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.

Todd Ridge & Soda Peak

Observation Date/Time:
Sat, Mar 14, 2020 - 6:33 PM
Report Type:
Snow Conditions  
Travel Mode:
Ski or Snowboard  

Written Report:
I'll pick up where Phil left off... Good Skiing Today. And it felt good to have a bit of wintry weather. Throughout my tour there was 10-15 cm. of new low density storm snow over last week's melt-freeze crust. I didn't see any signs of a slab avalanche problem in the terrain that I toured in (barely at treeline and below treeline). I did trigger loose dry avalanches on steep slopes and some seemed to run relatively fast, but they were confined to the storm snow and shallow.

Throughout the day it seemed to be snowing half the time (sometimes quite hard, up to S2), and the sun would poke through the clouds the rest of the time. On sunnier slopes the surface snow would warm to the point that I could make a snowball. Along the top of the ridge the wind was sometimes Calm, sometimes Light from the South. I didn't see any blowing snow. It was -3 C at noon at 6000 ft.

In a few isolated spots I did find poorly developed facets (1mm) above last weeks crust and beneath the new storm snow (12-15 cm. deep). The new snow is so weak that it really didn't make a difference in the avalanche conditions for today. I'll be keeping an eye on it as the new snow consolidates. It was really very isolated and I had trouble finding a pattern to where I was finding that weak layer.

This observation is sponsored by: