Chris, John, Tom, Bob and myself travelled to Yellow Belly lake to start our 2 mile booter. Actually we used lighter shoes and boots and carried our skis and boots. It was hard to predict what the N. coolie would look like and Marc had told me there was an ice bulge when Chris L. and him skied it a couple of years ago in a good snow year in March. I brought a ski rope, 2 ice screws and harness. It ended up being worthless weight. None was used since the cooler had puked and spewed avy debris. We skied the NW apron down to the lake after a tough traverse from the West. The lake wasn't frozen well enough to cross, so we had to cross the creek.
John and Tom finally found a snow bridge and we crossed, then split up. Chris and I headed for the apron on Parks and John, Tom, and Bob toured further into the valley west of Parks. They were rewarded with the sighting of a wolverine. Actually, John was the only one to see it. He attempted to call it closer with a high pitched squeal, but the pitch must have been wrong and it darted. Chris and I were rewarded with 2" of heavy snow over a solid base. Good turns all the way to the lake.
I had ski crampons and was able to make it further up before I switched to boot crampons. Chris tucked in behind a rock halfway up to wait for me. I had a strange revelation when I was up in the cliff-band. I love being in the mountains, but this feeling was different. I can't explain it very well, but it felt like I was supposed to be there. Even with my meager skiing and climbing ability, I will strive to have this feeling of connection more. It was a good feeling.
Also, it is always great to enjoy a trip with a fit and skilled group of guys. It's strange to have 5 individuals and no "weak link" (unless I'm the weak link and don't know it). It seems like there is always a turd in the punch bowl, but there is no turd in that mix! Last, but not least, Happy Birthday Tom!