Avalanches pose a very real danger to back country enthusiasts. Know a few facts before venturing into the mountains.

- Bring a friend, a portable shovel, a beacon, and some common sense.- Don't hike during or immediately after a storm.

- Be especially careful around north and east facing slopes. Also, avoid lee slopes where large amounts of snow are deposited by mountain winds.

- Avoid grades steeper than 25 degrees.

- Don't travel across or below large snow masses.

- Call the U.S. Forest Service back county avalanche advisory for the area you are planning to visit.

- Salt Lake area: 364-1581

- Ogden area: 621-2362

- Logan area: 752-4146

- Provo area: 374-9770