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
02/15/2019 - 12:00 Little Truckee Summit Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Small wind slab avalanche intentionally triggered. Storm snow weakness around 1' deep with cracks on low angle terrain. Small wind slabs kicked off wind loaded ridgeline. HS=310cm.  Rain layer with rain crust forming on top.  Storm snow up to 3' in wind protected areas. Forecaster
01/30/2019 - 12:00 Jakes Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation 1 to 2 inches of corn on a supportable surface at 11:15 am on a S aspect. 2 to 3 inches of corn snow on a supportable surface at 12:15 on the same S aspect. Cloud cover moved into the area around 1 pm and you can still see sunlight glinting off of exposed crusts in the distance. Smoke cloud with a flat top showing the height of the morning's inversion. Forecaster
01/14/2019 - 12:00 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 10 to 12mm surface hoar in open areas near and below treeline. Forecaster
12/14/2018 - 11:00 Deep Creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Pit location above avalanche path below. Trim line and runout zone just visible in background. Minor amounts of blowing snow noted along the Sierra Crest between Tinker's Knob and Anderson Peak. Forecaster
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
01/12/2019 - 13:00 Carpenter Ridge Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Large cornice we attempted to drop on steep N aspect Cornice we were unsuccessful in dropping.  Large cornice chunks dropped on slope with no results. Forecaster
01/15/2019 - 11:00 Jakes Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Buried surface hoar was both widespread and reactive in this open terrain both below treeline and near treeline. , Forecaster
02/04/2019 - 12:30 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
12/11/2018 - 12:00 Carpenter Ridge Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Small wind slab at treeline on NE aspect. Unconsolidated snow along the ridgetop, still available for future wind transport. Forecaster
01/21/2019 - 11:00 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Wind created surface textures on near the summit of Hidden Peak Small cracking on a wind-loaded test slope. Surface hoar buried about 4 ft. below the surface. Forecaster
01/25/2019 - 11:00 Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Thin melt-freeze crust on the snow surface. E aspect at ~9,000'. Limited, minor previous roller ball/loose wet instability on E aspects in Desolation Wilderness. Wind scouring down to exposed rain crust on NE side of Peak 9,269'. Forecaster
11/28/2018 - 12:00 NW Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Light wind loading occurring off of summit ridge with cornice development. Wind loaded pillows showed minor cracking.  Forecaster
01/29/2019 - 11:30 Slide Mountain Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation After a period of morning sun the clouds rolled back into the area around 11 am. It looked like periods of sun also occurred in the afternoon hours. Ankle to boot-top deep wet snow on solar aspects below 8200 ft. Below 8000 ft. numerous shrubs and bushes still remained exposed. Forecaster
12/20/2018 - 12:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Very small amounts of blowing snow observed on foreground ridge, just above the highest trees. Transport occurring only during gusts to 60 mph. Rose Knob Peak No signs of blowing snow with ridge wind avg 40 mph, gusts to 60 mph on nearby Slide sensor. Ridgeline to the NW of Incline Lake Peak. This is the maximum extent of any cracking we saw today in areas of wind slab. 1 cm of wind drifted snow in our skin track set 2 hours prior. Forecaster
12/04/2018 - 12:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation 10-15mm surface hoar in open areas near and below treeline This type of open below treeline terrain has even distribution of large surface hoar across slope. Forecaster

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