Past Newsletters



Letter from the Bondis

Welcome 2016!  Here we are in the New Year, and we can already say its been a fantastic beginning of a winter in the Methow Valley.  Lots of snow, cold temperatures, exceptional guests (as always) and great skiing!  The trails are ready out your back door, the hot tub is hot, and the food is tasty and local as ever. Stop in and say hello when you are in Mazama, or better yet, get on the website and find an opening for your stay with us this season. Help us welcome back the lengthening days of the winter!
~Kim, Steve, Amelia and Emmet

Coming Up This Winter!

Community Soup Night and Presentation Series-
At the North Cascades Basecamp Ecology Center Classroom
Every Thursday evening at 5:30pm soup dinner, 6:00pm presentation. 7$/person

Next week is the first of our Winter Community Soup and Presentation Series. Come learn about the natural history of our area, while eating homemade soup and bread. Click here to see our website for more information about each of our presentations and speakers. 

January 14
Methow Beaver Project- 10 Year Update 
 Kent Woodruff, USFS
January 21
Campfire, Drum, and Song Circle
led by Celeste and Kip Roberts

January 28
Why Grizzly Bears in the North Cascades?
with Joe Scott, Conservation Northwest
February 4
Loons of Eastern Washington 
by Jeff Heinlen, WDFW

February 11
Wolf Predation in Livestock Occupied Areas of 
Washington State 
by Gabe Spence

Nature and Art Workshops for Kids
Saturdays at North Cascades Basecamp; 10am-2pm 
15$/student, $12 for additional siblings. Ages 5-12 yrs welcome; registration required

Robin Baer and Kim Romain-Bondi will be teaching art and winter science on Saturdays at the Basecamp. Bring your warmest layers and a sack lunch for an exploration into the snow, followed by a cozy lunch indoors and an exciting art activity. Click here to see our website for more information about each workshop. Call or email the Basecamp for more information or registration 509/996-2334.

January 16
Ice and Snow Ecology 
Explore the science of snow and ice with adventuring and watercolors

January 23
Birds of Winter
Join us for a fun bird watching walk and leave with an all-natural beautiful bird-feeder

January 30
Migration and Habitats
Learn all about where our Methow wildlife goes for
winter, create your very own migration map on a flag!

February 6 
Tracking and Adaptation 
Spend a day learning wildlife tracking and how our wildlife survives the winter. Create and paint your own "super-powered" critter!

Methow Trails-
Nature of Winter Snowshoe Tours

Every Saturday, Jan 2-Feb 20 
11 am til approx 1 pm
Starting at the North Cascades Basecamp Warming Hut


Family-friendly snowshoe tours every Saturday throughout the winter.  From 11-1 pm leaving from the Basecamp, local volunteers lead tours that focus on winter ecology, wildlife and tracks, snow science and more. Sponsored by Methow Trails, US Forest Service, and Atlas Snowshoes.

Audubon's 19th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count-

February 13 & 14


Join Steve Bondi as a citizen scientist for a day of birding by sight and sound along the Basecamp's snowshoe trails.  Data collected will be entered in Audubon's national GBBC dataset.  


Local and creative food is what we love to serve here at the Basecamp, and because we'd had such a great response from our guests, we've been sharing our recipes with you on our Blogsite- RECIPES. And follow our education blog on natural history or garden ideas relevant to our area, ongoing programs and events at the Basecamp, or check back for regular updates on our favorite recipes!  The fantastic part is that we make all our meals with the garden goodness, frozen, canned, or root cellar stored, from our summer harvest in the garden and at local farms. From roasted garden tomatoes, garlic and potatoes, to storage cabbage and carrot slaw, or our own chicken eggs, its all good!


"Thank you for the hospitality and great food! Deer season in comfort."
~Bicknese Family , Fall 2015 

"Thanks for a great place to come and get away from the big city life. Great food and hospitality."
~The Smit Family, Anacortes, WA

"It seems no response to make but thanks. And thanks. And thanks."
~Jillian, Fall 2015

Thank you everyone for your kind words and inspiration!  
~ Kim and Steve

Employee's Corner

Robin Baer 
Hello! My name is Robin and I hail from Seattle. As a kid I spent a lot of time on the road and in the Washington outdoors with my family and that never changed as I went out into the world on my own. I graduated from Western Washington with an environmental studies degree with a focus in education. I have a strong interest in the arts and how nature inspires it within us. I love to move and have been on a soccer, ultimate frisbee and competitive irish dance team. Out here I love taking advantage of the winter wonderland with skiing, snowshoeing and getting outside in any way I can. When I'm not outside I'm inside watching a good movie, doodling or eating some tacos! Can’t wait to keep exploring!
Kelsey McGill
Hi guys! My name is Kelsey and I hail from Lewiston, NY just outside Niagara Falls. This past winter I graduated from SUNY Plattsburg in expeditionary studies. My love of adventuring brought me to the west coast and hooked me into Outward Bound.  I have instructed for them from California to Oregon and now here in Mazama- what feels like my new home. In my free time I love to head to the mountains to ski, snowboard or just soak up the good views. But when it ain’t snowing you can catch me climbing, hiking or cannon-balling into a lake with some good company. Or curled up with some ‘30 Rock’. This past summer was amazing in Mazama and I can’t wait to continue the fun this winter!

Resident Wildlife
The powder snow on the Valley floor this early winter has been awesome for wildlife tracking- however the regular snowfalls have also been cleaning the slate every week or so. We've noticed coyotes visiting the chicken coops outer rim, bobcat tracks by the river's edge, and the general snowhoe hare hops throughout the forest.  

The Stellar's jays have also been active around the chicken coop, scavenging on lodge guest leftovers (truly meant for the chickens), but also gorging on peanuts left by our friend Alexis Billings, doing her PhD at the University of Montana on predator alarm calls and responses of songbirds.  Fun to have you around Alexis!

Breeding season is beginning some of our early season owls of the forests here in the northwest! This morning in the early morning light at the school bus stop, 4 pygmy owls were welcoming the dawn with their characteristic single hoot calls, as well as a sequence of trills in between.  Down to the river, back to the road's edge, to the tops of the trees and down again- their notes echoed off of Goat Wall.  Kim, Steve and Mica tried to get a glimpse but to no avail.
Local Roots 


Christian and Erica Kar have an amazing coffee roasting business that's business model calls for 'more than profit'. Not only do they often have personal relationships with the farmers from where their beans come from, they roast, blend and package their coffee by hand. Their business has a unique partnership with non-profit World Vision USA where every dollar you spend on coffee, generates a dollar of impact to save and improve the lives of people in the world's toughest places.  Their story and your dollars can be spent on their campaign sight in the next 40 hours One Cup- A Revolution in Coffee- Dollar 4 Dollar!  Sending Love to you Christian and Erika from the Basecamp, One Cup at a time... 

Mica's Musings

My oh my, this winter is soooo awesome! Although snowfall before Thanksgiving hid my bones and toys before I had put them away for the winter. Subzero temperatures and deep snows of December made chasing sleds on the sled hill a powder adventure. Now I watch the January days with interest, as skiers rocket by on the fresh groomed tracks, snow forts develop in the yard, and visitors come and go from the trailhead. Here come the longer days and- ooh, will somebody throw me a bone?!?!  

Amazing wildlife and scenic shots in this newsletter photo credits are to Bernie Krausse. Thank you Bernie- we miss you and Stacy here at the Basecamp!

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