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.

Three Finger Jack

Observation Date/Time:
Sun, Jan 12, 2020 - 5:31 PM
Brian Bollwitt
Three Finger Jack
The Day Was:
The Ride Was:
The Snow Was:
Deep powder  
We observed the following "red flag" avalanche conditions:
A foot of new snow in the last 24 hours   Significant drifting snow from wind  
We Rode:
Mellow slopes   Open trees  
We Stayed Away From:
Steep slopes  

Written Report:
We toured out to the SE slopes of Three Finger Jack to check out and ski the NE facing slopes towards Booth Lake. Travel was in blizzard conditions and worsened as we neared the South ridge with winds around 30-40 mph. Snow was being transported easily and cornices were building quickly and were sensitive. The lee slopes were wind loaded but untouched powder was found further away from the ridges. The unconsolidated powder had little cohesion and was not particularly slabby when we first arrived but as the temps rose the upper snow was heavier and showing slab potential. It was difficult to carry momentum on slopes near or below 30 degrees which made skiing less than ideal for the storm slab risk that was present. We stayed away from slopes steeper than that. On our last skin up and out we saw a D1 natural that recently was triggered by what looked like a cornice fracture.