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
01/13/2019 - 15:30 Donner Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
02/07/2019 - 15:30 Echo Peak Echo Summit Area Avalanche Observation 6" crown, 30' wide, 50-70' run Runout Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
01/06/2019 - 12:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation One of many easily triggered windslabs today Shooting cracks were common today Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
02/01/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 4-6mm surface hoar near trailhead in open below treeline terrain at 8700'. 6-8mm surface hoar near Tamarack Peak on E-NE aspects, 9900'. More surface hoar Small avalanche terrain feature, 30-32 degrees, N aspect, with surface hoar present. Forecaster
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
12/14/2018 - 11:00 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Pit location above avalanche path below. Trim line and runout zone just visible in background. Minor amounts of blowing snow noted along the Sierra Crest between Tinker's Knob and Anderson Peak. Forecaster
01/26/2019 - 11:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Recent NE wind events have scoured near and above treeline terrain.  Northerly below treeline terrain like this provided wet and sticky surface snow by noon today below 8600'. On southerly aspects, 3-4'' of wet snow existed above a supportable snow surface. Forecaster
02/12/2019 - 11:45 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Moderate amounts of blowing snow noted as we approached near treeline terrain. Skin track refill in above treeline terrain. Skier triggered shooting crack 20 ft long and 1 ft deep in wind slab on test slope. Another party's snowboard cut did not produce results on this wind loaded slope. Forecaster
02/03/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Wind slab failure on a N-NE facing test slope on the far east ridge of Tamarack. Shooting cracks on a wind-loaded test slope. Forecaster
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
01/16/2019 - 11:00 Hwy. 89 North of Tahoe City Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation Forecaster
02/19/2019 - 13:00 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Very small loose dry on NE aspect, 46 degree slope angle, below treeline terrain. Pockets of upright surface hoar on shaded northerly aspects. Skinning through this S aspect wind slab produced no cracking. Minor wind scouring and blowing snow on the summit of Deep Creek Peak. Skin track refill after about 5 min on top of Deep Creek Peak. Wind scouring down to exposed rain crust near the ridgetop. Forecaster
11/28/2018 - 12:00 NW Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Light wind loading occurring off of summit ridge with cornice development. Wind loaded pillows showed minor cracking.  Forecaster
01/23/2019 - 11:30 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind scoured N aspect terrain. Looking S along Andesite Ridge. Significant wind scouring across the ridgetop. Eroded cornices above SE aspect terrain. Wind scoured N aspect terrain at treeline. Significant settlement of recent storm snow on E side of Andesite. Forecaster

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