Snowshoeing with a big group this week. I take up the sweep position, I like walking with the kind of people who end up last in the back. Its also much quieter when you’re removed from the main group. We all start out together, but quickly spread out to enter the woods trails (in the summer the mountain bikers use them). Our group hikes down to the bottom of a small saddle between two peaks and then up the other side. By the time we emerge back onto the ski trails, they are empty, the lift having closed some time ago. Its is just us and the sunset. We have a spectacular western view, with the sun sliding behind the sister peak we started out on an hour or so ago. The sky is a soft blue up high and fading into a fuzzy pale rainbow effect above the north eastern mountain ridges. You can see all the faint colors layered hazy and indistinct, pale blue darkening to purple, fading to red, bleeding to orange, shifting to yellow, turning to the palest green just above the dark mountains across the valley. As we descend we loose sight of the western sky, but watch all the subtle color changes as this side of the earth turn away from our fiery star. We come around a sharp corned and have another immense view of the west. Layers of bright orange, dark yellow, fluorescent pink, deep red, bruised purple, and where the sky peeks through the layered clouds, pale blue and palest yellow. These clouds reach out gently above us like giant fingers and fade to dark indigo toward the east. As we descend further, the colors deepen, strengthen, then fade away to darkness by the time we return to the base lodge. This is one of the many reason I enjoy snowshoeing!