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 Feb. 26 & 27

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Feb 27, 2020 at 8:05 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Feb 25, 2020 at 8:05 pm
Issued by Gabe Coler
Bottom Line
Any avalanche activity during the next few days will be associated with the warm sunny days. Avalanche hazard will increase as the day heats up (particularly on Thursday, which is forecast to be warmer). Thinking about what aspect you're planning to ski at what time of day is the best recipe to find soft snow safely.
Avalanche Character 1: Loose Wet
Loose Wet Avalanches are point release avalanches that occur as sun and warm temperature melt the snow surface. The problem is generally most prevalent on steep sunny slopes. Watch for terrain traps where even a relatively small slide could have bigger consequences. Thursday is forecast to be warmer and a bit sunnier so the likelihood of Loose Wet Avalanches will be higher then.
Snowpack Discussion
After two days of warm temperatures and sunny skies, most slopes that don't face due North have had melting surface snow and then been refreezing over night. There are currently no persistent weak layers buried in our snow pack, and all instabilities are related to daytime warming.
Recent Observations
I haven't seen any reports of avalanche activity since Sundays new snow.
Mountain Weather
It sure feels like spring (I'm not sure I'm ready!). There will be continued high pressure Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday will be a bit cooler with mountain highs perhaps reaching into the upper 30's F and maybe only a few clouds. Thursday is forecast to be sunny with high temperatures in the mid 40's. On Wednesday the wind will be from the West. The wind forecast for Thursday is light and variable.

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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