We woke to snow rimming the horizon. What last night was a late-fall granite bowl now is packed up tight. The only traffic, one small plane that rides the blue wind overhead, its pilot's eyes far off and focused. He doesn't see us. Then the sun-struck fuselage slips below the snowline. Nothing mars this perfect white -- not birds, not marmot tracks. On the map we trace again the route back to trailhead, three snow-bound ridges away, and calculate our summer-booted chances against a world grown so winter-magical and paler than my hand.