We followed tracks to the slide and noted previous skiers had skied the slide, skinning directly up the furthest lookers left slide, where skin tracks were noted going back and forth across the whole slide. We discussed that we need to make an assessment without letting the fact that other people skied it bias our decision.
Bottom Pit: Found an area about 50' x 50' on the lookers right of the slide somewhat protected by small trees and brush. The area had an angel of 30 degrees and a snow depth of about 40cm. The top 15cm was fluffy new snow, the next 20cm was older somewhat sugary snow with a 2 finger hardness, the bottom 5cm was a faceted layer on any icy surface bed. CT-12 and ECT-11 both releasing at the faceted layer with minimal force to move isolated columns. As an additional test we tried stomping above the pit with skies on to see if it would release and saw no release until about 2 feet from the pit.
We decided to climb the slide adjacent to and through the trees dividing the middle and far looker left slide. We felt that this would be much safer than skinning up the existing skin track which seemed to exposed. We noticed no whoomphing or shooting cracks while climbing, when in safe zones we would jump to see if we could cause a collapse the layer of concern. We also payed attention on each kick turn to see if the corner in-between the skin tracks would release (this happened once about halfway up). Once we reached the top of the slide we dug a pit on the lookers right corner of the farthest left slide.
Top Pit: Snow depth of 75cm. The top 20 cm was fluffy new snow (fist hardness), the next 10cm was a 2 finger hardness to a one finger hardness in the next 20 cm, at about 50 cm down was the 5 cm faceted layer of concern that was on a hard icy crust above 20 cm of very hard base layer. CT 10 and ECT 13 at the layer of concern 50 cm down, the slab that released was cohesive and relatively hard. We leap frogged down the slope using the trees in the middle of the slides as protection to attempt to get out of any potential avalanche path. With the results of the snowpit, it is hard to say if we made the right decision. We knew the risks and decided to go any way and had fun. We were probably lucky, but feel that our spacing and leap frogging from relatively protected locations down the slide help to reduce the risks.