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 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
03/02/2020 - 12:30 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Upper elevation wind scouring near peak. Wind scouring on the ridge. Low elevation wind features. Slow moving loose dry avalanche on wind protected northerly terrain. Forecaster
03/02/2020 - 12:00 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Shooting crack in wind loaded area Public
03/02/2020 - 11:00 Relay Ridge Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation NE winds approaching gale force Skin track refill in less than 30 minutes Public
03/02/2020 - 09:00 Echo Lake Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation A small natural wind slab on a south facing feature. One ECTN and then multiple ECTPs where the fresh snow was slightly deeper. Looking at the still stout crust. The weak snow above was the active weak layer in these tests. Looking at the crust weak layers with the new snow above. PST 18/100 END targeting the weak snow just above the crust. Professional Observer
03/01/2020 - 15:00 Fire Plug Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation minor cracking that did not exceed ski length low tide stump hazards lots of snow snakes Public
03/01/2020 - 13:00 Near Elephants Back Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation A ski kick on a steep somewhat wind protected slope created a small loose dry avalanche that ran until the slope angle lessened. Measuring new snow in a fairly wind protected area: about 22 cms Hand hardness in a quick pit. New snow F hard, then a decomposing crust, then more F hard then progressively firmer snow. Using a loaded PST to look at weak snow below crust: PST 10/100 END Many long shooting cracks in near and above treeline terrain. This one was about 15 feet. Professional Observer
03/01/2020 - 12:45 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Snow transport refilling skin track Small wind slabs near treeline Public
03/01/2020 - 12:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation A long shooting crack on an open slope loaded by NE winds. The crack goes from where the photo was taken to the person in the red jacket. Wind scouring by the NE winds Another shooting crack on a cross-loaded SE aspect in near treeline terrain Shooting crack triggered on low angle slope loaded by the NE winds in near treeline terrain 3 ft thick wind slab resting on softer storm snow on top of an old firm crust. Forecaster
03/01/2020 - 11:45 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Loose dry avalanche on a steep slope sheltered from the wind that entrained the new snow Forecaster
03/01/2020 - 11:00 Deep creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Avalanche Observation Two crowns from single ski cut.   Release occured from above skier (near,) and below (far.). Slide path Wind effect on cornice at end of ski cut. Public
03/01/2020 - 07:45 Carson Spur Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Public
02/29/2020 - 12:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wet surface snow on top of a thick refrozen melt freeze crust on top of more wet snow on a SE aspect at 8000 ft at 10:40 am Firm refrozen melt-freeze conditions on a S aspect at 8300 ft. @ 11:00 am Corn snow conditions on a SE aspect at 8000 ft at 10:30 am. Raised tracks and firm scoured surfaces on an exposed NE aspect at 8200 ft. Forecaster
02/29/2020 - 10:00 Chickadee Ridge Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Fins in an old ski track, ~6 inches tall in some areas Public
02/28/2020 - 11:30 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Firm conditions around 11am on a sunny slope. Pine needles and other wind blown debris still present in the gut of gullies. Looking towards Lake Tahoe from near the summit. Professional Observer
02/28/2020 - 11:15 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Widespread cloud cover today Some softer weaker snow on sheltered untracked N aspects Weak refreeze on a tree covered sun-exposed slope Wind scoured firm surfaces on open areas near and above treeline Artificially loaded PST with about 10 cm of "slab" on top of it to test the current snow surface Results of the artificially loaded PST 40/100 Slab Fracture Forecaster


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