Past Newsletters



Letter from the Bondi's

As February commences, the snow is still falling and winter outdoor activities & recreation are amazing!  MVSTA continues their impeccable grooming of the Nordic ski trails out our back door, the sled hill is fast and fun, and the igloo and 4 entrance snow caves are ready for exploring.  The Basecamp's Thursday Soup and Presentation Nights continue to shine and inform; the speakers to-date have been amazing and the soup&bread great too!

At the same time, we are busy collaborating on upcoming spring retreats, programs, and projects.  Read on to learn more about our Pilates, artisan, and natural history workshops planned for April, May, and June.  More in store for the summer too.  Stay tuned to our website and future Newsletters.
In This Issue
  • Letter from the Bondi's
  • Reflections
  • Up and Coming
  • Employees Corner
  • Testimonials
  • Local Roots
  • Mica's Musings


Wintering Bald Eagle Workshop
Jan 7
Libby Mills and Kim Romain-Bondi

A group of us spent the day discussing bald eagles, their wintering habitat(s), and identification of different aged juveniles.  We clustered in the cold temperatures at several locations, but saw the most eagles at the new pedestrian bridge in Winthrop where the confluence of Spring Creek and the Methow River bring in waterfowl and spawning fish for the eagles to easily scavenge their daily meals.  Thank you Libby for being the intrepid leader of the group.  See our blog posting about the workshop.

Thursday Soup and Presentation Nights
December 15 - March 1

On Thursday nights during the winter, community gathers at the Basecamp to enjoy homemade soups and bread before heading downstairs to the classroom (or outside to the fire pit) for informative natural history presentations.  Speakers have been amazing, sharing a wealth of knowledge and their passions for the outdoors and our environment. 

THANK YOU! Roger Christophersen for his informative talk about pikas and global warming, Joe Reichert for his entertaining and descriptive orientation to climbing Denali, David Moskowitz for his educated perspective about wolves in the Pacific Northwest, Gary Koehler for his lifelong studies of lynx, Kip and Celeste Roberts for sharing their energy, drumming and instruments around the Solstice campfire, and Bill Moody for his informative account of the Northwest Fires of 1910.

Still to come this winter: 

Feb 2- Barred and spotted owl interactions and owl walk with Peter Singleton
Feb 9- Rattlesnakes and their seasonal lives with John Rohrer
Feb 16- Wine tasting and geology of eastern WA with John Morgan & Lost River Winery
Feb 23- Artic National Parks' landscape changes with Peter Neitlich
Mar 1- Mountain goat research in the Cascades with Leslie Parks


Up and Coming

Painting Colorful Mountain Landscapes in Watercolor
February 19, 1-4pm
John Adams

$35 includes instruction demo, snacks and drinks

Using shapes of mountains and trees for adventurous exploration of watercolor painting, this 3 hour class will guide participants to create their own unique and expressive artwork based on the demo painting or a subject of their choice

Pilates Retreat
March 8-11
Sussi Rountree

$115 for one night lodging, meals, daily Pilates classes, and evening ecology programs;  Additional drop in Pilates classes $10 (space limited).

Four days of introductory and intermediate Pilates mat classes, nordic skiing, daily ecology programs, homemade and nutritious meals, & massage.

Nature in Art and Science: A Field Journaling~Naturalist Workshop
May 25-27
Hannah Hinchman
and Bruce Thompson

$330 for 2 nights lodging, 6 meals, course instruction, materials, and field trips.  $230 locals rate (space limited) includes Sat dinner, no lodging. 

Join two popular naturalist educator/artists for a unique integration of observation, personal reflection, and field interpretation.  Explore the richness of our mountain habitats, while personalizing experiences through field journal entries. 

Wildlife Track and Sign Certification
May 4-6
David Moskowitz

$330 for 2 nights lodging, 6 meals, course materials and instruction, evaluation and certification.  $230 locals rate (space limited) includes Sat dinner, no lodging. 

CyberTracker Conservation is making its Track and Sign Certification available as an inspiring and rigorous training tool to improve your skill level, whether you are a park ranger, biologist, naturalist, citizen scientist, or outfitter.

2nd Annual Migratory Bird Festival
June 2-3


Events & programs throughout the weekend, welcoming our migratory songbirds back to the Methow Valley.  Guest speakers, bird walks, kids' activities and more at the North Cascades Basecamp.  

Botanical Illustrations Weekend
June 15-17
Quinn Fitzpatrick

$280 for 2 nights lodging, 5 meals, instruction, field trips, take-home completed artwork.

Review the basics of plant anatomy and drawing skills, while exploring the flora of the east side of the Cascades during the late spring when there are an array of plants and flowers to draw from.

The Methow is my favorite place to ski, and I've always been curious about the Basecamp.  So it was opportunistic to stay there with this fun and friendly group of folks who loved playing in the snow!  Some trip highlights... Kim & Steve's and Alex and Holly's graciousness, friendliness, and helpfulness in taking care of us, feeding us, and providing such a cool place to stay,... Mica's furriness, and meeting many very intriguing, interesting, active and well-traveled folks!
~Sharon Chen, Seattle

We love your family and hospitality - a tribute to your new generation.  Keep up the good work and healthy food.

~James and Marilyn Stark, Seattle

Thanks for a wonderful weekend of great people and food, fabulous snow, and trails almost our own!  Loved the fun with Amelia and Emmet. 
~Buz and Marty Jacobs, Seattle
Employee's Corner

Kim, Steve, Amelia, and Emmet, along with die-hard employees and helpers Alex Brieger and Holly Williams, can't stop playing in the abundant snow at the Basecamp.  There is always shoveling and snowblowing to be done.  But in between there is sled hill sculpting (and snowboarding?!), igloo excavating, and snow cave exploration, as well as snowshoeing, nordic skiing and wildlife tracking.  Thank you Alex and Holly for your commitment to our happy home.
Resident Wildlife

Mazama winters are full of unsuspected wildlife sightings and signs. Snowshoe hares are abundant this year; we found two lucky rabbit's feet in the snow as obvious predation from a hungry owl in the forest.  Moose tracks were seen going up Driveway Butte from Jacks Trail.  Great horned owls are busy vocalizing while setting up their breeding territories; barred owls will do the same any day now.  A pileated woodpecker has been seen regularly on the Basecamp proper, as have red-breasted nuthatches, juncos, and mountain chickadees.  We are anxious for more of our feathered friends to make their appearance as the snow begins to recede come the end of Feb and into March.  We even got up close and personal with this long- tailed weasel that harassed our chickens for way to long!  She was relocated safely to a home away from human homes. 

Local Roots at the Basecamp

Double Tree Farms
Hearty winter fare in the Methow means lots of home-grown potatoes.  The North Cascades Basecamp is proud to serve potatoes from Double Tree Farms at mealtime.  On their farmland south of Twisp, Sam Thrasher and Paul Sudak use draft horses to plow, plant, cultivate and harvest their vegetables and grains.
Fuel for those active outdoor days in the snow, their Yukons (with Basecamp's garden kale, onions, garlic, and herbs) make fantastic skillet potatoes in the morning, or a comforting dinner side-dish of potatoes Romanoff or potatoes-squash gratin.   Sam and Paul work hard to grow tasty, showy, reliable potatoes the old-fashioned way: with muscle and love.

Mica's Musings

Something smells. 
Today I clawed a snowbank and found my squeaky toy.  Yesterday I pawed under the deck and found a big stick I must have stashed before the snow fell.  The path to the chicken coop is a great foray; lots of boot-tracked compost and droppings.  The warming hut is loaded with people eating their lunch and snacks.  Best of all is greeting skiers at their cars at our trailhead- especially when their rear seats smell suspiciously of Cheerios.  I love kids!

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