** 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 Jan. 22 & 23

THIS Avalanche Advisory EXPIRED ON Jan 23, 2020 at 8:41 pm
Avalanche Advisory published on Jan 21, 2020 at 8:41 pm
Issued by Aaron Hartz
Bottom Line
Windslabs will be the primary avalanche problem over the next few days. There will be plenty of snow for the wind to move around. If you see slopes actively loading with wind blown snow, it will be best to avoid those slopes in avalanche terrain (i.e. slopes 30 degrees or steeper). As the daytime warming bumps up on Thursday watch for signs of warming in the upper snowpack and the snow becoming wet and heavy; If this happens watch for triggering shallow wet slabs and/or loose wet avalanches during the warmest time of the day, especially in steep terrain below treeline.
Avalanche Character 1: Wind Slab
With soft snow on the ground and more snow on the way, expect windslabs to be building near treeline and above treeline primarily on northerly and east aspects. Watch for evidence of wind transported snow on lee slopes below ridgetops and around features that catch wind blown snow. New windslabs will be likely to trigger in the right terrain. Windslab avalanches could be small to large.
Avalanche Character 2: Cornice
Cornices have been reported to be building on north and east and southeast aspects at ridge tops. Be cautious when approaching ridge tops and avoid walking out onto a cornice. Remember, cornice failures can also trigger an avalanche on the slope below.
Snowpack Discussion
The upper and mid pack (snow from the last two weeks) are generally showing good structure. The Jan. 7 rain crust is now down about 150-170cm below the surface. We have no new observations from the deep pack; presumably remnants of the December weak layers are still visible along with multiple rain and melt freeze crusts.
The 1/18 rain crust is now under 10+cm of new snow.
Recent Observations
On Sunday the remnants of a previous D2 avalanche was spotted in the Pucker Up run on Broken Top (SE; above treeline). It appeared to have been a natural storm slab that released sometime last week. The storm slab stepped down, possibly to the old December basal facets. On Sunday, skier triggered and natural small (D1) loose wet avalanches were reported from 3 Finger Jack on sun exposed alpine slopes.
Mountain Weather
New snow is coming on Wednesday and tapering off Thursday. The daytime high temperature could creep up to the low 30's Fahrenheit on Wednesday and mid 30's on Thursday. Wind is expected to be light to moderate out of the south and 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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