So here's the highlight of this particular trail: Rainbow Falls. It's normally a flowing falls throughout the year, but given the low temperatures, about 12°F here, the falls completely froze.
We had a number of memorable moments here. The water from the falls continues on into a river and there's a log bridge that you need to cross that goes over the river. Well one of the guys with us, Matt, wound up accidentally slipping and falling off the bridge and down about 6 feet or so into the river. In fact we got the whole thing on video! Seeing that happen we were stunned... Did that just happen!? We heard him start crying out to help get him out of the water. I tossed my poles aside and ran over to help get him out. With his pack on, he was too backheavy to get him out. He'd lost one of his poles in the fall but still had the other. We asked him if he was okay (his knee popped out during our hike at Shining Rock), but he seemed to be okay. Miraculously he just knocked his leg a little bit against one of the rocks on the way down, but no injuries or major damage.
We immediately got him out of the water and out of his wet clothing. I've been watching a lot of Survivorman and Man vs. Wild lately and there's a lot of awesome stuff that's covered, including what to do if you fall in freezing water in the winter. So we got him out of his dry clothing, dried him off, and got him some dry clothing out of his pack and immediately started getting some handwarmers going to get him heated back up. Fortunately everyone acted really well together (one guy even went and fished out Matt's lost pole) and so he was okay. His ankle was a little banged up on the trip and we had to decide whether or not to continue on or to turn back.
We made a stop shortly after continuing on to help dry him out some more. He had a fresh pair of dry socks on but his shoes were still wet. What we did for this was to take some garbage bags and fashion little booties out of them to go between his sock and shoes and keep his shoes from soaking his socks again. This really helped and we continued on after this.