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.

Broken Top; surface hoar, dry loose, wind slab

Recent avalanche activity
Whumpfing sounds or cracks
Observation Date/Time:
Tue, Mar 10, 2020 - 9:00 AM
Miles Britton
Broken Top Area / 7400'
Report Type:
Snow Conditions   Avalanche Activity  
Travel Mode:
Ski or Snowboard  

Written Report:
Touring out from the Broken Top trailhead we found widespread surface hoar 2-3mm in size. We observed wind slabs on an isolated terrain feature: a 35° lee slope at 7400' with a SE aspect where we found one-finger hard wind slab that was ~3cm thick sitting above 10cm of fist hard snow, which interfaced with the melt freeze crust beneath. We observed shooting cracks traveling through this isolated terrain feature. Hand shear tests had easy results. We did not travel near any other lee slopes.

We observed numerous naturally triggered Dry Loose avalanches in the Broken Top Bowl, we toured to the ridge above Little Crater Creek for this ob. Pucker Up, 9 o'clock, 11 o'clock & a la mode all had evidence of recent avalanche activity. Smaller steep terrain throughout the bowl had the same pattern of dry loose activity.

10:00 @ 7400' skies were few, 24°F (Moon Mountain Temp), light SW winds, no precip and no signs of blowing snow.
12:00 @ 8100' skies were few, 31°F (Moon Mountain Temp), light SW winds, no precip and no signs of blowing snow.

We skied low angle slopes, ski quality was good!