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 button above.
Date and time of observation or avalanche occurrence Location Region Observation Type Photos Snowpack, Avalanche, Weather Videos Snowpit videos (tests, etc) Observation made by
03/25/2020 - 16:15 Andesite peak Avalanche Observation Public
03/25/2020 - 15:30 Tallac east Ridge Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation Guide
Alpine Skills International (ASI)
03/25/2020 - 14:30 Riders right of Emerald Point. Desolation Wilderness Area (including Emerald Bay) Avalanche Observation Public
03/25/2020 - 13:30 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation ECTN 18 down 38 cms Hand hardness. I removed the snow around the faint crust down 40 cms. Professional Observer
03/25/2020 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Avalanche Observation Small D1 wind slab avalanche intentionally triggered. Propagation of wind slab to right flank. Small wind slab failure on small test slope. 8-10'' wind slabs failing on a buried graupel layer. Small loose dry sluffing on slopes >35 degrees. Forecaster
03/25/2020 - 10:15 Powderhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Snowpack Observation Looking down from pit area Hand hardness x2 CTM(15) SP at 95cm down Educator
Lake Tahoe Community College - Wilderness Education
03/25/2020 - 10:00 Deep creek Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Avalanche Observation Public
03/25/2020 - 10:00 Elephant's Hump Carson Pass Area Snowpack Observation Professional Observer
03/25/2020 - 09:00 Powderhouse Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Avalanche Observation Public
03/24/2020 - 11:30 Rubicon peak West Shore Area Snowpack Observation Blowing snow refilling old ski tracks Upper snowpack at 8600’ N aspect Public
03/24/2020 - 11:00 Andesite Peak Donner Summit Area Snowpack Observation Developing and fragile new cornices. Cracking in wind loaded areas with 4-8'' wind slabs. Forecaster
03/23/2020 - 11:00 Silver Peak Cabin Creek, Deep Creek, or Pole Creek Area Snowpack Observation Cloudy skies and intermittent snow showers at 10 am Breakable crust on all aspects except steep true north facing slopes Small runnels left over from previous warming Forecaster
03/22/2020 - 13:30 Talking Mountain Echo Summit Area Snowpack Observation Low angle sunny slopes on Becker Ridge had runnels under a melt freeze crust capped by Surface Hoar. Surface Hoar was present on most open areas along Becker Ridge to Talking Mt. Size ranged from 5mm to well over 1 cm. Surface Hoar at my pit location on a north facing slope at around 8000 feet. Crusts in this area are between 190 and 170 cms. PST 80/140 END down 125 Towards the end of my time on Talking clouds moved in and it began to snow. Professional Observer
03/22/2020 - 12:15 Mt Tallac West Shore Area Avalanche Observation Public
03/22/2020 - 12:00 Powderhouse Peak Luther Pass Area (including Job and Freel) Avalanche Observation Overview photo. There is a lower crown at the lower rocks/convexity near climber's left flank. New and old crowns visible from 3/15 and 3/21. Climbers left half of avalanche that extends out of view. Convective snow showers moving in upon our departure around 1:30 pm. Forecaster


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