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.


Observation Date/Time:
Sat, Mar 14, 2020 - 12:30 PM
Phil Bowker
Three Sisters Area / 7717'
Report Type:
Snow Conditions  
Sky Conditions:
Overcast (> 7/8)
Precip Type/Intensity:
Snow / S-1 Very light snow
New Snow:
15 cm
Wind Direction/Speed:
W / Moderate: 17-25 mph

Written Report:
Touring up the west side to Tumalo there looked to be 10-15cm (4-6'') of new low density snow from overnight. The last time I climbed Tumalo ski crampons where helpful in getting to the summit, this was not the case this time.

On Tumalo summit at 9:12 winds where light to moderate from the west with some small amounts of snow being transported into the bowl. Visibility was fair with overcast skies. Air temperature was around -5c (22f). Boot pen on the summit was 5cm (2''). It was snowing lightly.

There was around 20cm (8'') of touchy cornice build up at the north end of the bowl, kicking this cornice into the bowl produced a small dry loose avalanche (R1D1). Just under the cornice I found some very small isolated patches of reactive storm slab about 10-15cm (4-6'') deep. These small slabs ran on a weak layer just above the old snow surface. I did not see any new wind slabs.

Skiing the 10-15cm of new low density snow in the bowl was great although the old melt freeze crust could be felt on each turn. I did not observe any new avalanches or whumphing. I did see shooting cracks while ski cutting the small patches of storm slab, but not while skiing lower in the bowl.

Good skiing today.


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