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 March 14 & 15

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Mar 15, 2020 at 8:03 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Mar 13, 2020 at 8:03 pm
Issued by Aaron Hartz
Bottom Line
Windslab avalanches will be the primary concern over the weekend. Be cautious of avalanche terrain with significant wind loading. Given that the temperature looks to be dropping after Friday night, I expect the new snow to come in right side up and I am not expecting storm slabs to be a major player in the terrain. However, anytime you see cracking or natural slabs in the storm snow, back off of steep and convex terrain.
Avalanche Character 1: Wind Slab
With the wind shifting throughout the weekend, windslabs could form on a variety of lee aspects near treeline and above treeline. Watch for signs of wind loaded snow below ridge tops and around features that catch wind blown snow. Triggering a windslab avalanche will be possible to likely over the next couple of days. Depending on how much snow is available for wind transport, the resulting avalanches could be small to large.
Avalanche Character 2: Loose Dry
Loose dry avalanches will be small and the depth will depend on how much snow accumulation we see. Watch for loose dry avalanches in steep terrain and all aspects/elevations for as long as the snow is lacking cohesion in the new storm layer.
Snowpack Discussion
Prior to the incoming storm, the upper, mid, and deep snowpack are generally settled and strong.
Recent Observations
Small loose wet avalanches on sun exposed slopes have been reported over the last several days .
Mountain Weather
Several inches of snow have already fallen on Friday night. After looking at some of the weather models, there is some uncertainty in how much accumulation we will get.....but could be as much as 10 inches. Expect daytime high temperatures to be cold through the weekend (teens to mid 20's F). The wind is expected to be light to moderate and could come out of all directions through the weekend.

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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