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
02/07/2019 - 08:00 Shirley Canyon Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Surface hoar developing on north facing aspect at ~7500' Public
02/09/2019 - 12:00 Horse Meadow Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
02/12/2019 - 10:30 Across from River Ranch Sawtooth Ridge to Tahoe City Avalanche Observation Public
02/16/2019 - 12:00 Blue Lakes Rd Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
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
12/20/2018 - 12:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Very small amounts of blowing snow observed on foreground ridge, just above the highest trees. Transport occurring only during gusts to 60 mph. Rose Knob Peak No signs of blowing snow with ridge wind avg 40 mph, gusts to 60 mph on nearby Slide sensor. Ridgeline to the NW of Incline Lake Peak. This is the maximum extent of any cracking we saw today in areas of wind slab. 1 cm of wind drifted snow in our skin track set 2 hours prior. Forecaster
12/25/2018 - 11:30 1.2 miles west of white rock lake Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/01/2019 - 13:00 Indian Valley Ebbetts Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/07/2019 - 13:00 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation New storm slab cracking on slope undercut by skin track. Flipping my ski pole upside down, the snow was quite resistant initially in the firm storm slab. Once through the storm slab, the snow was very soft for the rest of the length of my ski pole. Tree rings demonstrating snow settlement due to warming. Hand hardness overview of new snow. One finger hard slab, over fist hard storm snow. Professional Observer
01/09/2019 - 13:15 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/13/2019 - 15:30 Donner Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School


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