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.

Surface slabs near Three Fingered Jack

Location Name
Flanks of Three Fingered Jack -- NE Aspect
Santiam Pass Area (including Three Finger Jack)
Garry Sanders
Email Address
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Date and time of avalanche (best estimate if unknown)
Red Flags
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path
Avalanche Type
Blowing Snow
Trigger type
Wind Speed
Air temperature
Above Freezing
Air temperature trend
Bed Surface
Storm Snow
Cloud Cover
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Weak Layer
Storm Snow
Crown Height
1 ft
Avalanche Width
Avalanche Length
Below Treeline
More detailed information about the avalanche

 This avalanche fractured on a rollover on a steeper NE aspect.  We anticipated a possible fracture so we had one skier ski cut across the top of the rollover.  Our planned route was to ski around this area and drop down a treed ridge.  The skier triggered a surface slab that appeared to be all new storm snow, less than 1 ft. in height.  We noticed some older cornice breaks in the area but we did not see any signs of natural activity.