Colorado snowpack tends to be the most dangerous in the nation, yet a drink of legendary champagne pow lures many into her lair. Mistakes have been made, but we’ve survived by carefully approaching our backcountry travels. Small groups, in-depth communication and constant observation of snowpack, terrain, weather and route are key. Also the elephant in the room: how risk averse are you, and are your companions in the same place as you are with that? With the expansion of sidecountry, freeriding and backcountry travel, we heartily encourage everyone to consider these things as important as snow science.