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.

Small slide in lower crater of Black Crater

Recent avalanche activity
Whumpfing sounds or cracks
Observation Date/Time:
Mon, Feb 17, 2020 - 10:41 AM
Caleb Bryce, Kyle Weiss
McKenzie Pass Area (Black Crater, Belknap, Washington) / 6300'
Report Type:
Snow Conditions   Avalanche Activity  
Travel Mode:
Ski or Snowboard  
Precip Type/Intensity:
No Precipitation
New Snow:
1 in

Written Report:
Skinned up and off Black Crater in blue-bird conditions on Monday, 2/17/20. On ascent, we noticed a small rim-to-bowl slide on the NE aspect of the lower crater (~45deg slope, broke from rim at approx. 6300 ft to bowl of crater at 5400 ft). After testing snow conditions, we observed some cracking but no whumpfing after skiing near but uphill of the slide area. We observed minor sloughing on our descent, but the snow appeared otherwise stable.

Avalanche Report

Avalanche Type:
L - Loose snow
Avalanche Size (relative to path):

Avalanche Size (destruction):
D2 - Could bury, injure, or kill (100m)
Avalanche Aspect:
Avalanche Slope Angle:
Avalanche Elevation:

Avalanche Report:
Slide likely occurred in previous 24-48hrs, following few inches of fresh snow over President's Day weekend.