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
Elephants Back/Frog Lake Cliffs Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 12/15/2017 - 12:00 Soft near surface facets in the trees with wind scoured surfaces below ridge. Forecaster
West side Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 12/14/2017 - 16:00 Public
Andesite Peak and S aspect of Castle Pk Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/14/2017 - 11:00 Forecaster
Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation 12/13/2017 - 15:27 Public
Chickadee Ridge Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 12/13/2017 - 12:00  Inversion conditions allowing cold air and clouds to remain trapped at the lower elevations. 1 inch of soft wet corn snow on top of a supportable melt-freeze crust on a S aspect at 8850 ft. around 11:30 am. Near-surface facets from a north aspect at 9000 ft. that are starting to round. Forecaster
Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/13/2017 - 11:30 Pit location adjacent to and above pit from Dec 6. (Skis/pack in old pit.) Forecaster
Basin Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/12/2017 - 11:30 thermometer showing +9c Public
Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/11/2017 - 13:00 ECTP on a NW test slope with a hard wind slab. See pit for more details. ECTN on the same test slope. See pit for more details. Spring-like snow conditions and patchy snow coverage on SW aspects. Scoured surfaces on exposed northerly aspects. Forecaster
East Ridge Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 12/11/2017 - 12:00 Forecaster
Becker Ridge Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/10/2017 - 12:30 Snow coverage at 7400 ft. Snow coverage at 7800 ft. on N aspects. Looking up the ridge toward Becker Peak @ 7900 ft. Forecaster
Castle Pass Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/10/2017 - 12:10 Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
Mount Price Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation 12/10/2017 - 11:35 Public
Relay Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 12/09/2017 - 12:00 E face of Relay Peak, 10,200'.  Wind scoured by the recent NE/E winds. NW/W bowls of Relay Peak.  Wind scoured in areas and wind loaded in areas with hard slabs. 2' of cohesive hard slab P to K hard.  F hard facets below.  CTM-12 SC on facet layer. ECTPV.  292 degree W/NW slope, 19 degree slope angle. Forecaster
Elephants Back Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 12/09/2017 - 11:00 Public
Granite Chief Snowpack Observation 12/08/2017 - 14:00 E/SE ridge on the approach to Granite Chief. Granite Chief to Needle Ridge. Educator
Alpenglow Expeditions


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