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.

Friday 05/10/2019 Report PBP

Observation Date/Time:
Fri, May 10, 2019 - 12:25 PM
West side of Three Sisters Between Devils Lake and Mckenzie pass (5/8/19)
The Ride Was:
The Snow Was:
Firm   Wet   Crusty  

Written Report:
I went for a tour on the west side of the Three Sisters between Devils Lake and Mckenzie pass. I did not observe any active avalanche conditions, but saw 3 older slab avalanches. When the Cascade Lakes highway opens I assume more people will head out that way, so I figured I would put up a post.

My observations were in line with expected spring conditions. The snow above tree line, on all aspects, had seen significant freeze thaw, making for easy travel early in the morning and nice skiing midday. Below tree line conditions were highly variable. On North and West aspects, at lower elevations, the snow never setup. Where it had frozen there was an annoying eggshell crust. In general the snow on this side of the Sisters was less sun affected than areas near Broken Top that I have skied this week.

I observed loose wet avalanches above tree line on steep southern aspects. On the Northwest and Northeast side of North Sister I saw three older slab avalanches. All three were on northern facing aspects above tree line, and below cornices. The freshest one was on the west shoulder of Little Brother on its northern aspect. Not sure how old it was, but its run out did not look like it had seen significant freeze thaw, which led me to believe it was triggered within the last week. Pictured below.