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.

Broken Top

Observation Date/Time:
Thu, Feb 20, 2020 - 4:15 PM
Phil Bowker
Broken Top Area / 8880'
Report Type:
Snow Conditions   No Avalanche Activity  
Travel Mode:
Snowmobile   Ski or Snowboard  
Sky Conditions:
Broken (5/8 - 7/8)
Precip Type/Intensity:
No Precipitation
Height of Snow (HS):
185 cm
Wind Direction/Speed:
S / Moderate: 17-25 mph

Written Report:
I toured around Broken Top bowl today. At the top of 3 O'clock couloir at 11:54 winds where light with moderate gusts from the south, skies broken with high cirrus clouds, no precipitation, air temp was -2c (28.4f).

The recent east and south winds have certainly had their effect on the snow in the bowl. Primarily the surface is wind packed snow. Under "Pucker Up" there are sections where the snow has been stripped back down to the rain crust from weeks ago. In lee aspects (north) of some pinnacles there is wind deposited snow still giving good skiing. There was a small amount of wind transported snow refilling the boot pack up 3 O'clock couloir.

While I toured the bowl I did not see any signs of instability in the snowpack in terms of avalanches, shooting cracks, whumpfing or collapsing cornices. I did see football sized falling rime ice from solar aspects in the afternoon.



This observation is sponsored by: