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 3/27/2018

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Mar 29, 2018 at 9:21 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Mar 27, 2018 at 9:21 pm
Issued by Aaron Hartz
Bottom Line
The wind slab, storm slab, and loose dry avalanche problems that came along with the last storm have mostly subsided. There could still be some isolated pockets of wind slab in the high alpine terrain. Assess snow carefully before dropping into steep committing terrain if you see wind affected snow. As we roll into some more spring like weather over the next few days, start thinking corn snow on open sun exposed slopes. It may take a few days of melt-freeze cycling, but we may get it as we near the weekend. Along with warm and sunny days, we may see loose wet avalanches on sun exposed slopes.
Avalanche Character 1: Loose Wet
Watch for loose wet avalanches on all aspects below treeline during the heat of the day and sun exposed aspects near and above treeline.
Snowpack Discussion
The new snow from last week is consolidating and may be covered in a breakable melt freeze crust in some locations. This newer snow is sitting on a melt freeze crust down about 25cm. Today on Tumalo, I found the newer snow to be well bonded to the crust down 25cm. Below that, no significant weak layers have been reported.
Recent Observations
There was a spike in avalanche activity on the tail end of the last storm. On Saturday, several people reported seeing a previous slab avalanche below the entrance to the 'Pucker Up' run on Broken Top (approx 8800ft; SE aspect). The picture of this avalanche shows the crown propagated very wide and spanned several hundred meters across the slope. I could not tell how thick the crown was from the picture. The debris ran to the bottom of the slope into the lower bowl. Judging from the picture, this avalanche was probably a size D2 (large enough to bury, injure, or kill a person). Trigger is unknown. The slab was probably a storm slab or wind slab, or combination of both. Also on Saturday, a report emailed into COAA showed a picture of a skier triggered slab on the 'Proboscis' run at Tam Rim (approx 7500ft; ENE aspect). Type and size were not reported. They also reported several small loose dry avalanches. On Monday, Gabe reported seeing remnants of debris from small wind slab avalanches that happened over the weekend out at Tam Rim.
Mountain Weather
Look for day time highs in the mid 40's Fahrenheit and lows in the mid/upper 20's. We will also see some sun in the mountains and wind out of the NW 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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