• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

▶️ Existing Central Oregon deaths get in touch with concentrate to avalanche forecast technologies


Mar 17, 2023

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Workplace has identified 33-year-old Erik Hefflefinger of Bend as the man who died in an avalanche Wednesday on Paulina Peak. This was the second avalanche fatality this year instantly just after a Bend man died at Black Crater a handful of weeks ago.

According to Central Oregon Avalanche Center forecaster Gabriel Coler, the avalanche forecast gear on the mountain is incomplete.

“We have a wind sensor and temperature sensor,” described Coler.

These do not provide sufficient information for an avalanche forecast, which is essential in assisting backcountry athletes recognize snow situations. 

“We are relatively oblivious on what’s going on out there,” described Coler. “It tends to be a tiny further risky than the Cascades.”

The Cascade Mountain Wide variety has avalanche forecast capabilities.

Linked: Bend snowboarder killed in avalanche at Paulina Peak identified

Linked: Bend man killed in avalanche at Black Crater close to Sisters

“Our forecast region is from possibly just south of Mount Bachelor all the way up to three Fingered Jack, and we produce a day-to-day avalanche forecast for that zone,” described Coler.

Coler told us he believes most backcountry skiers use the forecast. So, the query is: why is there not a forecast for Paulina Peak?

“When a forecaster sits down at evening and is going to produce the avalanche forecast, they have to have to know: how a wonderful deal did it snow in all these diverse regions, how a wonderful deal did the wind blow, what do the temperatures seem like?” described Coler.

The piece they are missing at Paulina is a snow depth sensor. Devoid of this, they do not have a extensive climate station. 

“We couldn’t produce an avalanche forecast with out a climate station,” explains Coler.

The snow depth sensor is anticipated to be in place at Paulina Peak this summer season season.