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.

Tumalo 2/5

Observation Date/Time:
Wed, Feb 5, 2020 - 11:06 AM
Alli Miles
The Day Was:
Stormy   Windy  
The Ride Was:
The Snow Was:
Powder   Wind effected   Heavy  
We Rode:
Mellow slopes   Open trees  
We Stayed Away From:
Alpine slopes   Convex slopes  

Written Report:
I toured up Tumalo early this morning, between 6-7am. It was about 30 degrees in the parking lot. Winds were moderate until 7300' or so. Above that elevation and on the summit, winds were ripping out of the SW.

What was most noticeable on the way up was the inconsistent depth of the new snow over the crust layer. As I toured into more open trees higher up, I observed shallow dust on crust, deeper pockets up to 5 inches, and a few scoured patches near the top. I also saw cracks around my skis - not shooting cracks, but the type of cracks that indicate a cohesive slab underfoot. This tells me that the wind is definitely moving the snow around up there and forming wind slabs.

It was too dark to see into the bowl. I could see wind blowing snow into the bowl, but I could not tell whether new cornices or wind slabs were forming at the top of the bowl. There was light, very small snow/mixed precip falling and/or blowing sideways.

Skiing down through the trees was fast and fun. The new snow is heavy, but it skied well. There was a thin zipper crust just above the parking lot, which seemed to be formed by rime.