mass of lying snow that is compressed and hardened by its own weight.

Snowpack is snow that has built up over time in an area. It is made of layers of snow that collect in geographic areas and at high elevations, where it is cold for large parts of the year. Snowpacks feed streams and rivers when they melt and are important water resources. In many communities, snowpack is the main source of drinking water. When snowpack melts quickly, it can cause flash flooding.

Digging a pit on Taku Glacier in Alaska to measure snowpack

Understanding snowpacks is important in the study and prediction of avalanches.[1][2]


  1. Cox, Steven M.; Fulsaas, Kris. Mountaineering. p. 346–347. ISBN 9781594851292.
  2. Kurzeder, Tobias; Feist, Holger. Powderguide: Managing Avalanche Risk. Mountain Sports Press. ISBN 978-0972482738.