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
01/17/2019 - 11:00 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Cornice collapse and wind slab avalanche. Shooting crack around rock following collapse with whumpf. Whumpf triggered by skier at that location. Frozen rain on tree branch. Forecaster
01/21/2019 - 10:45 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Minimal signs of settlement, just a few cracks around trees. Widespread sastrugi in top 200-300 feet of elevation above and below tree line. Above tree line small test slopes showed moderate crack propagation. Small wind slab. Professional Observer
01/22/2019 - 22:00 Flagpole Peak Echo Summit Area Avalanche Observation Public
01/31/2019 - 11:30 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
02/04/2019 - 11:00 Donner Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Widespread cracking of the upper snowpack from wind affected snow. Cracking around skis with thick dense wind affected surface snow, Forecaster
02/05/2019 - 12:00 Sierra Crest above Bradley Hut Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Avalanche Observation Educator
Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars
02/09/2019 - 10:30 Mt Lola Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Public
02/12/2019 - 14:15 Jobs area Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Wind transport on jobs Public
02/14/2019 - 13:15 Grouse rock Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Rain runnels / S5 snowfall 15cm of new snow on top of rain crust/rain saturated snow grains Skin track filled in after 45 mintues Guide
Tahoe Mountain School
02/17/2019 - 13:00 Below Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Public
02/19/2019 - 10:15 Flagpole Peak Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Sastrugi near ridgeline on Flagpole. Signs of settlement around trees Interesting evidence of previous avalanche activity. Interesting evidence of previous avalanche activity. The areas that slid were still soft, but less soft than areas that had not slid previously. Professional Observer
11/22/2018 - 12:00 Elephant's Back Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/01/2018 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation One of several natural wind slab avalanches on Andesite Peak, E aspect, ~8,100'. Cracking triggered while breaking trail below treeline. Early signs of the instability in the area. The first wind loaded feature we approached at treeline, E aspect,~7,900'. Intentional remote skier triggered avalanche. View from triggering location. 20' shooting crack to where avalanche occurred. Pointing to far flank on the large bump in low visibility. 20' skier triggered shooting crack in near treeline terrain, ENE aspect. Another natural wind slab avalanche, above treeline terrain, ENE aspect, ~8,100'. Still another natural wind slab avalanche, above treeline terrain, ENE aspect, ~8,100'. Wide propagation with the far flank about 2/3rds of the way across the open slope in the background. Easily 200' wide. Forecaster
12/04/2018 - 14:30 Tamarck Peak East Ridge Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/09/2018 - 12:00 East Ridge Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Surface hoar failing on an artificially loaded PST. Crusts on windward slopes preventing wind transport of snow with moderate SW winds. Windward SE-S-SW aspects have limited snow in this area. Forecaster

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