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 button above.
Date and time of observation or avalanche occurrence Location Region Observation Type Photos Snowpack, Avalanche, Weather Videos Snowpit videos (tests, etc) Observation made by
03/14/2020 - 04:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Increasing snowfall with gusty winds, mostly out of the southwest Our skin track partly refilled here (completely/mostly refilled in other places) within 20 minutes Public
03/13/2020 - 13:00 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation One inch of wet surface snow on wind protected S aspect at  about 9,950' at midday. Forecaster
03/13/2020 - 12:00 Meiss Meadows Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
03/13/2020 - 11:00 Echo Lake Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Hand hardness. Sun exposed south facing areas along the Becker ridge are melting quickly. Professional Observer
03/13/2020 - 03:00 Incline Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation CTN on ESE aspect ESE pit profile CT28 B on NE aspect NE pit profile Public
03/12/2020 - 11:30 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Forecaster
03/11/2020 - 13:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Afternoon cloud cover slowed down the warming instabilities. Small ski kick triggered roller balls and pinwheels on a SE facing slope at 8000 ft around noon. Small sluff of wet snow and some small pinwheels on a similar slope around 3 pm. Forecaster
03/11/2020 - 11:45 Ophir Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Increasing clouds in the late morning hours. Forecaster
03/10/2020 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Coverage overview looking at raised tracks on the Hourglass and dirt on the south side of Rose. Wind features were widespread on exposed slopes in near and above treeline terrain Surface hoar and large stellars and plates on a sheltered NE aspect at 11 am Soft snow on a shady and sheltered below treeline N aspect Forecaster
03/10/2020 - 12:00 Elephant's Back Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
03/09/2020 - 12:15 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Height of recent new snow in a gully on generally north east facing terrain. General coverage on Stevens, but I thought the reverse ski tracks in the lower section of this photo showed the variable nature of the conditions. High clouds with occasional patches of blue sky. Ample soft snow hiding in shady zones. ECTN 17 with the crust zone being the weak layer. The crust is mostly broken down in this area. Hand hardness with the old crust area being around 155cms in this location. Professional Observer
03/09/2020 - 11:30 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Cloud cover and winds started increasing around 11 am Some signs of warming snow in the form of small roller balls on a small E aspect at 7400 ft. Wind textured snow surfaces on the exposed ridgeline 6 inch deep soft slab of wind drifted snow sitting on soft snow on a N aspect at 7840 ft. Ski cut on a wind-loaded N aspect at 7860 ft that did not produce signs of instability Snow coverage was patchy on the approach and exit below 7000 ft. Forecaster
03/08/2020 - 13:00 Slide mountain Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Variable melt freeze crust Rime at upper elevations Public
03/08/2020 - 12:00 Lincoln Ridge - Yuba Pass Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Ski cut on a small wind-loaded test slope that did not produce any signs of instability Wind textures in the surface snow on the ridgeline with some snow still available for tranport 3 to 5 inches of new snow in the Yuba Pass area. Shallow snow barely covering obstacles on a S aspect around 7000 ft. Forecaster
03/08/2020 - 09:00 Tragedy springs Snowpack Observation Public

Pages

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