** 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.

Advisory for Dec. 25 & 26

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Dec 26, 2019 at 8:39 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Dec 24, 2019 at 8:39 pm
Issued by Aaron Hartz
Bottom Line
Our primary problem of concern is persistent slab due to basal facets at the base of the snowpack. Although we have not seen any avalanches on this layer in over a week, it is still something to watch for near and above treeline.
Avalanche Character 1: Persistent Slab
Our persistent slab problem relates to a layer of basal facets on or near the ground. This layer is becoming more stubborn with time, although could be possible to trigger a persistent slab avalanche in shallow, rocky, steep terrain. Be aware of this problem near treeline and above treeline.
Avalanche Character 2: Wind Slab
Isolated pockets of wind slab may be found on W-N-E aspects near and above treeline. Any wind slab avalanches in the next few days will likely be small.
Snowpack Discussion
Our snowpack varies between 70 to 110cm. Basal facets have been found near the ground. The facets in this layer have been observed to be rounding in many locations but still remain weak, especially in higher elevation terrain. Old decomposing surface hoar has been located in the mid pack on N and E facing slopes near and below treeline. The upper 10-15cm of new snow from this week has begun faceting. On 12/24, widespread surface hoar was found below treeline and near treeline.
Recent Observations
No avalanche activity has been reported in the last week. There was a report of shooting cracks on north facing terrain near treeline several days ago.
Mountain Weather
Daytime high temperatures will be in the mid 20's Fahrenheit over the next few days with lows in the mid to upper teens. Wind will be light and variable. We could see a dash of snow on Wednesday, but no significant accumulation is expected.
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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