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
01/31/2019 - 10:15 Johnson Canyon Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 2 inches of corn on a supportable melt-freeze layer on a W aspect at 1:15 Crack in the snowpack as a cornice pulls away from the ridge. Forecaster
01/30/2019 - 15:00 Rose Knob Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/30/2019 - 13:30 Scotts Lake Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Melting snow surfaces exposed to full sun. View of the S face of Waterhouse Peak Breakable crust present in some areas that receive partial shade Observation wall of the snowprofile highlighting the layer of buried surface hoar Pieces of buried surface hoar on the underside of a slab from a CT test Public
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
01/30/2019 - 12:00 Angora Peak Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
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
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
01/28/2019 - 12:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Looking south down the Sierra Crest.  High level cloud cover preventing widespread snow surface softening Forecaster
01/28/2019 - 10:30 Stevens Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Cloudy skies kept the snow surfaces firm and frozen. Mostly supportable but sometimes breakable sun crusts existed on E aspects. Firm uneven surfaces including exposed rain crusts existed on E-NE aspects. Small pinwheels and rollerballs triggered by a ski cut on an ENE facing slope around 8200 ft. Forecaster
01/27/2019 - 14:30 White Rock Lake and surrounding are Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/27/2019 - 11:30 Mt. Judah Snowpack Observation Small skier-triggered rollerballs and pinwheels on a S facing slope @ 11:45 am. Large crevasse formed as the cornice pulls away from the ridge during the warm weather. Variable firm surfaces on exposed N-NE aspects due to wind scouring. Forecaster
01/26/2019 - 14:45 The Grills AKA Tom's Meadow Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Public
01/26/2019 - 11:00 Incline Lake Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Recent NE wind events have scoured near and above treeline terrain.  Northerly below treeline terrain like this provided wet and sticky surface snow by noon today below 8600'. On southerly aspects, 3-4'' of wet snow existed above a supportable snow 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
01/24/2019 - 13:00 Waterhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Cold snow with tree drippings on N aspects below treeline. Most prominent below 8,000'. Exposed rain cust visible above treeline in the distance on Steven's Pk, Red Lake Pk, and beyond. Cornices eroded by NE winds along the summit ridge. 1 cm melt freeze crust on S aspect at 9,490' Public


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