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 Videos Observation made by
02/20/2018 - 13:15 South side of Grouse Rock Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Wind scoured W aspects., Small skier triggered cornice failure on E aspect with very minor cracking on wind slab below. Forecaster
02/20/2018 - 12:00 Black Butte Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
02/19/2018 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small wind slab, 8-10'', on N aspect at 9200' in near treeline terrain.Cornices release onto wind loaded slopes did not result in any wind slab failure.NW/N aspect on Far East Ridge of Tamarack was scoured back to firm crusts with cornice removed by NW winds.Skin track was refilled by wind within 2 hours along ridgeline by NW winds. Forecaster
02/18/2018 - 12:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Wind scoured N aspects at 9000'. Forecaster
02/17/2018 - 09:30 Chickadee Ridge Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Tiny, superficial wind slab near treeline, too small to present a significant hazard.More tiny, superficial wind slab near treeline, too small to present a significant hazard. Forecaster
02/16/2018 - 11:30 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation , , Forecaster
02/15/2018 - 11:15 Ellis Peak Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Tale of two aspects - 1.8m deep snowpack on N aspect in the foreground and obvoiusly thin snowpack on solar aspects in the background.Wind effected snow surface below treeline on NNW aspect.Minor, inconsequential wind slab noted in near treeline terrain. Forecaster
02/14/2018 - 12:00 Meiss Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Examining new wind slab of less than 2 inches deep and less than 6 foot downhill extent.Maximum extent of cracking observed in tiny, inconsequential wind slab. Forecaster
02/13/2018 - 12:00 Grouse Rock Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Wind scoured E aspect at 8300' on Grouse Rock.Very small superficial wind slab in near treeline terrainWind effected surface snow.Wind scoured N aspect at 8200'. Forecaster
02/12/2018 - 11:00 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation  Skier triggered cracking on a very small, isolated wind slab on a WNW aspect at 9700 ft. Light wind scouring from recent NE winds. Forecaster
02/11/2018 - 12:00 Elephant's Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Looking across at the E and SE aspects of Red Lake Peak with the N aspects of Elephant's Hump in the foreground.Ski tracks showing soft snow in the shade and icy crusts in the sun.Significant melting that has occurred on an E-NE aspect at 7900 ft. on the skin into Elephants Hump. Forecaster
02/11/2018 - 11:45 Castle Valley Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
02/11/2018 - 11:00 Incline Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Rock hard icy conditions on tracked east facing slopes.Freshly transported snow just east of summit. Below treeline around 5 inches of soft near surface facets provided fun skiing. Professional Observer
02/10/2018 - 13:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Little to no softening of the snow surface on E-SE-S aspects through the dayCastle Ridge coverage Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
02/10/2018 - 12:00 Below Becker Peak Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer

Pages

Subscribe to Central Sierra Nevada / Lake Tahoe Snowpack, Weather, and Avalanche Observations for California and Nevada from SAC