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
02/10/2019 - 12:30 Andesite Ridge Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Active wind-loading on Donner Summit Small skier triggered cornice failure causing a loose snow sluff on a test slope. Skin track refilled by wind loading. ECTN on the flank of a natural avalanche that occurred last night. Forecaster
12/03/2018 - 12:00 Slab Cliffs Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation 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
01/12/2019 - 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
12/30/2018 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Signs of wind scouring on an exposed ridge. 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
02/11/2019 - 11:45 Tamarack Peak Mount Rose Area Snowpack Observation Blowing snow along a sub-ridge of Tamarack Peak. The arrow is pointing to a person standing on the ridge. Skier-triggered cracks in a wind-loaded test slope that was undercut. Wind-scoured features along a ridge. Macro ripples (aka tiger stripes) across a slope near the summit of Tamarack. Our skin track refilled quickly with wind loading. Forecaster
12/16/2018 - 14:30 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Increasing clouds and some light precipitation over the Sierra Crest in the late afternoon. ECTX when testing the lower layers of the snowpack. Forecaster
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
01/21/2019 - 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
01/10/2019 - 11:30 Waterhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Jumping on several summit ridge wind loaded test slopes produced little to no failure of wind slabs. Wind slab - very minor crack and the only cracking we could trigger on summit ridge test slopes. 2 to 5 mm surface hoar in upper elevation open areas, ~9,400', N aspect. 10 mm surface hoar along the summit ridge at ~9,480', N aspect. Forecaster
12/05/2018 - 13:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Skier triggered loose dry avalanche (D1) on N aspect, near treeline, ~7,800'. New snow failing on the buried surface hoar with a shovel tilt test. 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
12/27/2018 - 12:00 Lincoln Ridge Yuba Pass Area Snowpack Observation NE winds scouring cornices and drifting snow over the ridgetop. First signs of recent wind transport in textured surface upon reaching near treeline terrain. At 7,200', 8 inches of recent storm snow on top of 12/22 rain crust. No 12/24 rain crust present at and above 7,200'. ECTP-30 on 12/4 buried surface hoar layer. Forecaster


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