ascending we observed strong north northeast winds. we discussed how the winds up high would ideally be stripping the start zones of snow, but also could be crossloading the start zones, as they were blowing slightly more out of the east than the top of the line's north aspect. the lower 2000' feet of the line held 4-6" of new snow on firm crust with little wind effect. the snow became more wind effected as we ascended the final steep 500' and triggered the wind slab avalanche.
our intention was to only climb and ski if there was little enough, unconsolidated enough, new snow that the new snow sliding would not harm us ("dust on crust"). at some point the new snow crossed the threshold and was enough to harm us if it slid. we did not recognize that threshold and were taken by surprise by the avalanche.