** 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 12/21/2018

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Dec 23, 2018 at 10:48 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Dec 21, 2018 at 10:48 pm
Issued by Gabe Coler
Bottom Line
The cycle of large avalanches that followed our most recent storm likey failed on a weak layer of buried surface hoar. This layer continues to exist in the snowpack. As it gets buried deeper we will see less avalanche activity on this layer, although any avalanches that do occurr will be more destructive. Our next storm cycle begins Saturday night and my attenton will once again be drawn to newly forming wind slabs and possible storm slabs. These direct action avalanches could be forceful enough to step down to the weaker layer.
Avalanche Character 1: Wind Slab
After significant snowfall on Saturday night and into Sunday accompanied by Moderate South West winds expect freshly formed wind slabs in the usual locations.
Avalanche Character 2: Storm Slab
Significant snowfall is expected Saturday night and Sunday with temperatures nearing 0 C in our ski terrain. The timing of this warming (whether or not it preceeds the snow or warms during the storm) along with the intensity of snow fall will determine the extent of our storm slab problem.
Avalanche Character 3: Deep Slab
After last Tuesday's storm it is likey that much of the buried surface hoar was flushed from slopes in the resulting avalanches. It would be fool-hardy to assume that this layer is absent from our ski terrain. Now it exists over a meter deep in the snowpack and beneath numerous layers of hard snow. It is increasingly less likely that we'll see avalanches on this persistent weak layer, but any resulting ones will be very destructive. Deep slabs are often triggered by: cornice collapse, other avalanches stepping down, or triggered in shallower spots.
Snowpack Discussion
10 cm. of new snow from yestrday afteroon/night made fore pleasant riding today. The snow from mid week is well consolidated and appears to be bonding well.

The December 8th Surface Hoar layer is now buried 1 - 1.5 meters and is overlaid by several hard layers and at least one crust. It will be very difficult to effectively test. Probing and terrain avoidance may be the best tools.
Recent Observations
Last week was an exciting one with numerous size 2 and 3 avalanches following the heaviest snow fall and likely failing down to the buried surface hoar layer.
Mountain Weather
What a pleasant cold day it was today! Saturday will likely be partly cloudy and warming. Saturday night and Sunday will provide significant new snow along with forecasted temperatures just below freezing. The wind will be out of the South West.
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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