For Coppolillio, planning and preparation are crucial: “Our trip plan offers solutions and mitigation strategies before we  find ourselves exposed to hazards like avalanches, rock and ice falls, dangerous cold or hot weather, or the disconnect of an incompatible team.”(Coppolillo, 2020, p.2)12  His approach to planning, based on the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) Risk Management Framework includes these activities:

  • Stay fit and healthy.
  • Track the season’s conditions.
  • Practice rescue.
  • Learn about avalanches.
  • Become an expert navigator.
  • Investigate route options.
  • Find compatible partners.
  • Get your gear ready.13

Planning and preparation start late summer/early fall so that “when the backcountry finally fills in, you want to  be ready mentally and physically.” (Coppolillo, 2020, p.3)14