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
12/23/2018 - 11:00 Peak 8040' Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Several slope cuts did not produce any signs of instabilities. At 8000', 1'' rain crust existed near the surface with soft snow below. Forecaster
12/06/2018 - 11:45 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Fog conditions below 7,700'. Sunny skies above the inversion layer. Rimed surface snow and plenty of snow available on W aspects for future wind transport. Rimed surface snow. Rimed surface snow. Forecaster
01/04/2019 - 11:15 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation NE aspect wind scoured terrain at/just above treeline. Exposed rain crust on upper start zone, wind scoured mid slope, unconsolidated snow at treeline. Established tree well hazard if the forecasted 1-2+ feet of new snow verifies. Forecaster
12/27/2018 - 12:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation NE winds scouring cornices and drifting snow over the ridgetop. First signs of recent wind transport in textured surface upon reaching near treeline terrain. At 7,200', 8 inches of recent storm snow on top of 12/22 rain crust. No 12/24 rain crust present at and above 7,200'. ECTP-30 on 12/4 buried surface hoar layer. Forecaster
02/18/2019 - 13:30 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Cornice drop on a test slope that did not trigger any slab instabilities but did cause a sluff. Rain crust exposed by scouring on the ridge. Settlement cone on a tree in below treeline terrain. Deep crack behind a cornice that has pulled away from the ridge. ECTN on a sheltered slope. The rain crust / rain layer has started to refreeze but still had some wet snow at the bottom of the layer. Forecaster
12/19/2018 - 10:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Shooting Cracks in Wind loaded area Near Treeline Public
01/21/2019 - 10:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/12/2019 - 10:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Public
02/16/2019 - 12:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Strong SW winds with intense snow transport provided blizzard conditions near the summit. Skin track refill was quick in below treeline terrain. Forecaster
02/05/2019 - 12:00 Jakes Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation About an inch of settlement crack around trees. 15 cm wind slab at treeline. Ski pen thigh deep. Wind pillow above NE aspect terrain at the summit. Ski cut in wind pillow near summit with no wind slab failure. Convective cell snowing out over Lake Tahoe. Forecaster
12/03/2018 - 13:00 Rubicon peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Surface hoar around 7600ft/ NE Looking west into desolation Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
01/16/2019 - 11:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Shooting crack triggered while breaking trail. Connects ski pole to ski pole and beyond for a total of ~20'. Digging out the crack to look at the weak layer of buried surface hoar and density change. Forecaster
01/07/2019 - 12:00 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation One of the many whumpfs we felt between 6900 and 8300 ft. This one propogated about 100 ft away from us in all directions and left small cracks like the one I am pointing at in the snow surface. Forecaster
02/03/2019 - 12:00 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Blowing snow with limited visibility at 9200'. Shooting cracks off of skis while skinning up, at 9000' on a NE aspect. At 7600', around 4'' of wet snow on top of a supportable crust. Above 8200', 12'' of new snow. Forecaster
12/28/2018 - 12:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Blowing snow over Jobs/Freel as seen from Hwy 89. Coverage below 7200 ft. remains sparse. Forecaster

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