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.

Advisory for Jan. 25 & 26

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Jan 26, 2020 at 8:50 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Jan 24, 2020 at 8:50 pm
Issued by Aaron Hartz
Bottom Line
The avalanche problems will be very dependent on the weather conditions over the weekend. Wet problems could come into play on Saturday depending on how warm the day becomes and/or if we get rain in the mountains. At upper elevations, and with colder temps and snow on Saturday night, new windslabs could build on lee features.
Avalanche Character 1: Wind Slab
With limited amounts of new snow, new windslabs will mostly be on the small side of the spectrum but could be sensitive to triggering. Watch for windslabs near treeline and above treeline primarily on northerly and east aspects. Watch for evidence of wind transported snow on lee slopes below ridgetops and around features that catch wind blown snow. If you see cracking in wind transported snow, this is a sign that windslabs are likely to trigger.
Avalanche Character 2: Loose Wet
This will depend on how much it warms up on Saturday and if we see rain on snow. If you see roller balls and saturated surface snow, be cautious of loose wet slides in steep terrain on all aspects, especially below treeline. Loose wet avalanches will be on the small side, but could have consequence in steep terrain. If the upper pack becomes wet from the surface to the Jan 18 crust, this problem could turn into wet slab.
Snowpack Discussion
The upper and mid pack are generally showing good structure. The Jan. 7 rain crust is now down about 150-170cm below the surface. We have no new observations from the deep pack; remnants of the December weak layers are likely still visible along with multiple rain and melt freeze crusts.
The 1/18 rain crust is now under 10-20cm of new snow. Warm tempes and/or rain over the last day or two have created wet surface snow and/or new crusts with refreeze.
Recent Observations
A skier triggered windslab was reported from Tumalo on Friday. Size D1.5, east aspect, 7700ft.
Mountain Weather
New snow coming Saturday and Sunday. Daytime high temperatures could get above freezing on Saturday, while Sunday is looking a little cooler. Wind is expected to be light to moderate and primarily out of the south, SW, and west.

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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