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 1/26/2018

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Jan 28, 2018 at 8:29 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Jan 26, 2018 at 8:29 pm
Issued by Gabe Coler
Bottom Line
Avalanche danger will rise tonight and into tomorrow. A period of heavy snowfall accompanied by rising temperatures will mean heavier denser snow over our currently light and weak snow. This will create Storm Slabs at and below treeline. The storm will have moderate to high winds from the South and West so expect Wind Slabs to build at and above treeline.
Avalanche Character 1: Wind Slab
Significant new snow in the next 24 hours accompanied by Moderate and then Strong winds from the South and West will build Wind Slabs rapidly on lee slopes at and above treeline.
Avalanche Character 2: Storm Slab
Total new snow could be well over 12 inches in a 24 hour period. Temperatures are expected to rise significantly throughout the period of heavy snowfall. This will likely leave us with heavier, more cohesive snow over colder weaker snow.
Snowpack Discussion
As of Friday our upper snowpack consists of 2-3 feet of mostly cold, dry powder (what a week it was!). This is likely to change tonight and into Saturday as a warm front moves through the area dropping another foot or more, and accompanied by rapidly rising temperatures. I'll be focusing my attention on how this bonds to our existing snow as well as instabilities that may exist in this possibly "upside down" storm snow.

Beneath our current soft snow is a layer cake of crusts and rounding grains. I haven't heard of or found any significant weak layers in the mid or lower snow pack.
Recent Observations
We've had a bit of smaller avalanche activity over the last few days. The majority of the instability has been Loose Dry avalanches but there have definitely been exceptions. Shallow Storm slabs were reported at Todd Ridge/Soda Pk. last Wednesday and Jonas reported a Wind Slab avalanche at Tam Rim. I haven't heard of anything larger than size 1.
Mountain Weather
The forecast for tonight and into Saturday is for heavy snowfall totaling a foot or more by the time things wind down. The temperature will be rising continuously throughout the storm with the snow level rising to 7000 ft. by Saturday night. This means some areas may see some rain before the storm moves through. Winds are forecast to be Moderate increasing to Strong from the South and West. Sunday looks to be drier although quite warm with temperatures well above freezing.

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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