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 1/30/2018

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Feb 1, 2018 at 10:20 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Jan 30, 2018 at 10:20 pm
Issued by Aaron Hartz
Bottom Line
Things were looking pretty good as the last storm cycle was in full swing. Riding conditions were great and the snowpack received an addition of around 80cm or more of new snow. The big warm up over the weekend followed by a solid freeze pretty much put an end to the powder fever that struck the region. On the positive side, the storm slab wind slab danger decreased quickly.
Avalanche Character 1: Cornice
Cornices started growing during the last storm cycle. Small cornices have been observed near and above treeline. They are not widespread yet, but can be found in isolated areas at ridge top hanging over leeward slopes. Although they are not the monster cornices we had last year at this time, they are still something to watch out for.
Snowpack Discussion
It has now been about 4 days since the last significant snowfall. The 80cm of new storm snow was mostly right side up (denser snow on the bottom and lighter snow on top) until the end of the storm when the last 15-20cm came in wet and heavy. The upper snowpack was melted and/or rained on and refrozen resulting in a stout crust in some places up to 10cm thick.
The mid and lower snow pack are characterized by crusts and rounding grains and appear to be relatively strong.
Recent Observations
During the last storm cycle there were reports of skier triggered storm slabs and loose dry avalanches on steep and convex terrain below treeline. On Monday, signs of previous wind slab avalanches were observed on east facing terrain at around 7700ft on Ball Butte. They occurred sometime during, or on the tail end, of the last storm cycle. The exact timing and trigger of the slides is unknown. No recent avalanche activity has been reported from the weekend or the early part of this week.
Mountain Weather
The Central Oregon mountains could get an inch or two of snow here and there by the end of the week. We could also see some rain in the mid and lower elevation terrain during the later part of the week. The day time high for air temperature will be creeping into the low 40's as we roll into the weekend. The wind is forecast to be out of the southwest through west.

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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