Snow profile interpretation is part of the every day work of any avalanche forecasting service. Snowpack information is crucial for assessing such things as the probability of a skier triggering an avalanche in between storms or the probability and size of natural avalanches during and after storms. However, profile evaluation is considered an art. There are few standard procedures and most forecasters have their own method. Some expert systems have been developed to interpret snow profiles but their knowledge base is not documented. The avalanche forecasting service in Switzerland has to analyse about 110 snow profiles recorded by its observers twice a month. This task is presently quite time-consuming, and the results are not fully consistent. Therefore, part of the decision-making process of some experienced forecasters at the Swiss Federal Institute of Snow and Avalanche Research was explored. Based on this broad experience, each parameter observed in a snow profile with a stability test has been described in view of stability evaluation. A tentative snowpack stability rating scheme is proposed for dry snow conditions in transitional or intermountain climate zones. The principal criteria are: rutschblock score, hardness, presence and type of weak layers, grain type and size. It should help the forecasters in the future to more consistently interpret snow profiles.