Come on in you Creative People!

I apologize for the lack of posts lately…but I can explain.  While I have loved my life of multi tasking between Mamasake and my many other interests- it is time for me to settle back down in my own space.  So for the last 5 or 6 weeks I have been madly gathering and planning for the opening of a new venture a small DIY craft store in Squaw Valley. We are going to start with make your own candles and buttons.  With a retail section that features take home crafts and kits.  Our goal is to highlight peoples individuality through crafting.  We have a signed lease and space that is in the throws of construction and we are looking at opening in early to mid February so I thought it was time to introduce our new baby- Everything Hunky Dory….because at the end of the day isn’t  it? Hope where every you are, what every you are doing- you have a Hunky Dory day!


PS. Once the shop is open I hope to resume my tahopov life…but we shall see in the mean time I recommend checking out Truckee Insider- it is a great blog!


Avalanche Education

Patrol Flag

It has been more then a month since I have posted and I have some big news coming up that I had planned to be my next post.  But over the holidays while I was hunkered down with family watching the snow fall and fall- listening to the symphony of avi bombs in the morning itching to get out and ski…the seriousness of big mountain skiing and the risks that go with our big mountains was realized with the loss of two locals Bill Foster and Steven Mark Anderson both taken by avalanches.

My heart goes out to their friends and family.  We lose people too soon, too young in ways that don’t make sense.  Today I decided the best way to honor both of these men is to practice our skills, stay educated and stay informed.

The advisory is a great way to get info on the snowpack stability- even if you are skiing inbounds- you are still affected by snowpack…you have just had the luxury of Ski Patrol managing as much as they can…that does not mean every risk is mitigated.  So knowing the conditions whether skiing in or out of bounds especially if you ski off trail is ALWAYS a good idea.

You can never have too much knowledge and knowledge is power!

Avalanche Transceiver Workshop- FREE, Transceivers PROVIDED!!  The 1st and 15th of the month led by the experience professionals of the Squaw Valley Ski Patrol.  Call to reserve your spot! 530.581.7260

Babes in the Backcountry is an all women weekend.  Sierra College and Lake Tahoe Community College offer avalanche awareness classes for college credit!  NASTC and Alpine Skills International offer weekend classes at Donner Summit and Slide Snow School offers a great weekend class at Mt Rose.  For a complete list of Avalanche Awareness Classes  You can also get great info from these following websites. and

If you do nothing else PRACTISE!  Bill was located by his team in a minute and dug out in 8 minutes!  Check in with your patrol and see if they have practice beacons.  At Squaw they bury a couple beacons off the Shirley Lift so you can practice pinpoint search on skis, which is more realistic then running around the base area in boots looking for a beacon on flat ground…Avalanches typically don’t happen on flat ground.

For some great overall knowledge check out the latest video from High Fives BASIC

A huge thanks to the ski patrols that day after day makes our mountains safer.  And gratitude to the team at the Sierra Avalanche Center for providing the data that allow us to access the backcountry with more knowledge, the pits you dig and the info you provide is invaluable!

Beacon Up, Buddy Up- Stay Safe and have a fun winter!

Road Work and road delays

As soon as the snow melted last winter the sound of avalanche bombs was replaced by the sound of jack hammering.  With limited roads in our mountain town we are use to road construction back ups in the summer- but this summer it seemed there was no relief from the construction.  Every route had some detour or delay.  For those that do not live in a mountain town- let me explain.  On two lane roads how do you move forward with construction without completely shutting down the road when there is only one road that allows access to that area?  Well you work on one side at time and meter the traffic- so only one lane moves at a time- creating 30 minute back ups each way.  So travel times that use to take 15 minutes now take 45 minutes.  I do not exaggerate when I say there was not a route in Tahoe that did not have a delay, detour, or better yet construction bump…my cars alignment loves those!  Road construction got so crazy this summer they started to close roads and the have limited access to roads including Highway 80- so much so you had to have a PHD to understand the signs.

So this winter when we are sitting in traffic because of sanding, plowing or in the case of Alpine’s road-avalanche control I will have patience…at least at the end of the delay I will get to ski beautiful fresh snow.  Perspective is everything.

Ski Show and Big Shows

The true start to the winter is kicked off with movie premiers, ski swaps and the ski shows.  One of the largest in the bay area is the annual Snowbomb Ski and Snowboard Show that is part ski show part ski swap with wine and beer tasting thrown in for good measure.  The night before they premiere a Warren Miller movie so if you attend all the events you can start your winter season off in one fell swoop~ It is one my favorite weekends for that reason.  Not too mention I get to see so many people that I may only see once a year…and some people that I have not see in several- Like Sean Sweeny from Sierra have not seen him in years and ran into him with a Storm Trooper.  Or Tim Cohee who I worked for back in 1997 at Kirkwood, he is now at China Basin…he taught me a ton about working in the industry and working period.  It was great to run into both of those blast from the pasts and catch up on their latest adventures.

Of course every ski show has the usual feats of strength for free stuff~ how can you resist?  And the swap had some good deals, at least that is my guess from the people walking around with huge bags filled with loot.  Squaw Valley brought out the big guns with Jonny Mosley- who clearly has not just been announcing for the American Ninja Warrior Mount Midoriyama but also working out on the course himself  because he looked fit and ready for ski season and just about anything else.  Squaw also brought their ticket sellers- and were selling season passes….smart…so you could pick your pass up if you already bought one or buy one if you were on the fence.  Very smart.  So when other resorts where giving away swag- Squaw was selling $500 passes.  Brilliant really.

I think my favorite thing about the weekend is reconnecting with old and new friends because once the snow flies, so don’t we like snowflakes in the wind to our resorts busy selling our stuff, working, skiing and making it happen.  So for one weekend the mountain communities invaded San Francisco with the hopes that for the rest of the winter San Francisco will invade our towns and resorts.

High Five Bocce

It was a high Flying Bocce Tournament at the Truckee River Winery.  A great spot, a great cause, great friends, Great food…and the last day of summer!  Thanks to High Fives for putting the FUN in fundraising…hope to see you all on October 21st at the High Fives Dodge Ball Tournament!

Eye on the Prize


Some of my best learned lessons have come from my dog.  Better writers have written books and essays on the topic.   But when I was in San Francisco recently at Chrissy Field a thought that had been brewing met with an image.  Titan is a fierce ball chaser- and I mean fierce!  You can see in this photo the look in his eye- his eye is always on his goal.  This time I think he caught it.  But many times he ends up with sand in his face and without pause he gets up running for another ball toss.  It is really about the being in the game and yes- the moments when you connect with the leap and the ball are amazing and that is always why we keep our eye on the ball.  We are in it to win it even if that means “eating sand” and if you need a reminder- check this photo.

Blazing Pans

Every Year Autumn Wine and Food Festival hosts a competition Blazing Pans- it is an Iron Chef meets Chopped.   The chefs are given one hour to create 3 dishes that must all feature the secret ingredient.  They can only bring one sous chef and their knives- they do have access to a pantry that is create for them that has a huge assortment of veggies and protein but no control over the highlighted secret ingredient which is revealed at the very last moment and only 1 hour to work their magic…It takes me 30 minutes just to make breakfast so the entire concept is frightening!

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