As to what makes the gorgeous reds and pink synonymous with sunsets, you see sunlight as white, but it's made up as a combination of the colors of the spectrum.
Particles in the air will tend to scatter away the blue and green light part of the sunlight's spectrum, leaving behind the more-difficult-to-scatter red and orange colors. That's because red and orange lights has a longer wavelength than the blue and greens, making it less affected by particles.
So next time you're up skiing at sunset, be on the lookout for Alpenglow. We also have a few examples on the komotv.com Weather Web site under "Viewer Photos."