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 1/27/2018

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Jan 29, 2018 at 7:37 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Jan 27, 2018 at 7:37 pm
Issued by Gabe Coler
Bottom Line
The current warming trend will continue through the weekend. Wind Slabs will continue to be a problem since they are recent, but also as above freezing temperatures weaken the surface snow and may make them more reactive. As the surface snow melts it will lead to Loose Wet avalanches, particularly if slopes are exposed to the sun. Cornices may be particularly touchy.
Avalanche Character 1: Wind Slab
In upper elevations soft snow will be available for transport into tomorrow and Wind Slabs will continue to build. As freezing levels rise to near summit elevations the surface snow will weaken and existing Wind Slabs may become more sensitive to triggering.
Avalanche Character 2: Loose Wet
Surface snow will be melted by the above freezing temperatures, possible sun, and maybe even some rain showers. As this snow looses cohesion, Loose Wet avalanches will result. If the sun peaks through, slopes that face it will be most susceptible.
Avalanche Character 3: Cornice
I typically give cornices a little extra berth whenever they are growing rapidly from wind and snow, or whenever they are weakened by above freezing temperatures, sun, or rain. Seeing as we are experiencing both growth and possible weakening in immediate succession, I will avoid being too near these unpredictable features.
Snowpack Discussion
During the last 24 hours we received approximately 15 cm. of heavy cohesive snow, which is overlaying up to 60 cm. of lighter weaker snow. Any weaknesses that would be associated with avalanche activity exist in this upper snow pack.

The mid and lower snow pack are characterized by crusts and rounding grains.
Recent Observations
There were multiple reports of D1 avalanches towards the end of last week. These were all reported before our latest snow fell.
Mountain Weather
The forecast is for warming to continue into tomorrow. Freezing levels are expected to rise to near summit elevations. Luckily it looks as if precipitation will be winding down tonight, and much of the terrain may "sneak" through with mostly all snow. Some lower elevation terrain may see a few rain showers tonight. The next cold front will arrive early next week.

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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