** 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 3/16/2018

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Mar 18, 2018 at 9:53 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Mar 16, 2018 at 9:53 pm
Issued by Aaron Hartz
Bottom Line
Although the riding still has a 'dust on crust' feel, it is getting better as the storm squeaks out a few centimeters of snow each day. There have been no reports from backcountry riders above treeline over the last few days and that is where I expect to find the most pronounced wind slabs. As the storm breaks up later in the weekend, and people start accessing the alpine terrain, watch for fresh wind slabs (and possibly cornices) above treeline.
Avalanche Character 1: Wind Slab
Look for wind slabs near and above treeline on a variety of aspects. The wind has been out of the SE through south, west and north. There is plenty of soft snow on the ground available for wind transport. Wind may shift from northerly, west, and southerly over the next few days. Watch for wind slabs forming on lee slopes. Use visual clues to look for wind slabs, such as where the snow surface has a ripply wind blown appearance. Wind slabs are most sensitive to triggering when they are fresh to a few days old.
Snowpack Discussion
No significant weak layers have been found recently in the snow pack. Any instabilities in the upper pack will most likely be associated with newly formed wind slabs in wind exposed terrain.
Recent Observations
There have been no reports of recent avalanche activity. As visibility improves above treeline, hopefully we can get more observations from the alpine terrain.
Mountain Weather
The forecast has a few more inches of snow falling tonight through tomorrow and then the storm breaking up. Winds will be light and variable ranging from NE through west through south over the next few days.
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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