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 12/4/2018

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Dec 6, 2018 at 9:34 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Dec 4, 2018 at 9:34 pm
Issued by Aaron Hartz
Bottom Line
Central Oregon is still in the early winter stage and the snowpack shows it. We have a thin snowpack, but enough for some good turns. It is great to see some observations coming in already from people who have been touring in the backcountry and the COAC observer team officially started up this week. During and after the last storm, backcountry users have been finding good riding conditions. However, we are still in a period of limited information as we get a handle on the season. Until we see more snowfall, potential avalanche activity will be related to isolated surface instabilities. Watch for those early season obstacles such as shallow and exposed rocks and logs!
Avalanche Character 1: Normal Caution
Although no major weak layers have been found, there can still be pockets of unstable snow on isolated features. Watch for pockets of wind slab in areas where certain slopes catch the blowing snow. Also watch for pockets of unconsolidated dry snow on steep terrain that can contribute to loose dry avalanches.
Avalanche Character 2: Wind Slab
Look for isolated areas of wind loaded snow. Even though we have not seen fresh snow in a few days, there is still some soft snow out there to blow around and blowing snow has been observed as recently as Tuesday (today). Pockets of isolated wind slab may be lurking around on NW through N through E facing aspects near and above treeline. Human triggered avalanches would most likely be small, but could have big consequence in committing terrain.
Snowpack Discussion
The mountain snowpack is shallow. The snow depth ranges from two feet at around 6000 ft to 3+ feet near and above treeline. Deeper pockets of wind drifted snow may be found. No significant weak layers have been reported within in the snowpack.
Recent Observations
The only recent avalanche reports are of small dry loose slides on east facing terrain above treeline.
Mountain Weather
Mountain enthusiasts will most likely see a few more days of sunshine before the weather turns a bit more winter like over the weekend. Nighttime low temperatures will dip into the teens and daytime highs will get into the mid to upper twenties. The wind is forecast to be light with moderate gusts out of the SE through SW over the next few days.

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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