Avalanche warning issued by Washoe County Emergency Management

Crystal Bay

Staff Report
Avalanche warnings for Crystal Bay and Third Creek have been upgraded to a level 4 warning.
Miranda Jacobson/ Tahoe Daily Tribune

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – Washoe County Emergency Management issued an avalanche warning for several Lake Tahoe neighborhoods on Monday.

There is a slope-specific avalanche danger forecast for the avalanche terrain above Lakeview Ave, Tuscarora Rd, and Teresa Ct in Crystal Bay, Nevada; and the terrain above upper Jennifer St, Sutro, Bidwell, Lunar, and Mercury Courts in the Third Creek drainage (below Rose Knob Peak and environs) in Incline Village, Nevada.


Avalanche danger is forecast to be HIGH; avalanche size and speed can be significant.

Significant new snow (70+ cm) has been deposited on the avalanche track start zones above Crystal Bay. This includes much wind-affected snow near the ridge crest with increasingly large cornice formation.

Snow cover in the area is enough now to cover most of the anchors and slope roughness. Avalanches that release during the current storm cycle have the ability to reach neighbor roads and the infrastructure below. The weather forecast for the next three days suggests continued heavy snowfall.

It is assumed avalanche hazards will only increase through at least December 28 and it is advised to refrain from any and all outdoor activity on, under, or around the steep snow-covered terrain in Crystal Bay. Please take special care to inform our Christmas holiday visitors of the overhead danger. Additional avalanche advisories will be issued as dictated.


Avalanche danger is forecast to be HIGH in the upper and mid-track watershed; avalanche size and speed can be significant. The bottom of many of these avalanche paths terminates in steep-sided and confining terrain that concentrates the forces of flowing snow.

Even small avalanches in this terrain can lead to very deep burials. With over one meter of newly deposited snow, and much more forecasted over the next several days, the terrain above Jennifer St, and the “space streets” (east side of Third Creek) remains extremely hazardous. This is dangerous avalanche terrain that presents a substantial risk. Residents and motorists are advised to refrain from all outdoor activities in these areas. Residents who remain in the neighborhoods may risk exposure to avalanches.

1-Low Avalanche Danger

Generally, safe avalanche conditions exist. Natural avalanche release is unlikely. Any avalanche that does release will not have the size or speed to impact residents or roads.

2-Moderate Avalanche Danger

Heightened avalanche conditions exist. Natural avalanche release is unlikely. However, small changes in snowpack strength or stress could lead to avalanche release. It is unlikely these avalanches could impact residents or roads.

3-Considerable Avalanche Danger

Dangerous avalanche conditions exist. Natural avalanche release is possible. Any avalanche released will have the potential to impact residents and roads. These avalanches can cause serious injury or death and property damage.

4-High Avalanche Danger

Very dangerous avalanche conditions exist. Natural avalanche release is likely. These avalanches will impact residents and roads and may be large and destructive. These avalanches can cause serious injury or death and property damage.

Citizens can register for reverse telephone notification, called Code Red, as well as other notifications concerning alerts.

To sign up, click on the “Regional Notification” link on the menu and follow the instructions.

View Snow Safety Tips Here

This danger forecast is intended for use by residents and motorists and may differ considerably from the general backcountry avalanche forecast. The forecast is not intended as a resource or risk management tool for backcountry travelers.

Backcountry travelers are strongly advised to refrain from any activity on or around these slopes. Activity on these slopes could subject residents, motorists, and infrastructure below to serious danger. Avalanche information for Lake Tahoe backcountry travelers can be found at



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