Thanks for posting this - I'm still somewhat in shock after reading it. As I read the accounts, red flags kept popping up - the group size, disregard for the conditions, lack of a plan on how they were going to ski it, and a number of other things. It could've easily been much worse.
In addition to how many people were in the group that should've known better, one of the things that struck me was how many times people mentioned their stark misgivings about going out there, but suppressed their feelings and didn't speak up. The overconfidence of the group's leaders overrode the experience and knowledge others had.
Riding up the chairlift Friday before Christmas, I saw tracks on the Professor while passing over small slides to the ground on Exhibition at A-Basin. I am amazed at what some folks are skiing these days.
Remember: if it's steep enough to be fun, deep enough to ski, and long enough to make more than two turns, it's steep enough, deep enough and long enough to bury you. Also, if the trees are spaced far enough apart to ski, the snow can slide in the trees. I don't care how long and good it is, no powder run is worth dying for.
Be safe out there, everyone.
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse