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.

Avalanche on Black Crater

Location Name
Lower bowl, Black Crater
McKenzie Pass Area (Black Crater, Belknap, Washington)
Mike Caccavano
Email Address
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I would like this observation to be published on the site
Date and time of avalanche (best estimate if unknown)
Red Flags
Recent avalanche activity
Avalanche Type
Trigger type
Wind Speed
Air temperature
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend
Bed Surface
Old Snow
Crown Height
1 ft
Accumulation rate
Avalanche Width
Avalanche Length
Below Treeline
More detailed information about the weather

The snow was very firm, I barely left tracks with my metal edge skis.  I did not observe any cornices above the avalanche.  It looked like it originated in timber that had been fire killed.The photo upload didn't work.

More detailed information about the avalanche

I spottedthe avalanche track on 2/12/12, don't know for sure when it occured.  I did not investigate closely since I was on nordic skis and alone.  This is on the west rim of the lower bowl on Black Crater, just above Black Crater Lake.