Avalanches are possible any time you have snow on a slope. The best thing you can do before you head into the mountains is check the avalanche forecast.
If you are traveling where there isn't a current avalanche forecast, here are some simple things that will help you avoid avalanches.
- Avalanches are possible when you have snow on a slope steeper than about 30 degrees.
- Most avalanches happen during or soon after a big snowstorm, period of strong winds, or during a thaw (rapid increase in temperature).
- Signs of higher avalanche danger include recent avalanches, cracking in the snow, and audible collapsing. Avoid traveling on or under similar slopes.