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.

Snowpack Summary for 1/23/2018

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Jan 25, 2018 at 10:59 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Jan 23, 2018 at 10:59 pm
Issued by Aaron Hartz
Bottom Line
Any avalanche activity over the next few days will most likely be associated with the recent storm snow and wind transported snow. The region has received over 30cm (12") of new snow in the last 3 days and more snow is on the way. If you have any doubt about the stability of new snow layers, stay off of steep slopes (over 30 degrees steep) for a day or two after significant snow accumulation and avoid wind loaded slopes.
Avalanche Character 1: Wind Slab
With southerly and west winds forecast over the next few days, watch for new wind slab formation on north through east facing slopes near tree line and above tree line.
Avalanche Character 2: Storm Slab
Storm snow that is cohesive can create a storm slab problem. Watch for storm snow that is not bonding well to the older snow, or if there is a 'mid-storm' instability within the new snow.
Avalanche Character 3: Loose Dry
With the cold night time low temperatures and day time highs in the mid to upper 20's over the next few days, the new storm snow in mid and upper elevation areas of the mountains could remain unconsolidated on the surface. Unconsolidated new snow on steep terrain can 'spill' down the slope. If you are seeing "sluffs", these are loose avalanches.
Snowpack Discussion
At the onset of the storm, new snow bonded well to the old snow surface. Observers have been finding weak layer boundaries within the new snow. These storm layers will most likely strengthen with time. Below the new snow, crust/soft snow combos exist in various configurations. The mid and lower pack will most likely continue to gain strength.

Recent Observations
No reports of recent avalanche activity.
Mountain Weather
More snow on the way. The forecast is calling for consistent snowfall in the central Oregon mountains at least through the weekend. Winds are forecast to be out of the SE-SW through west over the next few days.

This snowpack summary applies only to backcountry areas. Click here for a map of the area. This snowpack summary describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This snowpack summary expires in 48 hours unless otherwise noted.

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