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 Videos Observation made by
12/18/2017 - 11:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Exposed firm rain crust on an open slope.Wind affected surfaces on a NW aspectCoverage on the N side of Castle. Forecaster
02/13/2018 - 12:00 Grouse Rock Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation Wind scoured E aspect at 8300' on Grouse Rock.Very small superficial wind slab in near treeline terrainWind effected surface snow.Wind scoured N aspect at 8200'. Forecaster
03/24/2016 - 15:00 Emerald Bay Chutes Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation
Forecaster
01/03/2016 - 11:30 Red Mountain Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
02/23/2018 - 11:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Cornice on the right (E aspect) and wind pillow on the left (W aspect) due to the shift from SW to NE winds., Wind scoured cornices on E aspect between Castle Pass and Castle Pk., Blowing snow along the Castle Pk - Basin Pk ridgeline. No signs of new wind slab formation. Forecaster
03/18/2017 - 11:30 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Looking north along the Sierra Crest - note the more widespread cloud cover north of Emerald BayCracks near the edge of a small cornice and an older cornice collapse Forecaster
12/14/2015 - 12:30 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/11/2016 - 12:00 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
03/11/2016 - 12:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
02/17/2016 - 13:00 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Forecaster
04/18/2017 - 12:30 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Small loose wet avalanches resulting from cornice pieces dropped onto a NE facing wind-loaded slope near 9100 ft. Small loose wet avalanches resulting from cornice pieces dropped onto a NE facing wind-loaded slope near 9100 ft. Loose wet instabilities on a N facing slope at around 7400 ft. Ski cuts triggered small cracking on a wind-loaded test slope near the summit of Hidden Peak. Forecaster
04/16/2016 - 11:10 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
03/29/2017 - 12:00 Fireplug/Mt. Rose Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Small skier triggered loose wet instabilities on a SE aspect at 9700 ft. at 11:45 am1-2 inches of wet snow on top of a supportable melt-freeze crust on a S-SE aspect at 8800 ft. at 10:30 amDeep unsupportable wet snow on a S-SE aspect at 10:40 am at 9000 ft. Small skier triggered roller balls and pinwheels on a NW-N aspect at 8700 ft. at 12:15 pmLoose wet point releases on the E aspects in the sun and soft cold snow on the shaded areas that face north at 9:45 am Forecaster
12/23/2015 - 11:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/17/2016 - 12:00 Donner Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster

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