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.

Tumalo-area Avalanche Activity

Location Name
Tumalo Butte
Three Sisters Area
Gena Goodman-Campbell
Email Address
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Date and time of avalanche (best estimate if unknown)
Red Flags
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path
Avalanche Type
Trigger type
Wind Speed
Air temperature
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend
Bed Surface
Old Snow
Weak Layer
Old Snow
Crown Height
2 ft
Accumulation rate
More detailed information about the weather

We left the parking lot under cloudy skies and could see sun hitting Todd ridge occasionally on our skin up the west side of Tumalo. We noted windpacked snow of varying depth over a hard rain crust. When we reached the summit around 10:20 AM the skies cleared briefly and we had good visibility for our run down. The far lookers right side of the bowl had decent coverage, with about 6 inches of dense windpack on top of the icy layer. The north side of the butte was a different story, with wind-scoured ice making for a tricky traverse on our way back to the west side. There was no blowing snow, but snow conditions indicated that certain areas could be quite wind loaded.

Number of people caught
Number of partial burials
Number of full burials
More detailed information about the avalanche

While touring at Tumalo Sunday morning we observed a very recent slide on the E/SE aspect of the rocky ridge on the lower, lookers right side of the bowl. What appeared to be a wide, wind-loaded slab (R5D1) released, leaving a 1-2ft crown along the entire ridge. After skiing the far lookers right side of the upper bowl, we went to check out the debris but didn't go up to the crown since weather was moving in. We observed recent ski tracks coming out from the bottom left side of the debris.