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 Videos Observation made by
12/05/2017 - 12:00 Castle Peak and Basin Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Scoured surfaces on a N aspect near 8800 ft. on Basin PeakSofter unconsolidated snow on a below treeline N aspect sheltered from the NE winds @ 8200 ft. above Devils Oven Lake.  Forecaster
12/04/2017 - 11:30 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Surface Hoar was observed on the snow surface at all elevations.Skier triggered cracking on a NE facing wind-loaded test slope at 8800 ft.Skier triggered cracking on a NE facing wind-loaded test slope at 8800 ft. that was previously undercut.Snow coverage at 7400 ft.Snow coverage at 8300 ft. Forecaster
12/03/2017 - 14:00 Disney/Crows Peak Saddle Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation approach track Public
12/03/2017 - 13:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
12/03/2017 - 12:00 Elephants Back Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Public
12/03/2017 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 9300' N aspect.  Showing new snow on top of old NSF's on top of 11/26 RC.Ski kicks on steep corniced slopes had no wind slab propagation.Small instability within new storm snow, graupel layer. Forecaster
12/03/2017 - 12:00 Meiss Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/03/2017 - 12:00 Andesite Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation CTE Failure 15-20cm down in the snow packShooting Cracks up to 25 feet in length Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
12/02/2017 - 13:00 Andesite Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
12/02/2017 - 12:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Photo 1: Average height of snow near summit of AndesitePhoto 2: South Face of Castle Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
12/02/2017 - 12:00 Mt. Lola Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Large SH existed in lower meadow but not on open slope above.  8000', NE-E aspects.Evidence of wind destroyed SH on this open slope.  8200', N aspect. Forecaster
12/02/2017 - 12:00 Mt Houghton Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation
Public
12/01/2017 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Protected treed area with 6-8'' of NSF's on top of P hard rain crust.F hard NSF's, mostly .5mm in size. Forecaster
12/01/2017 - 11:00 Carson Pass Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Widespread large obvious Surface Hoar crystals.Large Surface Hoar crystalsSurface hoar and near surface facets comprised top 4-6 inches of snow. Professional Observer
11/30/2017 - 13:45 Judah Ridge just below reflector towers near treeline Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Public

Pages

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