Snow, predicted to start later in the day, began about the time we reached Balanced Rock. Leader (yours truly) got somewhat off track on the way there, but recovered with grace and aplomb (IMHO). Snack and grp pic at Balanced, then headed off to find our way to Twin Owls. As we went, had to deal with wet rock everywhere and on the slabby stretches that made it sketchy. Spots that were tricky when dry became seriously challenging, costing time and in one case blood to get by them. When we reached the back side of Gollum’s Arch we had 4 or 5 inches of snow, and the prospect of finding a workable route farther along to the Bowels of the Owls. This was the only stretch that I did not have a recent take on, so I’d be feeling my way. Not wanting to get into a position where we had to do further sketchy moves on slick rock, I made the call to descend from our perch at the saddle behind the Arch rather than thrash our way down to the Bowels and descend the climbers trail from there. I had led a hike up this cleft last spring, but it was still tricky finding the best route down. We picked our way very carefully, finally rejoining the Gem Lake Tr. at the jct. ½ mi above the parking lot. Derald had a bloody pant leg from one of those “tricky” spots, but we were otherwise safe and sound, as is devoutly to be wished, always.