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
02/12/2019 - 12:00 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Strong winds were moving snow in below treeline areas Intense blowing snow and cornice formation near the summit of Hidden Peak Skier triggered cornice failure on a a test slope did not produce signs of instability in the wind slab on the test slope. Minor cracking down to the undercut part of the slope after repeated and aggressive ski kicks and jumps. Forecaster
02/12/2019 - 11:45 Observed from vehicle on Donner Pass Road Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Public
02/12/2019 - 11:45 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Moderate amounts of blowing snow noted as we approached near treeline terrain. Skin track refill in above treeline terrain. Skier triggered shooting crack 20 ft long and 1 ft deep in wind slab on test slope. Another party's snowboard cut did not produce results on this wind loaded slope. Forecaster
02/12/2019 - 10:45 above Crystal Bay Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Guide
Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars
02/12/2019 - 10:30 Across from River Ranch Sawtooth Ridge to Tahoe City Avalanche Observation Public
02/12/2019 - 10:30 Centerville Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Settlement of recent storm snow of a few inches was obvious around most N facing trees at 9,000 ft. Intense snow transport over Freel Peak Wind texture snow in the foreground with small wind slabs developing on the opposite slope Public
02/12/2019 - 10:00 Munchkins Area Sawtooth Ridge to Tahoe City Snowpack Observation Intense snow transport over the 8000'+ peaks to the North. ECTX on SE aspect, 6750', 27 degree slope, with no defined sun crust below recent storm snow. Forecaster
02/11/2019 - 12:30 Tallac Corkscrew Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation Public
02/11/2019 - 11:45 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Blowing snow along a sub-ridge of Tamarack Peak. The arrow is pointing to a person standing on the ridge. Skier-triggered cracks in a wind-loaded test slope that was undercut. Wind-scoured features along a ridge. Macro ripples (aka tiger stripes) across a slope near the summit of Tamarack. Our skin track refilled quickly with wind loading. Forecaster
02/10/2019 - 14:00 Sagehen Hills Snowpack Observation Public
02/10/2019 - 14:00 Poison Canyon Bear Valley Area Snowpack Observation Guide
California Ski Guides
02/10/2019 - 13:15 Below Poulsen's Peak, Olympic Valley Sawtooth Ridge to Tahoe City Snowpack Observation Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
02/10/2019 - 12:30 Andesite Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Active wind-loading on Donner Summit Small skier triggered cornice failure causing a loose snow sluff on a test slope. Skin track refilled by wind loading. ECTN on the flank of a natural avalanche that occurred last night. Forecaster
02/10/2019 - 11:30 Cottonwood Hill Sawtooth Ridge to Tahoe City Snowpack Observation ECTN14 @ 45cm down. After 30 taps and no failure, we pulled on the back of the column and it broke cleanly. Public
02/10/2019 - 08:00 Hope Valley & Waterhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Public


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