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 3/23/2018

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Mar 25, 2018 at 8:53 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Mar 23, 2018 at 8:53 pm
Issued by Gabe Coler
Bottom Line
Our latest storm has brought us over a foot of new snow and should continue to deliver through tonight. Along with some high quality snow it has brought our usual storm-related avalanche problems. Today we saw relatively shallow Loose Dry and Storm Slab avalanches below treeline. As the snow piles up, these will become more consequential. With moderate wind speeds I would expect to see a Wind Slab avalanche problem at and above treeline tomorrow.
Avalanche Character 1: Storm Slab
Test Slopes today showed Strom Slabs that ran on a mid-storm weakness 1-2 centimeters above Wednesdays melt-freeze crust. These slabs were specific to convex, poorly supported and steeper (above 38 degrees) terrain.
Avalanche Character 2: Wind Slab
While this morning was relatively calm the forecast is for moderate wind speed from the South through West. These Moderate wind speeds are the most efficient at building reactive Wind Slabs, and I would watch for fresh Wind Slabs on lee terrain at treeline and in the alpine.
Avalanche Character 3: Loose Dry
Today we saw shallow Loose Dry avalanches that entrained any snow above Wednesdays crust. While they were shallow today they did run unexpectedly fast and far, and as new snow piles up over night they will be something to be aware of in bigger terrain.
Snowpack Discussion
As of noon today about 25 cm. of new storm snow overlays a melt freeze crust from Wednesday. While this snow is relatively light and weak, there is some cohesion in the surface snow. Significant failures were in the new snow 1-2 cm. above the crust, although when I would trigger failures on test slopes they would often entrain all of the new snow down to the crust. Beneath Wednesday's melt-freeze crust is our pow from last weak which is now about 15 cm. of disintegrating fragments, and below that is the stouter rain crust from March 13. We haven't found any persistent weak layers in this older snow. Today on an East slope of Todd Ridge at roughly 6,700 ft. I probed 275 cm. of snow.
Recent Observations
There haven't been any observations of sizeable avalanches over the last few days. Today test slopes were reactive to ski cuts.
Mountain Weather
It looks like the snow should continue through tonight. The weekend will remain cooler and there could be some snow showers, but by Sunday it looks like the current low pressure should be moving by us. The wind will be from the South and West, although some models show it shifting to North West on Sunday afternoon.

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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