there is ice up there that was climbed a couple of years ago by Kurt Winkler
Yes...that slab comes in occassionally and offers a nice alternative (Pitch 1) to Gully #1 if you want to avoid the slog up the hill!
You're talking about different places. Al, and earlier in the thread, Strand, are taking about the buttress WAY up on climber left, other side of that brook/drainage (Slipstream in guidebook I believe) which is actually on Mount Willey (not Willard) and has a long steep narrow scree run-out leading to it. Winkler did climb it with a client years ago and summited Willey... then had to hike down and around to grab their packs on the tracks
Smear has a good story about soloing Slipstream with me a few winters back... Polar Bear Swim Club anyone?
That slab you mentioned as an alternate start to Gully #1 is nice when in, but Gully #1 does not equate the kinda of slog the area Al/Strand were referring to...