Safety tips to help prevent or avoid avalanches include knowing how to recognize avalanche-prone territory, crossing avalanche territory one at a time, and paying attention to any avalanche reports at the time of hiking or skiing. Hikers and skiers can also protect themselves against avalanches by carrying avalanche rescue gear and learning ahead of time how to use it.
Avalanches typically occur on slopes steeper than 30 degrees, which is about the angle of a black-diamond ski slope. Hikers and skiers on or below this type of slope should be aware of the possibility of avalanches, especially within 48 hours of recent snowfall. Any collapsing or cracking snow is a sign to leave that area immediately. Signs of recent avalanches or unstable snow are also indications of potential avalanches.
Avalanche terrain should be crossed carefully by one person at a time. Not only does this create less pressure on the snowpack, it also means that the others in the group are available for rescue operations and only need to look for one person should an avalanche occur.
According to Colorado Ski Authority, anyone traveling in avalanche terrain should carry an avalanche beacon, a shovel and a probe. All members of a party should be fully equipped. Many ski resorts hold classes in how to survive an avalanche or look for those trapped by one.