CSO is a citizen science campaign to measure snow.

Make your backcountry travels count! We need your help measuring snow depths in mountain places too vast for researchers to monitor. But we also want to know the snow depth near urban areas - anytime, anywhere is our motto.

Your data help us model snow conditions in near real-time:

Upcoming events

December 1, 2022
  • Boom or Bust?

    December 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022  

    Western United States

    Boom or Bust?

    Whether you watch the news, read the Farmer's Almanac, or study climate model projections, everyone's got an opinion about the weather. What's your gut tell you about this coming season's snowpack? Why don't you stake out your claim and tell us what you think? The Community Snow Observations project, with amazing support from Backcountry Access, is sponsoring a contest to see who can most accurately predict this season's snowpack. The instructions and rules are below, followed by the entry form. Winners will be announced in early April.

    How it Works:

    1. You pick a state. Any state...we're talking about states in the Western USA that have one or more Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) stations. Don't live in a state with SNOTEL? No problem. Pick one that does.
    2. You enter your 'best guess' as to what the snowpack depth will be on April 1, 2023 in that state, compared to the historical average. In other words, you might guess 75% (if you are a pessimist), or 175% (if, like us, you dream of deep snow)
    3. You wait until April 2023 to see how well you did!


    1. One pair of BCA Link 2.0 Radios
    2. One BCA Backy Urban Backpack
    3. One BCA 2T Dozer Avalanche Shovel
    4. One BCA Snow Saw
    5. One BCA 240 cm Avalanche Probe

    Fine Print

    1. You may only enter once. If duplicate entries are found, only the most recent submission will be accepted.
    2. Entries are accepted 1 December - 31 December, 2022.
    3. While anyone can enter, we are only able to ship prizes to winners within the USA.
    4. Here is how we calculate the winner. For each SNOTEL station in a state, we will compute the ratio of April 1 2023 snow depth to long-term-average April 1 snow depth. Then, we will average all of those ratios in a given state to come up with an 'overall' ratio.

    See more details

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