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 Videos Observation made by
01/19/2017 - 11:00 Jakes Peak West Shore Area Avalanche Observation
Small (D1) natural storm slab avalnche.  7700', NE aspect,4-6'' deep.
Skier triggered storm slab on small test slope.
Another small natural storm slab avalanche.  8700', NE aspect, 4-6'' deep.
One of numerous trees with avalanche debris and broken branches from previous larger avalanches in this area.
Small (D1) storm slab avalanche over skin track.  8800', NE aspect.
04/13/2016 - 13:00 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
12/30/2017 - 12:30 Deep Creek Crest Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Firm crusts exist along ridges and wind scoured areas.ECTPV result - failure on isolation.Facets under 25 cm slab in snowpit.Rare location of faceted snow on S aspect along shaded creekbed at approximately 7200'. Forecaster
12/14/2016 - 11:30 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Rain runnels existed up to Peak level (8200'). Forecaster
12/14/2015 - 12:30 Hidden Peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
02/16/2017 - 11:30 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation
Split-board kicks triggered a refrigerator sized cornice failure onto the wind loaded test slope. This resulted in a 12-14 inch deep wind slab failure.
The other side of the wind slab that resulted from the cornice drop.
Wind slab cracking in an undercut wind-loaded slope
01/23/2017 - 13:00 Fireplug Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Ongoing wind transport during SW gusts.Kicking small cornice features produced only loose dry, no slab failure. Forecaster
11/17/2016 - 11:00 Carpenter Ridge Independence Lake Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
01/07/2018 - 12:30 Red Lake Peak Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered cracking on a northerly aspect at ~8600 ft. where a 10 ft. x 10 ft. whumpf occurred. The weak layer was moist facets below a rain crust at the base of the new snow.ECPT on a N aspect @ 8880 ft. The weak layer was moist to dry facets below a rain crust at the base of the new snow. Forecaster
11/03/2017 - 11:00 East Ridge of Relay Pk Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Up to 10cm (4in) of old snow facets with thin surface crust. Numerous interruptions/discontunities of the basal layer.Faceted snow from underneath 0.5-1 cm thick surface melt-freeze crust. Forecaster
04/04/2017 - 11:45 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Deep holes down to flowing creeks1 to 2 inches of corn snow on top of a supportable melt-freeze crust on a SW aspect at 8200 ft. around 11:45 amAnkle deep wet snow on a SW aspect around 7600 ft. around noonWidespread cloud cover looking south from Castle Peak around 11:40 amSunny skies looking north from Castle Peak around 11:40 am Forecaster
01/25/2018 - 11:30 East Ridge Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Stubburn wind slabs with cracking and shooting cracks in wind loaded terrain. Many large cornice drops on slopes caused shooting cracks but no slab release.  East Ridge of Tamarack.Wind textured surface snow on Far East Ridge.ECTP-29 failing into the old snow.  A layer of F hard snow existed below old surface crust.  9300', N aspect.Avalanche debris from early in the storm almost entirely covered up.  Cornice failure and/or wind slab avalanche release.  9300', N aspect. Forecaster
12/21/2016 - 12:20 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
03/24/2016 - 11:00 Castle Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster
12/23/2015 - 11:30 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Forecaster


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