We had noted some instability within the top few inches of the new snow which was coming down pretty hard at the time. We were able to intentionally trigger some small dry loose snow avalanches in a safe location with no one below. As we approached the top of the ridge this avalanche released about 20 feet away from us. It ran into terrain within the Solitude Ski area that is not open yet for lift served skiing. We contacted the snow safety department to let them know. We most likely could have intentionally triggered a few more avalanches farther along the ridge but not a good call since we couldn't see if anyone was below.
The most recent near surface facets was the bed surface. It is difficult to tell whether the facets failed or if there was just a poor bond to the old snow or yet, it is very possible there was a slight weakness within the first 1cm of the new snow. It was a VERY soft slab, kind of surprising that it actually came out as a slab.