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 just after a Bend man died at Black Crater a couple 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,” mentioned Coler.

These do not offer sufficient facts for an avalanche forecast, which is necessary in assisting backcountry athletes recognize snow circumstances. 

“We are fairly oblivious on what’s going on out there,” mentioned Coler. “It tends to be a tiny much more hazardous than the Cascades.”

The Cascade Mountain Variety has avalanche forecast capabilities.

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“Our forecast area is from possibly just south of Mount Bachelor all the way up to 3 Fingered Jack, and we create a each day avalanche forecast for that zone,” mentioned 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 create the avalanche forecast, they need to have to know: how a great deal did it snow in all these distinct areas, how a great deal did the wind blow, what do the temperatures appear like?” mentioned Coler.

The piece they are missing at Paulina is a snow depth sensor. With out this, they do not have a comprehensive climate station. 

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

The snow depth sensor is anticipated to be in location at Paulina Peak this summer time. 


By Editor

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