Make a Plan

You should make a plan with your backcountry partners by contacting your local avalanche forecast center, agreeing on the current avalanche problem(s), and agreeing on how you will mitigate the risks. For example, you might agree that you will "avoid northeast facing terrain that is above 9,000 feet" or "only ski on terrain that is less than 30 degrees in steepness."

You might choose to define your objectives as terrain that is open ("we expect this terrain to be safe"), closed ("we're in agreement that we won't go into this terrain"), and standby ("we're willing to consider this terrain based on conditions in the field").

Building consensus with your partner and clarifying your risk tolerances is critical. Avoidance is always a better than a rescue.

Equally important as planning, you should consider your selection of backcountry partners. Do they have a similar acceptance of risk, are they proficient rescuers, will they speak up about their concerns and listen to yours?

And finally, you should let someone know where you are going, when you will return, and what they should do if you haven't returned by the planned time.