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 March 18 & 19

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Mar 19, 2020 at 8:57 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Mar 17, 2020 at 8:57 pm
Issued by Gabe Coler
Bottom Line
Natural and human triggered avalanches will be unlikely on Wednesday. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. For Thursday, clear skies and warmer temperatures mean that small Loose Wet avalanches will be possible on the steepest, sunniest slopes.
Avalanche Character 1: Loose Wet
Loose Wet avalanches will be possible on Thursday. It's not forecast to be a scorcher though, and with mountain high temperatures in the mid to upper 30's F, I expect they will be small and confined to the steepest, warmest slopes.
Snowpack Discussion
The snowfall of last weekend was accompanied by cold temperatures and provided for some great skiing. Since then, some strong sunshine has put a melt/freeze on all but the shadiest and coldest slopes. I saw a bit of surface hoar while I was out skiing today, but with no significant new snow in our future, I'm not going to spend any time worrying about it. Otherwise we haven't been seeing any significant persistent weak layers in our snowpack.
Recent Observations
The storm cycle from the last weekend produced many Loose Dry avalanches as well as the Wind Slabs mentioned in the report from Santiam Pass. Today's warm temperatures and sunny skies mean that those problems should no longer be an issue.
Mountain Weather
The forecast calls for increasing cloud cover tonight and into Wednesday. There is a low percentage chance of seeing some snow (greater to the South and East). Wednesday is forecast to be partly sunny with high temperatures around freezing. The wind will continue to be from the North. Thursday will be sunny with mountain temperatures reaching the mid 30's F. The wind will be light.

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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