Waking up to the small waterfall gleaming in the early morning light was a delight, only the cold kept us from jumping from our bed to the outside world. We descended down the rest of Benson Pass slope to the edge of a lake and up over a hill. This ascent seemed pointless at first, taking us to the the opposite lake edge in double the time, but once down we were met with snowless switchbacks into a forested valley.

We skipped our way past waterfalls and lakes until we hit a matrix of river crossings among the flood lands below. It took some time to navigate and claimed the sunglasses that Molly had lent me. Frustrated with the time it was taking to make miles we stormed our way up the opposite valley side trying to make the most of the snowless south side.

We trudged through snow at its summit after some lunch and carefully descended the steep slope down to Kerrick Creek. The trail ceased to exist and instead we had to traverse a near vertical ice pack along its raging edge for 2 miles – the most sketchy traverse yet. With no trail to follow we soon found ourselves 200 ft below its true location and therefore scrambled the cliff to reach its safety.

Exhausted, hurt, deflated, the day was made harder by yet another moment of confusion as our scrambled brains couldn’t work out how far we were from the official crossing of Kerrick. However, once across via a log we were determined to march up the next climb summiting within an hour and passing by a doe and her fawns as the sun dipped the horizon.

Thankfully this final descent was easy besides the surprise waterfall crossing which soaked our shoes just in time for camp. We set up within Stubble Field Canyon where there was a three pronged river which we would cross in the morning. In the dark we ate dinner and slept, dreaming away the Day of Obstacles.