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.

Location Region Observation Type Date and time of observation or avalanche occurrence Avalanche observation video Avalanche photos Snowpit videos (tests, etc) Snowpack photos Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph Observation made by
Elephant's Back Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation 01/06/2018 - 03:00 Public
Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 01/05/2018 - 12:00 ECTP's on facet layer buried below slab. Coverage on N side Red Lake Peak Small roller balls skier triggered. Forecaster
Chickadee Ridge Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 01/04/2018 - 23:30 Facets below slab remaining dry to moist. Skier triggered roller balls in low angle terrain, indicating possibility of loose wet avalanche potential. Forecaster
Mt. Judah Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 01/04/2018 - 13:00 ECTP in an area where the loose weak snow had a small slab on top of it prior to last night's storm. Small loose wet roller balls on a N facing slope at 8000 ft. Forecaster
below gate #2 N side of Smoothies Squaw Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation 01/03/2018 - 13:22 Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
Contact Pass Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 01/03/2018 - 13:10 Minor cracking around my skis on a N_NE aspect at 9200 ft. Looking up at the coverage on N-NE aspects between 8800 and 10000 ft. while standing at 8600 ft. Coverage on E aspects between 8600 and 9600 ft. Forecaster
West Grouse Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation 01/03/2018 - 12:20 Thin but supportable snowcover on SE side of Grouse Rock. NE aspect at 8,100' with snowcover 30 cm or less under thick forest canopy. Over 100 cm snowpack in open areas on same slope. Minimal cracking in open below treeline area of soft slab over facets. Forecaster
Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 01/02/2018 - 12:00 Upper elevations on Castle Peak are firm, wind scoured surfaces on NW-N-NE aspects.  Forecaster
Donner Nordwand Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 01/01/2018 - 14:00 Faceted snowpack on Donner Peak Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
Castle Pass Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/31/2017 - 13:14 Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
Deep Creek Crest Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation 12/30/2017 - 12:30 Firm crusts exist along ridges and wind scoured areas. ECTPV result - failure on isolation. Facets under 25 cm slab in snowpit. Rare location of faceted snow on S aspect along shaded creekbed at approximately 7200'. Forecaster
Crater Lake Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 12/30/2017 - 11:00 Professional Observer
Keiths Dome Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/29/2017 - 14:30 Public
NE ridge of Granite Chief Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation 12/29/2017 - 14:00 Weak, faceted snow under the slab. 25cm thick slab sitting on top of Facets. Guide
Alpenglow Expeditions
Woods Lake Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 12/29/2017 - 12:30 Cracking around skis in below treeline terrain down to weak faceted snow. Small test slope-BTL terrain, northerly aspect.  Whumpfing occurred when 1 skier got on slope. Several layers separated by thin crusts with weak faceted snow below. Forecaster


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