We drove straight from work and hit the trailhead at 6:15. The sun was already low, and the shadows of Douglas Fir fell long over six feet of snow. For the first hour, we had the false sense of warmth as dusk lit the air with alpenglow. Almost without notice, it became harder and harder to see; then it was dark. We turned on our headlamps, and the blue reflective diamonds marking the trail shone like gas flames among the trees. It was slow going. A foot of fresh powder had fallen the night before, and even with snowshoes, we waded ankle deep beneath our full packs, sweating under our fleece while the freezing air burned our faces.