If you are going, I would check the Avalanche website .....http://avalanche.state.co.us/
Use caution, we are getting a lot of snow this weekend, just think and make sure that you have the proper equipment before heading out to the back country. There have been tons of avalanche calls this week. Check the snow where you are going to hike and before you ski.
You should especially suspect dangerous conditions with a foot or more of soft, new snow. However, conditions can always be hairy. Stay on your guard whenever you're around snow-covered mountain regions.
Rapid snow settlement is actually a favorable sign. Look for settlement cones around tree trunks and over rocks. Moist, dense precipitations create those sought-after settlement cones, because the snowfall settles rapidly.
Lack of settlement is a danger sign; loose, dry snows avalanche easily. During windy periods all bets are off however, as even these snows can suddenly become very dangerous.
*Old Snow - When the old snow depth is sufficient to cover natural anchors, such as rocks and brush, additional snow layers will slide more readily. Also, the nature of the old snow surface is important. Rough surfaces are of course favorable for stability; any smooth surfaces, such as sun crusts, are not.
A loose, underlying snow layer is more dangerous than a compacted one. You can check this with a ski pole, ski, or snowshoe.
Ever wonder why you see those pro skiers banging the ends of their poles into a deep snow before beginning a day of skiing? Now you know.
*Crystal Types - All snow is not created equal. You can readily observe general crystal types by letting them fall on a dark ski mitt or parka sleeve. Small crystals, such as needles and pellets, result in more dangerous conditions than the usual star-shaped crystals.
*Wind - Sustained winds of 15 m.p.h. and over during a storm cause trouble fast. Snow plumes from ridges and peaks indicate that wayward snow is being blown onto these slopes during clear weather and that dangerous conditions may be developing, even though it is not storming.
*Temperature - Snow persists in an unstable condition longer under cold temperatures. It settles and stabilizes more rapidly during warmer weather that's near or above freezing.
But beware high and rapidly rising temperatures in the spring months. They may result in wet snow slides, particularly from south- facing slopes.
*Beware of any rapid change in temperature. Shadows creeping across a slope may change temperatures enough to create dangerous conditions.
*Snowfall Rate - Snow falling at the rate of one inch per hour or more increases avalanche danger rapidly.
*Old Slide Paths - An avalanche path that has slid once will slide again. Look for old scars in timber and avoid steep gullies and steep, open slopes.
*Recent Avalanche Activity - Look around; if you see new avalanches you should suspect dangerous conditions.
*Sound and Cracks - If the snow sounds hollow, particularly on a slope full of wind-blown snow, conditions are probably dangerous; if the snow covers cracks that are found running in the snow, slab avalanche danger is high.