Before ever venturing into the backcountry you should educate yourself.
You can learn to be avalanche aware in a number of different ways.
Start by reading books and web research. Enroll in a quality avalanche
workshop, with field-oriented training. Take note of any avalanche
activity. Travel with an avalanche savvy partner and ask questions.
Look, listen and feel the snow pack. Use our avalanche advisories along
with other snow and weather reports to plan your recreational outing.
This data is only a small part of the needed information. Check
newspapers, news reports, other websites, talk to friends, and watch
for environmental indicators.
When you leave for a trip into the backcountry, have a plan. Good
communication among group members is essential. Leave a trip plan with
a responsible friend who is not traveling with you. Carry the needed
backcountry equipment. Probe pole, avalanche beacon, and a shovel are
mandatory tools, practice, practice, practice using these tools. Talk
about the best route selection among your group. The best avalanche
rescue plan is to not get caught in one, but if one does occur, have a
strategy already thought out.
If an avalanche accident does occur don't try to go for help, YOU ARE THE HELP.
Most rescue teams take hours to get to the scene. A victim only has a
50% chance of survival if buried 30 minutes. The first 15 minutes are
crucial in recovering an avalanche victim.
Educate yourself to be avalanche aware and you will live to enjoy the mountains for many years.