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.

Wind Loading on Tumalo

Observation Date/Time:
Tue, Mar 24, 2020 - 3:02 PM
Three Sisters Area
Report Type:
Snow Conditions  
Travel Mode:
Ski or Snowboard  

Written Report:
A few inches of new snow combined with moderate winds from the southwest to begin loading Tumalo's east facing bowl. The first turn into the bowl by the snow machine zone produced cracking and a VERY small avalanche (see picture). There were lots of tracks elsewhere in the bowl and no substantial avalanches, but this cracking is a good clue that wind slabs likely exist throughout the range at and above treeline. They are also likely to increase in size as more snow continues to fall.

During my midday tour it snowed most of the time, but there were some short breaks when the sun would filter through some high clouds. There was approximately 7-10 cm. of new snow. At and above treeline the wind was light-moderate from the southwest. On top of the butte around noon, there was moderate blowing snow. It stayed below freezing throughout the day.


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