** IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT **

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 2/16/2018

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Feb 18, 2018 at 8:31 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Feb 16, 2018 at 8:31 pm
Issued by Gabe Coler
Bottom Line
The weekend will be stormy and should offer the winter weather and improved skiing that we've all been missing. With the significant snowfall and strong wind expect our usual mid-storm avalanche problems; Wind slabs at above treeline and possibly Storm Slabs below treeline. Avalanche danger will increase as the weekend progresses and more snow accumulates.
Avalanche Character 1: Wind Slab
The storm will be accompanied by strong wind from the West. Look for wind slab development predominantly on East aspects at and above treeline, but remember that terrain features can channel the wind and slabs may develop on more northerly or southerly aspects as well.
Avalanche Character 2: Storm Slab
The heaviest snowfall will be Saturday afternoon and into Sunday morning. The temperature trend should be on our side with the temperature generally dropping after noon on Saturday. This cooling will hopefully mean that the bulk of the storm snow is "right-side-up" but with so much cold snow out there right now, and the upper forecast amounts being over a foot, we my still see a storm slab problem.
Avalanche Character 3: Loose Dry
With cooling temperatures during the weekend and significant snowfall, expect Loose Dry avalanches.
Snowpack Discussion
This was a week of dust on crust. In protected areas there is 10-20 cm. of cold light snow on top of a beefy crust. From Phil's report at Ball Butte it sounds like there may be a thin rime crust on this surface snow, although I didn't see that further east and below treeline. Tests have shown the occasional failure below this crust, but there is no evidence of reactive persistent weak layers in our snow pack.
Recent Observations
Wednesday's snowfall (10 cm.) was cold and dry and produced small Loose Dry avalanches. As winds picked up from the WNW there were also shallow D1 Wind Slab avalanches.
Mountain Weather
Bring it on! Snowing and getting colder! Significant snowfall Saturday and into Sunday. The wind will be Strong from the west. Temperatures should peak around noon on Saturday and then begin cooling. Next week looks to be quite cold with overnight lows in the mountains dropping below 0 degrees F!
Disclaimer

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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