Kirkwood Under New Management: What Does It Mean For Us Locals? — Part 1 of 2

17 December 2012 

By Vicki Olds, aka Shibumi – “Snowpals Reporter At-Large”

What does this mean for us Bay Area Snowpals, and the local Kirkwood crews who have faithfully served us for years–some of us for decades? Find out in this exclusive, two-part Snowpals report.

When Vail Resorts, a premier mountain resort development company based out of Colorado, and Kirkwood Mountain Resort, announced in March 2012 that they were joining forces, some fans of the Kirkwood resort community in California braced, defensively, for big changes; others took a big sigh … of relief.

Kirkwood is a four-season township and recreational services development, located just 11 miles south (as the crow flies) of the Lake Tahoe basin and a 35-mile drive from the city of South Lake Tahoe, on Hwy 88 in California. In the winter, Kirkwood Mountain Resort focuses on skiing and snowboarding, and hiking and mountain-biking activities in the summer. A long-time favorite of San Francisco Bay Area snow riders in-the-know, Kirkwood is famous for its epic vistas (more reminiscent of European valley ski experiences), deep snow, and challenging stacks of terrain. Now, Kirkwood is Vail Resorts’ most western and southern star for this corporation whose mission is the “experience of a lifetime” for luxury, destination-based travelers and property owners.


Kirkwood opened their 2012-2013 ski season with all ski lifts operating on Friday, December 7, 2012. It was a shake-down week; a trial run for newbies and employee associates that had stuck around after the Vail Resorts buyout. We spoke with some “olde timers” who have lived, and worked, on the mountain … trying to ascertain the local’s zeitgeist in the valley.

“A lot of people wanted to leave when the new management came in. They’re really liability-minded. I mean, Kirkwood (old management) used to be ‘OK, whatever, make it work,’ and now there are all these rules and regulations. But it’s probably for good … I mean, Kirkwood was losing its ass; up to here in a lot of debt and big ideas. They had a vision for development of the valley that just didn’t fulfill as fast as it could … all these time-shares, condominiums. I blame it on global-warming.”

— 4-yr Kirkwood Maintenance Associate

“Whatever everyone says, I love it. They’re coming professional and we’re in it for the long haul. Now we don’t have to worry about the Big Picture. Vail knows what’s it’s doing. This place is going to be more beautiful than ever.

— Kirkwood Meadows homeowner, since 2002

“A lot of my friends are all ‘no’ … but they just don’t know what’s going to happen. Personally, I think things will get better because if VR hadn’t bought us, no one would be skiing Kirkwood this season. It was that bad. Now we’ll be able to do the right thing for the valley (environmental) development and us skiers. You may not notice it but by this time next year you’re going to see some changes!”

— 3-yr. Kirkwood Ski Rentals Dude

Vail Resorts also owns the venerable California mountain ski resorts of Northstar at Tahoe and Heavenly (aka The Heave) which spans Kingsbury Grade in Nevada to the east, and Ski Run Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe, California to the west. All three resorts are recognized world-class snow riding destinations, with Northstar being more “chic; family-oriented”; Heavenly serving “the masses”; and Kirkwood having a higher concentration of locals saying, “WTF! Let’s ride!” … IMHO.

So, expect Kirkwood to be spruced-up a bit; the facility equipment better maintained (not left out overnight); the walkways and byways around the Mountain Lodge ‘chopped & trimmed’; and signage for services, escapes and splurges a bit more defined. Around Kirkwood Valley, Caples Resort is under new management, and valley restaurants, and the venerable Red Cliffs Lodge, are having face-lifts, too (more on this in Part II of this report).

Safety and guest service considerations are paramount for the sugar daddy, Vail Resorts, whose affiliate, Rock Resorts, is a hotel development concern with operations in the U.S., Caribbean and Jamaica. I couldn’t find much on Vail or Rock Resorts environmental track records, operating in some of the world’s most pristine environments as they do. Yet, the slick “Echo” program video at indicates a long-term, “local ecology”, marketing savvy.

Let’s hope the new mountain resort management comes through for the locals and the communities around NorthStar and Heavenly … and now, Kirkwood, in California—good for us who have been patronizing this year-around, off-the-beaten-path, treasure, and for all who care about preserving the unique environmental resources of Kirkwood Valley, Caples Creek and Silver Lake wilderness areas—and, HECK, the whole Lake Tahoe Basin, in general!


Kirkwood Under New Management:

What FUN! — Part 2 of 2



Kirkwood Mountain Resort opened its ski lifts in 1973. Now Kirkwood is a year-round resort, headquartered in the hamlet of Kirkwood, California, 1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive, Kirkwood, CA 95646, 209-258-6000.

Kirkwood has 2,300 skiable acres, 12 lifts, and 65 trails. With lodge accommodations in the valley (tel. 800/967-7500), and dining options, this is a great year-round destination. The shuttle service to downtown/State Line, South Lake Taho, is $5 each way.

Kirkwood Tickets, Passes, Frequent Flyer Programs

Vail Resorts, management company 

Vail Resorts, resort sales & information

Kirkwood Mountain FaceBook Friends (please “like” on Facebook: it’s good for the locals and will prompt Vaile Resorts to pour more money in to Kirkwood Valley’s future)

Map of Kirkwood Valley:


POWder Parties, Ski Bus Deals, Ski & Ride Vacation Getaway

POWder Parties, Ski Bus Deals, Ski & Ride Vacation Getaway


Help us celebrate our 14th Season as a ski and ride community: engage in some fun at our annual season kick-off POWDER parties happening around the SF Bay Area – view photos from previous events!

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Tahoe Resorts Powder Alert, Snow Totals & Videos

photo source: photo source: by Grant Barta of Sugar Bowl

2012-13 Winter Season Tahoe Ski Resorts Opening Dates & Videos Straight from Resorts

December 25, 2012: Happy Holidays SnowPals!

Tahoe POWder Alert Updated on Dec 25 2012, 12:45 pm PST. Light Snow and 32 F at Truckee, CA. Winds are South at 9.2 MPH. The humidity is 75%. The wind chill is 24 F.  – “A very Merry White Christmas Day with another two feet of snow expected by this evening.” – weather-geek

Tahoe Resorts Snow Totals as of Dec 25



Source: tahoetopia













Got lift tickets? Eight Sundays, eight Squaw/Alpine lift tickets giveaway; starts Nov 11, ends Dec 30, get dialed in.






Heavenly is opened Trail Map | Live Resort Cams

Click on ‘Play’ to watch 

Sierra at Tahoe is opened  Trail Map | Cam


Kirkwood is opened Trail Map | Cam


Squaw Valley USA is opened. Night skiing and snowboarding daily until 9pm. Trail Map | Cam


Alpine Meadows is opened Trail Map | Cam


Northstar-at-Tahoe is opened  Trail Map | Cam


Sugar Bowl is opened  Trail Map | Cam 


Boreal is opened; Boreal is typically the first resort to open(opening date was Oct 31, 2012) Hours: 9:00am – 9:00pm; night skiing from 3:30pm to 9pm. Trail Map | Cam


Homewood is opened  Trail Map | Cam


Diamond Peak is opened Trail Map | Cam

Mt. Rose is opened Trail Map | Cam

Tahoe Donner  is opened Trail Map

Donner Ski Ranch  is opened Trail Map

Bear Valley  is opened Trail Map | Cam


China Peak  is opened Trail Map

Dodge Ridge  is opened Trail Map | Cam

Soda Springs  is opened Trail Map

Yosemite’s Badger Pass® Ski Area  is opened Trail Map | Cam

Mt. Shasta Ski Resort  is opened Trail Map | Extended night skiing/riding hours 3:30 PM to 9:00 PM.


Granlibakken Resort  is opened Trail Map | Cam

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort  is opened Trail Map

Spooner Lake Cross Country Ski Area  is opened Trail Map

Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area  is opened Trail Map

Southern California/Sierra

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is OPENED Trail Map | Cam


*All opening dates posted above are based on snowfall and could change. Check with the resort before you go for the most updated information.

Map of Lake Tahoe Area Ski Resorts


For a detailed listing of Tahoe ski resorts, check out our handy guide to all the Lake Tahoe area ski resorts! It’s the fastest way to scan lift ticket prices and compare the resorts to find the perfect one for you.


Question: Will the 2012-13 season be an El Niño or La Nina winter season?

Answer: The probability of an El Niño event is high according to “computer models developed by long-range weather forecasters project a wet winter across most of Northern California with above-average snowfall for Tahoe, the high Sierra and the Rocky Mountains.” – Tom Stienstra of Slope Dope. In addition, the World Meteorological Organization supports this finding with their detailed analysis.


You’re invited, join Bay Area skiers and boarders for our annual snow season kickoff parties to connect with skiers and snowboarders near you for ridesharing to your favorite  Tahoe resort. Looking to join a Tahoe ski lease? Browse our listing, or list yours.


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SPOTLIGHT: Help give disadvantaged kids an opportunity to learn how to ski and snowboard.


*If you spot any error on this page or would like to make a suggestion, please email .  Advance thanks!




September California Ski Co Parking Lot Sale

August & September 2012 – California Ski Company will hold their annual Parking Lot Ski Sale from 10am to 6pm. Here’s a chance to buy skis on sale and discounted gear. Drop by and mingle with members in the East Bay & Berkeley, CA. Save the following dates to your calendar and drop by on:

Aug 25, 26
Sep 1, 2, 3
Sep 8, 9

California Ski Company
843 Gilman Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 527-6411
[gmap width=”600″ height=”400″ address=”843 Gilman Street Berkeley, CA 94710″]

Last year’s gear reduced up to 60%. Great deals on 2013 equipment.
Manufacturer reps and staff will be there to answer any and all questions.
Deals on pre-season ski tuning and waxing. Arrange for a boot fitting or custom
insole. Backcountry gear in stock this season.

Win $299- Leki Special Edition, adjustable carbon poles with carrying case!

Win Sugar Bowl Resort Lift Tickets!

Get info about joining Sugar Bowl Ski Patrol or other volunteer NSP’s.



Join us to enjoy Fleet Week

Join us for the 2012 Fleet Week!

Drop us a line via  if you’d like to join our gathering to watch the 2012 Fleet Week Air Show in SF on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 11:30 AM. Bring drinks to share and something to sit on. Food vendors onsite or pack a picnic. Here’s your chance to mingle with local skiers and boarders and get a head start on connecting for 2012-13 Tahoe trips. New members welcomed.

Drop us a line with your first name and phone number and we’ll let you know the exact meetup location for this event. If you can’t make it to this event, bookmark our events page for upcoming meetups.

Fleet Week Schedule of Events
8am-5pm    Weapons Display at Alameda, near USS Hornet free
9-5               Humanitarian Assistance Village on Marina Green
9-4               Free Ships tours aboard LHD 8 USS MAKIN ISLAND
10am           Powell St. Cable Car Turn around 1st Marine Division Band Concert
11am           Parade of Ships (Ships coming in under GGB to their piers)
12:30-4        Fleet Week Air Show
1pm             PIER 39 USN Sea Cadet Corps Band of The West Concert
9:30pm        Fireworks sponsored by Hornblowers, Pier 3


Attending the Fleet Week Tips: start early and make it a day. Get there before 10 am otherwise you will probably run into both heavy traffic and parking difficulty.

  1. A good strategy is usually to park a distance away from the crowds and walk, bike in or take public transit(in addition to being less expensive, it is much easier to escape when, later in the day, traffic snarls develop).
  2. Generally, when visiting San Francisco, dress in layers(bring along a light jacket/wind breaker). The climate is usually moderate but if you move around there will always be places where you will be too hot or too cold depending on the sun, wind, fog, and time of day.

Jeremy Jones’ Further Film Show in SF on Sept 12

If you’ve missed Jeremy Jones’ “Further” Film Showing in SF on 9/12/12, there’s another film in the works…

Dream Factory” by Teton Gravity Research(TGR) is scheduled to be shown on October 30, 2012 in SF.


Second city on the (Teton Gravity Research) TGR’s film tour of Jeremy Jones’ Further is in San Francisco with two showtimes on Wednesday September 12, 2012 at the Palace of Fine Arts:

(1) 6:30 PM


(2) 9:30 PM


Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
3301 Lyon Street San Francisco, CA 94123

Freebie Bonus: All attendees will receive two free lift ticket coupons (valid midweek M-F, non-holiday); one to Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows(a $92 value), AND the other lift ticket to Mt. Bachelor.

One lucky person will win a 2012-13 Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows Ski Season Pass at the show.

Discount promo code: enter ‘snowpals‘ promo code to get $4 off every film ticket pre-purchased online. Discount is only valid online with pre-purchased eticketing.

Buy tickets at

Where do I enter the discount promo code?

After you click on the link “proceed to checkout”, the next page will ask you to enter the ‘snowpals’ promo code.

Send our page link to invite your family and friends.

Watch “Further” Film trailer:



The World Film Tour of Jeremy Jones’ Further kicks off in Squaw Valley, California on Friday, September 7, 2012 at 8:00 PM. Meet Jeremy Jones and the rest of the athletes, enter to win swag(prizes from O’Neill, Clif Bar, Jones Snowboards, Contour & more) and watch the film under the stars.

The world premiere of Further is the second installment in the Jeremy Jones snowboarding adventure film trilogy, Deeper, Further, Higher presented by O’Neill. Further will explore some of the world’s most remote terrain while continuing Jones’ mission to camp deep in the backcountry and on the summits of unridden lines to access nearly vertical spines and wide open powder fields. “Further” will open at Squaw Valley’s KT Base Bar Friday, September 7. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., show starts at 8:30 p.m.

“The premiere of Further will kick off with an opening DJ set by DJ Treez, and Squaw’s own JT Holmes will be skydiving into the event at approximately 7:30 p.m. accompanied by members of the Red Bull Air Force. Jeremy Jones and other athletes from “Further” will be on-site for the premiere and the evening will wrap up with a star-studded after party at Rocker at Squaw.

Prior to the show, music lovers can check out legendary sounds of Santana with Caravanserai, a leading Santana tribute band. Acclaimed for their attention to detail and their repertoire of material from all eras of Santana’s 30-plus year career, Caravanserai is sure to get concert-goers on their feet.” – Squaw

Freebie Bonus: All attendees will receive a two-for-one lift ticket coupon offer(valid midweek, non-holiday) to Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows, AND Mt. Bachelor.


Squaw Valley USA
1960 Squaw Valley Road
Olympic Valley, CA 96146

Snowpals got you dialed in for a discount: use ‘snowpals’ promo code to get $3 off every film ticket purchased online before September 7, 2012. Discount is only valid online with pre-purchased eticketing. Buy tickets at

Where do I enter the discount code?

After you click on the link “proceed to checkout”, the next page will ask you to enter the ‘snowpals’ promo code.




Free screening of Burton’s film “The 13” in SF

Free event – Come by SFO Outdoors / Snowboarding shop on Saturday September 15th at 5:00 PM to see Burton’s movie premier of “The 13”! Free BBQ, beers and spin to win prizes! Go with some Snowpals,  join us!

1630 Haight St
(between Belvedere St & Clayton St)
San Francisco, CA 94117
Neighborhood: Haight-Ashbury

(415) 626-1141

Watch the movie trailer:

From the team that brought you Standing Sideways, comes the latest in snowboard cinematography from Burton Snowboards. 13 features footage from state-of-the-art cameras showcasing the top riders at exotic locations around the globe including Whistler, Alaska, Lake Tahoe, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Heavenly, Sun Valley and Europe. Featuring Danny Davis, Mikkel Bang, John Jackson, Mark Sollors, Mikey Rencz, Jussi Oksanen, Terje Haakonsen, Jeremy Jones, Zak Hale, Ethan Deiss, Seppe Smits, Werni Stock, Roope Tonteri and more.


Spotlight: help SkiDUCK give disadvantaged kids a chance to ski & snowboard

ski-duck-tahoe   SkiDUCK(Skiing and snowboarding for Disabled and Underprivileged Children and older Kids) is a volunteer-based non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of disabled and underprivileged children by sharing the joys of skiing and snowboarding! (Launched in Lake Tahoe… and growing to other ski communities to serve local disadvantaged youth!)

SkiDuck is ENTIRELY volunteer-based (NO paid salaries!) so ALL donations received go directly to support children’s ski and snowboard programs!

SKIDUCK TURNS 3 and WANTS TO HELP MORE DISADVANTAGED KIDS ONTO THE SLOPES! SkiDUCK is requesting donations to continued to offer kids a chance to ski/ride in Tahoe. A $10 donation provides a FREE day on the slopes for another kid.

If you’d like to volunteer your time, visit SkiDuck and sign up.

“The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller

October 7th is SkiDUCK’s “official” 3rd birthday (“official” meaning our 3 year anniversary of the IRS recognizing us as a formal 501c3 charitable non-profit organization).

In the past two years since our first season, we’ve grown nearly 900%, and have provided over 1,700 financially disadvantaged and at-risk youth with almost 3,000 FREE ski and snowboard visits!!

Yep, that’s 1,700 kids who would have never had the chance to ride on snow! That ROCKS! – But what would rock even more would be for you to help us put even MORE kids on the slopes THIS SEASON!

Making a donation (of any amount) is EASY & we can ALL use some pre-season snow karma! A $10 donation provides a FREE day on the slopes for another awesome kid! As of September 23, 2012, SkiDuck is at $160 of their $3,000 target goal. Click here to make a donation; all donations are tax deductible.

Besides the biggest expenses (insurance & transportation), this year we’re going to focus on keeping the kids safe & comfortable on even the stormy days by getting more helmets and goggles!! (So if you just can’t afford a donation… YOUR OLD GOGGLES! 🙂

Read more about SkiDUCK at



Kickstarter – 72 min left; want a waterproof mountable case for your iPhone 4/4s/5?

The San Francicso Bay Area and Silicon Valley is at the heart of new technologies and innovations that benefit society and improve our lives.

At Snowpals, we love to support innovators and those who are passionate about making our world a tad better. Every week or so, we’ll feature a Kickstarter project that we feel merit visibility and funding support. If you have a Kickstarter project you feel passionate about and would like to have it affiliated with Snowpals, .

Introducing this week’s featured Kickstarter project: waterproof mountable case for iPhone 4/4s/5

by Paul; connect with Paul on facebook

Designer’s experience: “In our day jobs, we design components and systems and manage suppliers to deliver them. Our “portfolio” includes work on the Airbus A350XWB airliner, the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, James Webb Space Telescope and others.”

What is this project about?

Waterproof case mounts your iPhone anywhere. Secure quick-release adapter, wide angle optics, free app for wireless control and share.

Click on the ‘play’ button to watch the prototype case in use:

  • Launched: Oct 29, 2012
  • Funding ends: Nov 19, 2012 at 1:00 PM PST/4:00 PM EST
  • 122 backers
  • $13,924 raised as of 11:05 AM on Nov 19, 2012
  • $35,000 goal
  • time left to reach goal: 72 minutes to go as of 11:45 AM on 11/19 – project ends at 1:00 PM PST/4:00 PM EST on Monday Nov 19 2012

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  • Pledge $5 or more gets you a 

App Start Wristband – With this wristband and our free app you can start and stop recording on your iPhone without touching the screen.

Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Add $5 to ship outside the US

    Trucker Hat and Wristband – This highly functional trucker hat keeps the sun out of your eyes and shows your support in style.

    Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
    Add $20 to ship outside the US

     50 backers Sold out

    Early backer – iPhone 4/4S case and adapter with two flat sticky bases.

    Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
    Add $20 to ship outside the US

     11 backers

    iPhone 4/4S case and adapter with two flat sticky bases. ($70 estimated retail price.)

    Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
    Add $20 to ship outside the US

     9 backers

    iPhone 5 case and adapter with two flat sticky bases. ($80 estimated retail price.)

    Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
    Add $20 to ship outside the US

     2 backers

    upgrade pack: 1 each iPhone 4/4s and iPhone 5 cases, 2x adapters and 4x sticky bases.

    Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
    Add $20 to ship outside the US

     18 backers Limited (32 of 50 left)

    Kickstarter Edition iPhone 4/4S case and adapter with flat and curved sticky bases. Case is upgraded with anodized green latches, laser etched with backer number.

    Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
    Add $20 to ship outside the US

     2 backers Limited (48 of 50 left)

    Kickstarter Edition iPhone 5 case and adapter with flat and curved sticky bases. Case is upgraded with anodized green latches, laser etched with backer number.

    Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
    Add $20 to ship outside the US

    I am new to Kickstarter; how does this all work?


Capture Everything, Anywhere, with your iPhone

  • Waterproof – take it anywhere
  • Shockproof – takes a beating
  • Mountable – quickly change mounts
  • Wide-Angle – see more of the action
  • Full access – use touchscreen and all buttons
  • Easy setup – pop your phone in or out with ease
Waterproof and Shockproof:  TPE bumpers absorb shock, oversized o-rings seal out water, aluminum latch locks it tight
Waterproof and Shockproof: TPE bumpers absorb shock, oversized o-rings seal out water, aluminum latch locks it tight
Mountable: Sticky base is versatile and included in all case pledge levels
Mountable: Sticky base is versatile and included in all case pledge levels
Other Mounts: We design custom mounts for you, available at our shop (link)
Other Mounts: We design custom mounts for you, available at our shop (link)
Wide Angle Lens: Custom designed  lens, optical grade glass, distortion free in and out of water
Wide Angle Lens: Custom designed lens, optical grade glass, distortion free in and out of water
Full Phone Access: Access all buttons and full screen
Full Phone Access: Access all buttons and full screen

iTunes App: 

  • Wave our wristband by the phone to record or stop
  • Works with gloves and under water
  • Instantly preview your shots
  • Edit video and one touch share wireless control app and wristband (link to iTunes) wireless control app and wristband (link to iTunes)


Who we are: 

We met in LA while working as engineers designing aircraft and satellites. We started this product about a year ago coming back from a trip to the lake after realizing that we all cautiously stowed our iPhones in ziploc bags. We wanted to use our iPhones to record outdoor video, but found that nothing existed to address our need. We siezed the opportunity to design something our friends would be excited to use.

Paul: Paul is a surfer, skier and mountain biker who spent college winters in Tahoe and now builds telescopes. Paul is responsible for the optics and web development.

Tim: Tim is a snowboarder and volleyball player who has been controlling vibration on aircraft and spacecraft for the last 6 years. Tim is responsible for app development.

Zoltan: Zoltan is a mountain biker and snowboarder who was making flight control systems for 6 years before going to USC to get his MBA. In his spare time, he volunteers with FIRST (high school robotics) team 1197. Zoltan is responsible for mechanical design.

Alex: Alex is a surfer, snowboarder and volleyball player who worked as a materials engineer in semiconductor manufacturing before going back to school at UCLA. He is one of the founders and now serves as an advisor to the team. 

Where we are now and how we will close with the Kickstarter pre-sales:

We’ve designed, prototyped, and then redesigned the case and mount over and over. We’ve performed a lot of analysis to ensure it works well and can stand up to abuse. We’ve been using the product and improved on all the things you only discover after testing something in the real world.

Yes, we did the analysis
Yes, we did the analysis

We met with our manufacturing partners and inspected their factories. We collaborated with them on the design to ensure that it is producible and affordable. We developed the app, designed and manufactured samples of our custom lenses, and completed our 3D printed mounts. The time has come to build injection molding tooling for manufacturing the production run of the case.

Zoltan - Grinding
Zoltan – Grinding

This is where you come in: The Kickstarter funds are dedicated entirely to tooling and material for the production run. We specified the highest grade of tooling for the best surface finish and part consistency. We’ve taken the project this far, now it is up to you to help us bring this project from prototype to production.

So if you are ready to start getting great video from some creative angles, lock in your pre-order now. You know Kickstarter is all or nothing so tell your friends about and share it on Facebook, every contribution level helps.

Manufacturing Plan 

  • schedule starts after funds are processed (typically 2 weeks)
  • Week 1: place orders for injection molding tooling, place order for die casting tooling, place lens order, place die cut material order
  • Week 2-3: set up assembly tooling with rapid prototyped parts, die cut components (screens, acoustic pass-throughs, sticky pads) arrive
  • Week 4-5: injection molding tooling finished, proved out, prove-out units assembled, prove-out units tested for IP rating (waterproofness)
  • Week 6: production units begin assembly
  • Week 7: production units begin shipping
Thanks for all the support!



-Optics Accuracy: We have a preferred vendor that we chose based on their technical capabilities rather than price. We bought and tested lenses to our final specification from them.

-Injection Molding Tooling Producibility: Our vendor has provided quotes based on final CAD models, but there will almost certainly be details that need to be worked out. We plan to mitigate risk by being co-located with our vendor during the detail design phase of the tooling and initial production.

-Case Waterproofness: We performed all of our testing with rapid prototyped parts. They are not as waterproof (because they’re porous) as the final injection molded parts will be. We dunked our iPhones with these prototypes plenty of times, but our waterproofness rating tests need to be performed on production parts. This presents a schedule risk that we will mitigate by testing design elements in mock-ups. For example: a tube machined to look like the optics portion of the housing assembled with real optics, o-ring, and retainer to test that seal. We are working with a vendor that produces IP rated sealed electronics and incorporated their recommendations into the design of the case.

Our Risk Mitigation Qualifications: 
In our day jobs, we design components and systems and manage suppliers to deliver them. Our “portfolio” includes work on the Airbus A350XWB airliner, the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, James Webb Space Telescope and others.





Tahoe resorts closing dates

March brought more than eight feet of snow to Tahoe resorts and even more snow this week. Get yourself to Tahoe and enjoy some powder turns before the season is over.

Most resorts will close daily operations after Sunday April 15, 2012. Alpine Meadows will be the last resort to close on May 13, 2012.

Tahoe Resorts Closing Dates for 2012:

Boreal: Open daily throughout April 15
Alpine Meadows: Open daily through April 29; Open Friday-Sunday through May 13 snow permitting
Sugar Bowl: Open through April 29
Homewood: Open daily through April 8th and April 13-15
Squaw Valley USA: Open through April 29th
Northstar at Tahoe: Open through April 15th
Sierra At Tahoe: Open through April 23rd
Heavenly: Open 7 days a week through April 15th, then re-open Fridays to Sundays on April 20-22 & April 27-29
Kirkwood: Open 7 days a week through April 22nd, then re-open Fridays to Sundays into May conditions permitting
Mt. Rose: Open through April 15th

Tahoe Donner/Tahoe Donner XC – Closing April 15th

Tahoe XC – Closing April 15th.

Looking for extended skiing/riding? Mammoth Mountain resort in Southern California will be opened for extended spring skiing until July 4, 2012.

Check out resorts’ live webcams and snow conditions when planning your trip.

Have fun & stay safe!