Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Coquitlam, BC, Canada.
I've thought about this a lot as well. Could this have happened to me? Quite possibly, yes. I've been up there a couple of times, which I suppose leads to a feeling of false confidence.
Plus, as guntis's illustration nicely illustrated, the snow can hide where the real summit is. If there's enough snow, it can make the summit appear to be farther out than it really is. Even if you assumed the worst, and stayed just behind the highest point, you could still end up getting caught in the cornice break.
Quite sobering, really.