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.

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
Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/08/2017 - 12:30 View of N side of Castle Peak View towards Basin Peak Previous cornince collapse/wind slab that probably failed last Sunday during or just after storm event and partially covered. Forecaster
Red Lake Peak Ridge Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 12/08/2017 - 10:00 Thin crust over 5 inches of loose facets which are sitting on pencil hard old snow. Professional Observer
Incline Lake Pk Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 12/07/2017 - 12:30 Forecaster
Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/06/2017 - 14:30 Heavily wind scoured E aspect near summit. No snow remaining for future NE wind transport. 2mECTP result along top of old nsf layer. Forecaster
Avi Gully "Munchkins" Blackwood Canyon or Ward Canyon Area Snowpack Observation 12/06/2017 - 12:31 Public
Frog Lake Ridge Carson Pass Area Avalanche Observation 12/06/2017 - 10:00 Professional Observer
Chickadee Ridge Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 12/05/2017 - 13:00 E wind scouring on N aspect, near treeline, ~9,100'. More E wind scouring on N aspect, near treeline, ~9,100'. Snow still available for wind transport on N aspect ~9,200'. Forecaster
Castle Peak and Basin Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/05/2017 - 12:00 Scoured surfaces on a N aspect near 8800 ft. on Basin Peak Softer unconsolidated snow on a below treeline N aspect sheltered from the NE winds @ 8200 ft. above Devils Oven Lake.  Forecaster
Rubicon Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation 12/04/2017 - 11:30 Surface Hoar was observed on the snow surface at all elevations. Skier triggered cracking on a NE facing wind-loaded test slope at 8800 ft. Skier triggered cracking on a NE facing wind-loaded test slope at 8800 ft. that was previously undercut. Snow coverage at 7400 ft. Snow coverage at 8300 ft. Forecaster
Disney/Crows Peak Saddle Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/03/2017 - 14:00 approach track Public
Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/03/2017 - 13:00 Forecaster
Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 12/03/2017 - 12:00 9300' N aspect.  Showing new snow on top of old NSF's on top of 11/26 RC. Ski kicks on steep corniced slopes had no wind slab propagation. Small instability within new storm snow, graupel layer. Forecaster
Andesite Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation 12/03/2017 - 12:00 CTE Failure 15-20cm down in the snow pack Shooting Cracks up to 25 feet in length Educator
Tahoe Mountain School
Meiss Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 12/03/2017 - 12:00 Professional Observer
Elephants Back Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation 12/03/2017 - 12:00 Public

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