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
02/05/2019 - 12:00 Jakes Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation About an inch of settlement crack around trees. 15 cm wind slab at treeline. Ski pen thigh deep. Wind pillow above NE aspect terrain at the summit. Ski cut in wind pillow near summit with no wind slab failure. Convective cell snowing out over Lake Tahoe. Forecaster
12/09/2018 - 12:00 East Ridge Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Surface hoar failing on an artificially loaded PST. Crusts on windward slopes preventing wind transport of snow with moderate SW winds. Windward SE-S-SW aspects have limited snow in this area. Forecaster
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
02/20/2019 - 11:00 Polaris Point Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Periodic snow showers S1 to S5. S5 in this photo at 11:15 am. Forecaster
12/14/2018 - 11:45 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation NE side of Silver Peak as viewed from ridge between Pole Creek and Deep Creek. Forecaster
11/27/2018 - 11:00 Echo/Becker Ridge Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Pit location at 8,000', N aspect. 35-40 cm snow cover on ridgetop at ~7,800' with evidence of previous rain on snow. Another view of snow cover on ridgetop at ~7,900'. Forecaster
01/10/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small inconsequential cracking on a wind-loaded test slope. The shiny track in front of my ski is not the track of a giant snow snail, but rather surface hoar that collapsed as a small cornice piece slide down the slope. 4 to 8 mm surface hoar was present on most open slopes at all elevations. Settlement crack around the base of a tree. Forecaster
01/30/2019 - 11:45 Rose Knob Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Ascending through 7,900' on open ESE aspect terrain at 10:15 am found 4 cm wet snow on top of 12 cm of 1 F hard melt-freeze crust. Open fracture behind cornice at ~8,900'. Conditions becoming unsupportable to travel on skis in treed SE aspect terrain at ~7,600' at 11:45 am. Forecaster
12/23/2018 - 11:00 Peak 8040' Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation Several slope cuts did not produce any signs of instabilities. At 8000', 1'' rain crust existed near the surface with soft snow below. Forecaster
02/03/2019 - 12:00 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Avalanche Observation Wind slab failure on a N-NE facing test slope on the far east ridge of Tamarack. Shooting cracks on a wind-loaded test slope. Forecaster
01/16/2019 - 11:00 Hwy. 89 North of Tahoe City Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Avalanche Observation Forecaster
12/09/2018 - 14:00 Mt. Tallac Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation Forecaster
01/05/2019 - 10:45 Fireplug Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
12/15/2018 - 12:45 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered cracking in a small shallow slab on a wind-loaded pocket. Clouds moving into the area ahead of tomorrow night's storm. Forecaster
01/23/2019 - 11:30 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Wind scoured N aspect terrain. Looking S along Andesite Ridge. Significant wind scouring across the ridgetop. Eroded cornices above SE aspect terrain. Wind scoured N aspect terrain at treeline. Significant settlement of recent storm snow on E side of Andesite. Forecaster

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