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
12/18/2018 - 13:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation These wind slab avalanches along Mt. Judah were thought to have occurred mid morning. Shooting cracks in wind loaded terrain on small test slopes at lower elevation. Skier triggered reactive windslabs along Wildflower Ridge. Multiple natural wind slab avalanches along the East Face of Mt. Judah.  All D1 in size. Wind slab avalanches along Mt. Judah were up to 1-2' deep, but did not extend very far downslope. Forecaster
12/01/2018 - 14:15 Johnston Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
02/12/2019 - 11:45 Observed from vehicle on Donner Pass Road Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Public
12/16/2018 - 11:45 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind Transport on Castle Ridge Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
02/10/2019 - 12:30 Andesite Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Active wind-loading on Donner Summit Small skier triggered cornice failure causing a loose snow sluff on a test slope. Skin track refilled by wind loading. ECTN on the flank of a natural avalanche that occurred last night. Forecaster
12/24/2018 - 11:00 Donner Pass Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
02/17/2019 - 13:00 Donner Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Skin track, ski pen 10-15cm, ski pole pen 110cm Wind scouring on ridge by Donner Rim trail Public
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
12/29/2018 - 14:15 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Visual outline of the Snowpack on a West Aspect Near Treeline @ 7600' Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
12/17/2018 - 12:00 Round valley Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation New small cornice broke easily under a ski kick. Wind blown snow texture on NW side of ridge to Castle. On a few steeper switchbacks cracks propagated. Professional Observer
12/21/2018 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind loaded test slopes showing unreactive slabs. Minor cracking on old/new snow interface while breaking trail. Skier triggered rollerballs after about 2 hrs of very light rain. Forecaster
02/07/2019 - 14:00 Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Surface hoar varied from 3 to 10mm in size on multiple aspects and elevations. Wind textured snow on the top 50' of Mt. Judah from recent NW-NE winds. Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
12/09/2018 - 11:45 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Outlined areas show observed wide spread surface hoar growth of >3mm Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
01/06/2019 - 12:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation One of the skier triggered wind slabs near the top of Andesite Peak Small wind slab failure on a test slope. A second ski kick at the spot just after the photo was taken triggered a large whumpf. Skier triggered D1 wind slab avalanche on NE aspect at 8000'.  50' wide x 70' long. Another small D1 skier triggered avalanche in similar terrain. Cracking started at the trailhead 8 inches of new snow acculumated at the trailhead while we were out. My pole is pushed into the level of our skin track when we started the day. Forecaster
12/15/2018 - 14:15 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School

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