We had a rough sleepless night. Gathering our stuff early, we headed back on-trail in the hope of catching Funk and Cricket before they left their site 6 miles away. The trail wound its way down past the Junipers and pines to the Kern river that we had overlooked that night. A wooden bridge was home to hundred of swifts/swallows, and we watched them dart in and out from their nests as we attempted to eat breakfast still with funny tummys. Passing through Monache Meadows and back to the woods, we thankfully came across the others who were having a steady morning get up. SOBO, the day before, had left after us but had not come across either of our camps that day. Figuring she had passed us all we pressed on and climbed up to the snows for the first time in the range. The views were beautiful and the trees stood out orange and red against the white blanket of snow. Marmots, large squirrel-like rodents, darted between rocks and new species of birds filled the sky with their calls. It was stunning and such a treat to be amongst as we slowly trudged across snowy ridges among the forest. The climb peaked around 10,000 ft and from there we descended down towards Gomez Meadow where we’d be camping. With numb toes we twisted and turned around gnarled trees and past vast views before entering the meadow. Cricket and Funk had come across SOBO who had just set up tent between a boulder formation. We all reunited and set up together around a fire place which Funk quickly got going. Talking about the beauty of the day and enjoying some food, finally with a normal appetite, the day wound to close. A truly amazing introduction to this awesome section.