-12'' deep. Firm rain crust exposed in some areas from wind scouring on ridges. Wind scoured ridge with still some snow available for transport.  Ski pen 0, pole pen 6''. Forecaster
03/19/2019 - 12:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Signs of creep behind cornices. S aspect test slope at ~8,100' showing the presence of loose wet avalanche problem at noon. 6" thick surface melt-freeze layer with supportable crust separating wet snow from dry snow below. Wet snow surface layer at 7,800' on S aspect barely still ski supportable but with near boot top penetration at 12:30pm. Forecaster
02/12/2019 - 11:45 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Moderate amounts of blowing snow noted as we approached near treeline terrain. Skin track refill in above treeline terrain. Skier triggered shooting crack 20 ft long and 1 ft deep in wind slab on test slope. Another party's snowboard cut did not produce results on this wind loaded slope. Forecaster
11/23/2018 - 12:30 Far East Ridge of Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Some skier triggered cracking on a small wind-loaded test slope Representative snow coverage in non-wind-loaded terrain. There were numerous exposed and barely covered rocks. Wind-loaded areas held more snow coverage, but the coverage decreased quickly below the ridges with many areas of bare ground still present. Numerous bushes, stumps, rocks, and other obstacles still exposed. Many areas of bare ground still remain due to a combination of wind-scouring and a lack of snow. Forecaster

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