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.

Touchy Storm Slab

Observation Date/Time:
Tue, Jan 14, 2020 - 8:43 PM
Cliff Agocs
Todd Ridge
The Day Was:
The Ride Was:
The Snow Was:
Deep powder  
We observed the following "red flag" avalanche conditions:
Recent slab avalanches   Whumphing or shooting cracks   Significant drifting snow from wind  
We Rode:
Mellow slopes   Open trees  
We Stayed Away From:
Steep slopes  

Written Report:
Two of us toured the trees on Todd Ridge today. The powder was excellent - among the best of the storm so far! During the day there was significant wind transport - enough to fill in much of our skin track on the ridge between our approach and exit, despite a lull in the precip today.

During our tour we stuck mostly to slopes less than 32 degrees. However, I unintentionally triggered a D1 storm slab by dropping over a small convex feature, which I estimated at about 35 degrees. This slide was in the north-facing trees at about 6700 feet, and the crown was about 12 inches. We were also able to intentionally trigger a small avalanche on an east-facing slope just below the ridge at 6800. In this case, the crown was a bit deeper - estimated at 18 inches.

Photos show the crown and debris from the latter avalanche, although the debris photo is a bit washed out. The third photo shows the wind-transport from today actively building a cornice.