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
12/05/2018 - 12:30 Powderhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Public
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
12/16/2018 - 14:30 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Increasing clouds and some light precipitation over the Sierra Crest in the late afternoon. ECTX when testing the lower layers of the snowpack. Forecaster
12/06/2018 - 10:00 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Widespread surface hoar in open areas. Above the inversion. Professional Observer
01/07/2019 - 13:00 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation New storm slab cracking on slope undercut by skin track. Flipping my ski pole upside down, the snow was quite resistant initially in the firm storm slab. Once through the storm slab, the snow was very soft for the rest of the length of my ski pole. Tree rings demonstrating snow settlement due to warming. Hand hardness overview of new snow. One finger hard slab, over fist hard storm snow. Professional Observer
01/16/2019 - 11:00 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation This crack shot out approximately 40 feet in front of my ski. Profile of where crack propagated. Professional Observer
02/16/2019 - 22:00 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Graupel was very widespread at Powerhouse this afternoon. Near the summit a fully extended pole could easily be buried up to the handle. Stormy day with strong winds near the ridges. Professional Observer
01/08/2019 - 09:15 Red Lake Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/16/2019 - 11:00 Red Lake Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Shooting crack that triggered slide Crack ran about 50 yards in a curve to the starting point, a wind slab next to trees Looking down looking down and behind Looking behind us down the road we skinned up. The slide moved uphill from its original start Public
12/03/2018 - 12:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Surface Hoar growing on flat terrain near base of Red Lake Peak. Previous skier triggered slide in sun in middle of photo. Natural slide on left of photo and skier triggered slide on far right. Cracking in front of ski tip. Professional Observer
12/06/2018 - 11:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
12/24/2018 - 14:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
01/08/2019 - 11:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Settlement cones. Very strong snow for the top 40cms in this area. ECTP 24 down 45cms from surface Professional Observer
12/02/2018 - 10:45 Red Lake Peak - Above Crater Lake Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation Just before the avalanche was triggered. The skier that triggered it just did a ski cut and then a few more turns with no reaction other than loose sluff. The avalanche would be triggered on the next 1 or 2 turns. The skier that triggered the avalanche took this photo of the loose dry sluff just before the avalanche was triggered. Avalanche debris field. The path dog legs out of sight to the left. Looking back at the upper path of the avalanche. You can ski where the skier went over the buried rocks but was able to ski to safety. The upper crown is 12-14" and lower crown 24-30". Overview of avalanche crown. The first ski cut is visible as well as where the skier stopped after releasing the loose sluff. 24-30" avalanche crown Upper bowl of Red Lake peak is visible with previous ski tracks. The lower part of the avalanche path is obscured by a small ridge line with trees. Public
11/29/2018 - 12:30 Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Small windslab along ridge line Public

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