I was in the BC of northern new mexico touring for about 3 hours up this peak. Prior to the trip we looked at the snow conditions and dug multiple pits and decided to keep it under 30* on open slopes since there was about a foot of faceting with 3- 3.5 feet of well consolidated snow on top of it. We would test for stability on steeper terrain if we were to encounter any.
As we were traveling up this ridge we notice that there was quite a bit of wind affected snow and cornices. All of a suden a cornice brok lose likely from exposure to sun, exposed rocks and our weight on the snow even though we were a good distance away from the danger since we noticed the cornice. Then the the whole shoot broke down to the rocks, the faceted snow sending a 50 yard wide slab down an avalanche path taking down trees and gained speed very quickly and didn't stop till the valley below. We were not at all planing on taking that route down, since it was very steep and would take about 7 hours or touring to to get back. Other than that there were no signs of slab avalanches that we saw.
Very neat to see and it was the first time I have seen a big avalanche anyone else out there experienced one up close?