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
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
12/15/2018 - 14:15 Incline Lake Peak (Ginny Drainage) Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/19/2018 - 09:00 N of Twin Sentinels Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/23/2018 - 14:00 Scott’s peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/28/2018 - 12:00 Chickadee Ridge Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/05/2019 - 16:30 Becker Ridge Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/08/2019 - 15:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Public
01/11/2019 - 11:45 Little Alaska, Ward Canyon, Lake Tahoe Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Location where large, overhanging cornice broke off today. Public
01/15/2019 - 08:00 Jake's Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation A view of the pit with distinct layers. Snow fall rates picked up to S1 or S2 as we continued to ascend. Minor surface instabilities/slough (NSF and new snow) were easy to trigger in steeper terrain. Public
01/16/2019 - 01:30 Bottom of Waterhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Educator
Alpine Skills International (ASI)
11/30/2018 - 15:30 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/04/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation 10-15mm surface hoar in open areas near and below treeline This type of open below treeline terrain has even distribution of large surface hoar across slope. Forecaster
12/09/2018 - 12:00 Castle - Basin Peak Area Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind slab failure on buried surface hoar on a wind-loaded test slope. Shooting cracks triggered by a ski cut on a near treeline wind-loaded test slope. This slab failed on buried surface hoar. Large surface hoar on the snow surface in a sheltered area , Forecaster
12/13/2018 - 11:30 Talking Mt. Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation This small mound on the approach ridge held very soft surface snow on the shady aspects but a thin breakable crust on the solar aspects. Beneath the crust similar very soft snow (NSFs) was present. Stomping on small cornices on the ridge produced small breaks that didn't produce much excitement. In more open areas some wind slab was present. This was sitting on top of 20cms of very soft snow. The wind slab was very easy to remove and expose the soft SH and NSFs below. Despite a small wind slab, ECTs did not produce propagation. Ski cuts on small test features also did not produce results in this area. Program Manager
12/15/2018 - 12:15 Castle Peak NE Face Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation NE Slopes on Castle Peak Steep entrance with cornice NE face access trough hole in rock band Large cornices on N ridge Public


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