Avalanches in Oregon: No dedicated forecast center

EUGENE, Ore. - The Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center in Washington tracks conditions in the Cascades from the Canadian border south to Oregon's Mount Hood.

The Mount Shasta Avalanche Center keeps tabs on dangers in northern California.

But the Oregon Cascades - from the California border north to Mount Hood - don't have a dedicated avalanche forecast center.

Take a look at this map from avalanche.org:

"One of the reasons we don't have an avalanche forecast system for the central part of the Cascades is because we don't have as many avalanche slopes," explained John Fischer with the Willamette Pass Ski Patrol.

That doesn't mean they aren't a danger: The ski patrol checks for avalanche danger after every significant snowfall, Fischer said.

And with good reason: Avalanches killed 35 people last year in the United States.

So far this winter, 11 skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers have died in avalanches in the U.S.

KVAL 13 TV News presents a special 3-part series Avalanches in Oregon on the 6 p.m. news. Part 1 aired Thursday, Feb. 24; parts 2 and 3 air Friday, Feb. 25, and Saturday, Feb. 26.

Watch Part 1: 'You cannot tell when and where the avalanche might occur'