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
11/23/2018 - 10:30 Grouse Rock Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Public
02/06/2019 - 13:00 Blackwood Ridge Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Signs of storm snow settlement, approaching 10 inches in some areas. Signs of previous wind transport near treeline. Wind loaded features that were unreactive to skier weight. Forecaster
11/30/2018 - 13:30 Grouse Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack 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
01/16/2019 - 11:30 Below Scott Peak Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Surface hoar buried under 65cm of new snow Surface hoar grains removed from bottom of slab on ECTP6 Public
01/13/2019 - 13:30 East of Grouse Rock Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation Crown of a slide on north facing slope Public
12/29/2018 - 11:45 Upper Cold Stream Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Photo 1: Looking to the west at NE-E aspect near and above treeline terrain along the Sierra Crest, wind scoured snow surfaces and icy crusts were obvious. Forecaster
12/26/2018 - 12:15 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation No signs of wind effect in open areas below treeline, ~7,900 N aspect'. Minimal signs of wind effect from NE winds on ridgetop at ~8,000'. F hard surface snow with micro-sastrugi. Some exposed rain crust just visible reflecting on the cornice top in upper Pole Creek. Forecaster
12/14/2018 - 11:45 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation NE side of Silver Peak as viewed from ridge between Pole Creek and Deep Creek. Forecaster
12/17/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Small ski kick triggered wind slab on the edge of a wind loaded slope in near treeline terrain. Ski cuts triggered loose dry sluffs with the new snow sliding on the old near surface facets. Forecaster
01/14/2019 - 10:15 Chief Creek drainage Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Large surface hoar Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
01/18/2019 - 10:15 Shirley Canyon Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Minor wind slab cracking Large cornice drop, no slab failure Early stage settlement ring Roller Balls Profile Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
01/08/2019 - 11:00 Needle Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Minor cornice cracking Weak layer underneath a windslab Wind slab avalanche (~48hrs old) Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
12/20/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Active wind transport filling in the skin track near the ridge at 7800'. Thin wind slabs not showing much reactivity with snowpack tests. Forecaster
12/13/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation 12/4 surface hoar is preserved in this area Wind scouring on a northerly slope from yesterdays NE/E winds. Forecaster

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