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 in Tumalo Bowl

Location Name
Tumalo Bowl
Three Sisters Area
Publish this observation?
I would like this observation to be published on the site
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
Other-please explain in the comments
Wind Speed
Wind Direction
Air temperature
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend
Bed Surface
Old Snow
Weak Layer
Storm Snow
Crown Height
3 ft
Accumulation rate
Avalanche Width
Avalanche Length
Above Treeline
Number of similar avalanches
More detailed information about the avalanche

 My partner and I were the first ones up to the Bowl this morning.  There was major cornice buildup along the whole ridge and rapid wind loading occuring.  We felt it prudent not to ski the main shoot between the rocks due to conditions.  This was the only entrance without catching airtime off the cornice, as it ran most of the length of the bowl.  I carefully kicked a small block of snow that slid into the bowl and propagated a small windslab, 10-16" deep, 30 feet wide that ran most of the way down the bowl.  R1 D1.   We proceeded down the ridge to the snowmobile area (southeast end of the bowl).  There were no tracks in this area either.  We dropped down the ridge to where the cornice ended and carefully kicked a small block into the bowl which propagated a larger slab, probably 100 feet wide, and around 3' deep at it's deepest spot up ridge below the cornice, that ran about 150 meters.  R1D1.5.  It was amazing how little it took to set these off.  Literally a 3x3 ft block of snow, if that, sliding into the start zone.  This certainly could have been skier triggered and taken someone for a ride.  We then put in a ski cut down ridge of the debris and skied a few laps beside the debris flank.  Great, low density snow.  When we were done we headed back to the top and a solo skier had just dropped the main line in the bowl and nothing moved.