As of March 30th, COAC has suspended backcountry avalanche advisories and pro observations until further notice.

On March 23rd, Governor Brown of Oregon issued Stay at Home orders for the public regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. The directives are clear in that “to the maximum extent possible, individuals stay at home or in their place of residence.” On March 27th the Deschutes National Forest issued a closure of all developed recreation sites including trailheads and snoparks. COAC is committed to supporting our community, local emergency services, and agency partners and because of this we felt it important to cease operations as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.   

This decision was not taken lightly. Aside from the need to maintain congruency with the Governors' orders, there are inherent risks with backcountry activities in alpine environments and it’s important to consider unnecessary exposure to COAC forecasters, first responders, and local medical staff in light of the current situation.

We look forward to getting back into the mountains and providing you all with the tools to recreate safely in the backcountry. Until then we thank you for your continued support and wish all our mountain community the best of health and wellness.

Avalanche Advisory for Dec. 18

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Dec 18, 2019 at 9:03 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Dec 17, 2019 at 9:03 pm
Issued by Aaron Hartz
Bottom Line
On Wednesday persistent slab will be the primary concern, be cautious on steep, rocky, convex, and unsupported terrain.
Avalanche Character 1: Persistent Slab
The basal facets found near and above treeline will be the primary layer of concern. This layer has been found on N and E aspects. It will be possible to trigger this layer primarily on slopes with steep and rocky terrain.
Snowpack Discussion
The snowpack has some interesting things going on. Weak faceted snow has been found at or near the base of the snowpack. Isolated buried surface hoar has also been found in the mid pack. The upper 10 - 15 cm of the snowpack has undergone some faceting and is beginning to feel sugary and weak. Surface hoar has been found on the surface on most aspects below treeline and near treeline, and on wind sheltered slopes above treeline.
Recent Observations
Two natural slab avalanches were reported on Ball Butte over the last several days. Both were in steep, rocky terrain and likely slid on a layer of weak facets near the ground. Reported sizes were D1.5 and D1
Mountain Weather
Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with light wind out of the SE, S, and W. Snow is expected to start falling late in the afternoon or evening. Daytime high temperature around mid to upper 20's F.

This snowpack summary applies only to backcountry areas. Click here for a map of the area. This snowpack summary describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This snowpack summary expires in 48 hours unless otherwise noted.

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