Past Newsletters



Letter from the Bondis

Happy New Year!!!  Winter in Mazama is off to a great start.  We've had sunshine and cold temperatures to keep our solid 2 feet of snow in great condition.  It sounds like there is more snow in the Methow Valley than in most of Oregon and Washington right now!

While the nordic and snowshoe trails, sledding hill, and snow caves are keeping us all giddy with outdoor fun, family, friends, and community events have also been highlights of this busy holiday season. We've shared this time with 
a wonderful assortment of guests at the lodge and cabin over the last couple of weeks, both new-comers and old-timers. The Bondi family wishes everyone a joyous winter season and a peaceful upcoming year 2015!  

Coming Up This Winter!

Thursday 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. 

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 8
‘Return of the River’ Community Film Screening 
 Jessica Plumb, and river restoration panel discussion to follow

January 15
Ski touring and Nordic skiing in the Methow Valley- A History, as shared by Don Portman

January 22
The Mystery of the Ice Worm Cocktail: What Ice Worms May Tell Us About Northwest Glacial History with Peter Wimberger
January 29
Wild Wanderers of the North Cascades 
with Robert Long and Paula MacKay

February 5
Native Bees in the Methow: Unknown, Invisible,
and Indispensable
by Dr. Don Rolfs

February 12
Glaciers of the North Cascades by Tom Hammond
February 19
Mushroom Myth-busters with Danny Miller

February 26
‘OR7’- Wolves of the Northwest with David Moskowitz

March 5
Queen of the West Columbia: Lewis and Clarke History with Bill Hottell

Yoga and Ski Retreats-
Nuu Muu Yoga and Ski Weekend

with Laura Todd, Elizabeth Ruff, and Becky Pezely
January 8-11, 2015
For more information and registration, contact Laura Todd at

Yoga and Ski Retreat 

with Joanna Dunn
March 6-8, 2015

For more information and registration, contact Joanna Dunn at

Methow Trails-
Nature of Winter Snowshoe Tours

Every Saturday, January 3-February 21
11:00am til approx. 1:00pm
Starting at the North Cascades Basecamp's 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.


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.  Follow our 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.  Here are a few of our favorites:


"We loved being here at this comfy eco-place- meeting you and your staff and family, exploring the trails, and eating your many culinary creations (so enhanced by your bountiful garden!)"
~Marilyn and Dave Yeamans, Los Alamos, NM

"We came with the new snow to find the friendliest hospitality, great food, and a warm hearth... Our boys took advantage of the sledding hill, the books, and of course the wifi.  I feel well fortified by the home-made granola, and the rest of the family has eaten well... the food, oh the food!"
~The Heginbottom Family, Tacoma, WA

"Thank you again for providing plenty of snow, fun, incredible food, and friendship.  We are so glad we have been able to make this our annual holiday destination- it is truly magical and something we won't forget"
~The Schomer-Robinson Family, Seattle, WA

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

Employee's Corner

Joey Nishida is back with us again this winter (left in photo), as you will recognize his smile from this last summer.  He's been skiing daily to perfect his skate skiing technique, and helping us in immeasurable ways around the Basecamp! Look for him on the trails, in the lodge, or shoveling snow!
Raechel Youngberg is also back with us (middle) after a great summer!  She's been skiing, enjoying family visits and the snow, and helping with the Methow Trails Snowshoe Tours as part of her naturalist endeavors. 

Kelli Lane is the newest member of our team this winter (on the right), and we've been especially loving her baking skills at the lodge.  Kelli was most recently working on Orcas Island at Camp Orkila, and prior to that in Bellingham, where she and Raechel were roommates years ago.  Good friends make a relocation that much easier!

Resident Wildlife

The place to be for wildlife this winter is in and around our chicken coop!  Our 15 hens and 2 (maybe 3!) roosters are gorging daily on food scraps and trimmings from the lodge and cabin; in return they provide us with tasty fresh eggs. And others are taking advantage of lodge scraps as well.  The most frequent are the Stellar's jays who come out of the trees daily during compost delivery- their activity and vocalizations start when we are still 100 feet away.  We can only imagine what their banter truly means.  A few quail are surviving in Mazama this winter at the Basecamp; visiting not only the chicken coop, but also the bird feeders and the lodge's front porch daily.  A bushy tailed wood-rat has taken up residence under the chicken coop's heating pan that prevents the water trough from freezing.  This little bugger disappears for days at a time then returns, makes a nest, swills some water, and surely eats some grain from the adjacent dispenser. He/she is certainly living a packrat's dream life.  Then there are the predators- cougar tracks have come in for a viewing (tracks in the photo above), and an owl is the most likely the culprit in last month's "taking" of two of our chickens.  We are always wary as racoons, weasels, coyotes, and bobcats are frequent visitors to the Basecamp Back Forty. Nobody ever said life on the edge was easy.

Local Roots at the Basecamp 

KTRT- 97.5 fm
local mountain radio

MerchandiseKRoot is our local mountain radio station that we love and cherish in the Methow Valley.  Deputy Don Ashford has kept the airwaves alive since 2006, with local talent by many contributing to its eclectic style.  It was founded and put into genesis not only by Don, but also by his son Dov Ashford and friend Rick Mills.  They not only play a variety of music, but also one can listen to BirdNote, Herbalist and Garden Talk, and Fishing Report programs, amazing coverage of current events, and Arts and Events Calendars.  The Root 'believes, lives by, and truly represents a community station, a vision to always serve our community, and to bring a diversity of music that reflects the diversity of us and our Valley'.   Their slogan is "serving the Methow and beyond".  

Thanks KROOT!

Stop in and say hi this winter!

Mica's Musings

My world was rocked this late December when Santa delivered two scrappy kittens.  I was snoring heavily that night, so I will never know how he brought them down the chimney.  But low and behold, Emmet and Amelia were ecstatic to find kitties in the living room by the warm fire on Christmas morning.  Since then, Bisquit and Ashe (as the kids now call them) taunt me with their merriment when I lay in my usual spot on the floor rug. So I casually go outside and lope to the parking lot for belly rubs and candids with skiers and showshoers.  The winter snow season is in full swing here at Basecamp- how can I complain?  Bone, anybody?!

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