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
01/22/2017 - 11:20 Negro Canyon Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation
Witnessed remote trigger wind slab avalanche/test slope failure from ridgetop (SE aspect, 6,880')..
Small natural wind slab avalanche futher up ridge from remote trigger test slope failure (ESE aspect, 7,000').
Signs of recent natural cornice collapse and subtle evidence of a mostly refilled crown line (NE aspect, 7,240')
Rapid storm snow settlement at 6,500.
12/24/2015 - 14:00 Silver Peak, N Ridge Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Avalanche Observation
01/07/2016 - 10:50 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation
Tahoe Mountain School
01/14/2016 - 13:00 Tallac Corkscrew bowl, skiers left entry Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation This is the crown profile The crown from below, this shows about half the total crown I believe This is the debris field, the arrow marks where the snowboarder had ended up in the tree and was buried up to his waist.  His head and neck were above the snow the whole time, and had no injuries. This pit below the final ridge on the skin track, East facing, 33degrees 9000ft shows the weak layer which was very reactive CT3 for me and CT 13 for the one on the right.  Not sure if this is a new layer or if this is an older, seems like a new layer and the new storm snow/wind slab.
02/27/2017 - 10:00 Peak 9269' SE Aspect West Shore Area Avalanche Observation
03/03/2017 - 12:08 Beneath Elephant's Back Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation
Avy and path just after incident.
Skier in place where avy stopped.
Other recent natural avys on similar aspects.
01/31/2016 - 12:26 Top of Jake's Peak Avalanche Observation Public
02/18/2016 - 06:00 Jake's Peak West Shore Area Avalanche Observation
03/28/2017 - 12:50 Third Creek Drainage/Jennifer Street Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation
View down from near the trigger point.
04/09/2017 - 08:30 North Side Independence Lake Area Avalanche Observation
04/14/2017 - 14:30 Emigrant Lake accessed from Kirkwood Avalanche Observation Public
03/14/2016 - 09:00 Mt. Tallac Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation
04/15/2016 - 12:10 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation
12/16/2016 - 00:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation
Panorama looking down the avalanche.
A crack on the ridge that ran the length of the avalanche.
The debris
 Mostly filled in crown and cornices.
12/18/2016 - 13:12 Bronco chutes Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Public


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