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.

Paulina conditions

Observation Date/Time:
Thu, Mar 26, 2020 - 7:29 PM
Newberry Crater Area
Report Type:
Snow Conditions  
Travel Mode:
Ski or Snowboard  

Written Report:
Paulina Peak received considerably less new snow than the Cascades from the most recent storm. Throughout most of my tour I was skiing through 7-10 cm. of new snow over a supportable melt-freeze crust.

The only avalanche problem that I saw was very shallow Loose Dry avalanches that were triggered both naturally and by riders. The largest (D1) was a natural slide from very steep north facing terrain (see picture). While the predominantly north slopes held light dry snow throughout the morning, east slopes were beginning to form some roller-balls (pinwheels).

On the top of Paulina Peak (7984 ft.) at 12:30 the temperature was -6.5 C, and there were only a few clouds. The wind was light from the northwest. There was previously light blowing snow from the northwest.

Other notes: Many slopes had developed surface hoar last night, but in most locations it wasn't holding up well. I dug a test profile at 7100 ft. on a northwest slope. Beneath the supportable crust was a mix of old crusts, refrozen melt forms, and some poorly developed facets. I particularly noticed a layer of 1mm facets down 40 cm. This layer was 4 finger hard and didn't produce any concerning results in compression tests. I didn't experience any cracking or whumphing.


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