If I'm heading out ski touring into an area I haven't been, what are the most important things to look for and think about to avoid high-risk areas for avalanches?
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To expand a bit on the good answer already given:
Forgetting the snow for a moment, remember that an avalanche fatality requires two things - snow conditions, and a person to be there. Avalanche deaths are primarily men, aged 20-29, who are experienced skiers. Not because avalanches like these people more, but because they are most likely to find themselves in a risky location, doing a risky thing.
Group dynamics and decision making will have a greater impact on your survival than snow science (though that is important, too). In nearly all avalanche fatalities, the investigation finds that someone in the group either identified the hazard, or had sufficient training to identify the hazard, and yet the group did the dangerous thing anyway.
Evaluate your group and make some rules:
And finally - take a class. Depending on where you are, there are probably some good Level 1 or introductory courses available free or inexpensively. Bring your friends, too - being trained on avalanche safety doesn't make YOU safer, it makes your friends safer. Bring them along and you'll all be more likely to ski another day.