So I stumbled onto this GIF:
It appears that this avalanche was caused by the deep trail cut into the snow. You can see ski tracks on the slope, it looks like it's been climbed and skied a number of times, so it appears the slope was initially stable, but then this long deep trail gets cut into the side of it and all of a sudden the slab lets loose and slides. You can see in the video that the trail acts as a transform fault.
I know slopes can become more unstable later in the day after they've been in the sun for a while, so that may have also contributed to this slide, but I still think it's the deep cut trail that caused this slope to fail.
It makes me wonder if the avalanche would have triggered had they gone up a different way (switch backs, not following the same trail, etc.), or while wearing snowshoes/skins.
What's the safety way to climb up a steep slope in deep snow?