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

Rapid temperature rise
Observation Date/Time:
Thu, Mar 26, 2020 - 3:44 PM
Phil Bowker
Three Sisters Area / 7542'
Report Type:
Snow Conditions  
Travel Mode:
Snowmobile   Ski or Snowboard  
Sky Conditions:
Few (1/8 - 2/8)

Written Report:
Today I toured around the Bowl of Broken Top. Around 9am in the morning at the Broken Top trail head temps where quite cool, around -5c (23f), winds where light from the south east, good visibility and no precipitation. Skinning into the bowl the snow surface was a widespread 5 - 15cm (2-6")of dry loose snow. I was able to find some isolated patches of a breakable melt freeze crust on solar aspects. See pic.

Temps rose quite rapidly through the morning. At the top of "Little Pucker Up" by 11am the snow surface was starting to become moist. There was no blowing snow the ridges, I did not see any wind slab formation on that west aspect. Ski Cutting did not produce any results as the new snow was well bonded to the old snow surface.

In the Bowl there was lots of evidence of small wet loose slides from the day before. Lots of pin wheels. "High Noon" couloir had the greatest amount of activity, with two small crowns, perhaps from entrained melt freeze crusts.
See pic.

Clouds increased gradually throughout the day, by the time I was leaving at 2pm, air temp was -2c (29f) and the snow was noticeably heavier.



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