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 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
01/06/2019 - 13:15 Summit Ridge Poison Peak Bear Valley Area Snowpack Observation Guide
California Ski Guides
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
01/06/2019 - 12:00 Powderhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Public
01/06/2019 - 12:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation One of the skier triggered wind slabs near the top of Andesite Peak Small wind slab failure on a test slope. A second ski kick at the spot just after the photo was taken triggered a large whumpf. Skier triggered D1 wind slab avalanche on NE aspect at 8000'.  50' wide x 70' long. Another small D1 skier triggered avalanche in similar terrain. Cracking started at the trailhead 8 inches of new snow acculumated at the trailhead while we were out. My pole is pushed into the level of our skin track when we started the day. Forecaster
01/06/2019 - 11:15 Hidden Peak Cirque West Shore Area Avalanche Observation Public
01/05/2019 - 16:30 Becker Ridge Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/05/2019 - 10:45 Fireplug Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/04/2019 - 13:30 Elephant's Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/04/2019 - 12:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/04/2019 - 11:15 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation NE aspect wind scoured terrain at/just above treeline. Exposed rain crust on upper start zone, wind scoured mid slope, unconsolidated snow at treeline. Established tree well hazard if the forecasted 1-2+ feet of new snow verifies. Forecaster
01/03/2019 - 11:00 Incline Lake Peak and Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/03/2019 - 10:00 Angora Peak Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation Public
01/02/2019 - 12:00 Above Tom's Valley Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Exposed, snomo ski breakable rain crust on ridgetop at ~8,100'. Old fracture failing down to the 12/22 rain crust. Faceted snow at this layer interface still shows problematic failure in snowpit tests. Forecaster
01/02/2019 - 10:00 Porcupine Ridge Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation A thin wind slab over roughly 15cms of very weak NSFs The wind slab varied in thickness and strength, but did show ability to crack. A lot of Surface Hoar in this area. North facing slopes held some impressively large Surface Hoar. Professional Observer
01/01/2019 - 13:00 Indian Valley Ebbetts Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer


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