February 2018 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, President

Happy Chinese New Year!

Welcome to the Chinese New Year of the Earth Dog! Yes, the Chinese New Year starts on Friday, February 16th. If you’re a dog owner then you know the trials and tribulations of raising a puppy and witness as it matures to become more devoted to its owner. Mature dogs have the innate ability to care and protect their family, and if you were born under the sign of the Earth Dog then you carry those attributes as a social worker, parent, teacher, nurse or doctor. Do you know anyone in the club that fits the characteristics of the Earth Dog?

Why Bear Boxes in Tahoe?

If you’ve spent any time at Tahoe I’m sure you have seen the bear boxes that cabin owners use for disposing of their trash. These bear boxes present a formidable challenge for the bears as they mosey around the neighborhood in search of snacks. This picture was taken at a cabin in Tahoe Vista that I used for my weekend ski trips.

Vail Ski Week 2018

Our recent ski week to Vail will probably be thought of as one with “Memorable Moments”. Well, maybe not “memorable” in a good way, because on the first day the second bus from DIA to Vail was almost two hours late leaving Denver. And although the buses arrived on time for our departure, the buses could not park in front of Vail International Condominiums because it was snowing and they couldn’t make it up the driveway without slipping and sliding. Yes, it was our luck that it started snowing as we were leaving and that meant we had to carry the luggage about 50 yards to the buses. However, everything in-between worked out well – the Après Ski Party, the chaotic Potluck Dinner, the Farewell Dinner, and skiing under sunny-to-partly cloudy skies. Unfortunately, Vail (and other Colorado resorts) is suffering the same symptoms as Tahoe – lack of snow. Although our hoped-for powder skiing didn’t materialize, there was enough coverage for everyone to enjoy themselves on the front-side trails, the back bowls, and Blue Sky Basin. Some runs were more challenging than others, but then, that’s what makes skiing an exciting sport. At the Farewell Dinner I mentioned two possibilities for next year: Big Sky and Telluride. For the 2018-19 season Telluride will be part of the Epic Pass resorts. If you have any suggestions then please let me know at president@niseiskiclub.org.

Who Wants To Go Skiing?

Nisei Ski Club March 16 -18 Weekend

Karen Soo – NSC Trip Director

Ten years have flown by so quickly. 63 NSC members just spent a week skiing in Vail. Just like the Tahoe area, we didn’t get any fresh snow. There were plenty of groomed runs. The mountain is so big that I only skied with my condo mates and a few NSC members.

We will not be hosting a bus trip this year because we do not have enough people interested in the weekend bus trips. We are in the process of planning a weekend car trip to Lake Tahoe area.

We will plan a weekend trip to Kirkwood and Heavenly. For those who have the Local Epic Pass for Vail, you can use your season pass at these resorts and you should try to take advantage of your season pass. For those who do not have a season pass, we can try to find discounted lift tickets via REI, Craigslist or EPIC buddy passes.

Depending on the number of people interested, I can arrange for drivers who can take 2-3 passengers. The passengers will split the gas cost. I can look into reasonable local lodging within the area.

We had 2 road trips in 2017. One was to the North shore where we had one white out condition and the other was a long weekend trip to Mammoth. We are looking at the weekend of March 16- 18th.
Most of these weekend trips will be last-minute and planned based on the snow/ weather and road conditions.

If you are interested in going, send an email to me – the trip director and advise whether you are able to drive or not.

See you on the slopes.


Dragon Boat Racing in 2018

Sandy Kiyomura

Have you made resolutions for 2018? If you did, most likely it involves diet and exercise; things which could improve your health. For myself, I have to choose activities which are gentle on the joints. In addition, I like to work out in a group / social situation. Being with others motivates me. This is why I like Dragon Boat racing as a workout. You are on a boat with 20 fellow paddlers (two to a row). There is a person who steers in the back and a coxswain who coaches in the front of the boat. They provide tips on correct paddling technique and count your strokes.

Once you start paddling, you will feel a sense of exhilaration. Your muscles will be working hard but it is also fun. Someone said it is “controlled aggression”. You will be working your entire body, especially your core. You will be paddling somewhere near the San Francisco Bay.

Most clubs will allow you to attend several practices free. They will provide all necessary equipment for beginners, you just show up with paddle-ready clothes and dry change for afterwards. Clubs will welcome all levels of ability but if you find you want to go further in the sport, several Bay Area clubs have competed in the World Championships. There are also several less competitive races in the Bay Area.

Sound like fun? Contact Sandy Kiyomura and we can set up a practice with a Dragon boat team in the Bay Area.

Baja Fishing Trip

Greg Wong

Monterey Ski Club has an annual fishing trip to Baja Mexico this summer.   You will journey to the small town of Loreto which houses the first Jesuit Mission of North America. There is a National Preserve where you can hike and watch wildlife, and there are 3 golf courses.  If you want a relaxing way to fish on the Sea of Cortez, then this is it.  I have gone on this trip and I have had a great time.  The hotel is within walking distance of the harbor.   

Every morning, you board a small boat called a panga.  It is just you, your fishing buddy and the guide speeding to the fishing grounds north of the city.   You will watch the sunrise and drop your hook.  When the first dorado hits your line, you will be in for a challenge. They will fight and jump and jump and jump.  I lost my first one not knowing this fact.   By the afternoon,  you are lounging by the pool side with a drink and the ocean view at the luxurious Hotel La Mission.  A perfect day.  So, join us this summer.  July 29-August 2, 2018

Link to the flyer: Loreto 2018 Fishing Trip

What is a Gimmick Car Rallye Anyway?

Hoyt Nelson

It’s a game/adventure on wheels for a driver and navigator where the Rallyemaster directs you in your car through a neighborhood with a sheet of Route Instructions and a sheet of General Instructions (with higher authority) which may conflict with the route instructions. If you and catch the “gimmick” and take the correct route, you will see a Coursemarker with letters on it that will award you points.

As a simple example, a Route Instruction might say “L onto Cherry Lane”, and the street sign saying Cherry Lane in on the L. However, if the General Instructions said, “All signs used in this rallye will be on the R side of your progress”, then as far as the rallye is concerned, that street doesn’t exist. If you remember this, you would continue straight and see a coursemarker for points. The Coursemarker also tells you to delete the impossible instruction, turn around and go R onto Cherry. This puts you on Cherry whether you catch the gimmick or not (so nobody gets lost), but if you catch the gimmick, you get points for the CM.

The Rallye I have devised is the third in a series I have done for the club and this pre-run is estimated to take between 2.5 and 3 hours. It has more than 20 traps. I will hold a pre-run of this rallye on a Saturday morning sometime in late Feb or early March. Instead of putting up all coursemarkers on the route, participants will all ride in my vehicle and I will hold up the appropriate coursemarker when it would normally appear on the route. We will then discuss each gimmick together as it appears until everyone understands and agrees with the gimmick and its accuracy. (For the real rallye, we will put all coursemarkers up on the route.)

I can only take 6 people in my van, so if this sounds interesting and fun, sign up early at rallye@niseiskiclub.org so we can set a date. Please include which Saturdays are available to you. We will meet at my place in Campbell about 10am and should be done by 2pm. There will be an optional lunch afterward. The actual rallye will take place later in the year after ski season ends.

Warren Miller – Iconic Ski and Snowboard Filmmaker

Judy Hom

Last month, Warren Miller passed away at the age of 93. Many of us started the ski season by watching a Warren Miller movie. It was a ritual. The movies were infectious. Seeing the fresh tracks and the spray of the powder made you want to go skiing/boarding tomorrow! Even if the skiers and boarders did things that we could only dream of, we wanted to go up to the snow.

I saw my first Warren Miller movie with the ski club. It was at the old Exploratorium near the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Before the movie started, they threw a big beach ball into the audience. It was a fun way to get you ready for a fun time.

Besides highlighting incredible skiers (see the trailer for Snowriders2), Warren Miller documented the goofy things that happen while skiing. I loved these spots because I could identify with them. Check out Chairlift – Funny Disasters on youtube.

Over his lifetime, Warren Miller directed over 55 movies. Thanks so much for inspiring us to ski and board. We’ll miss you.

“If you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do.”

NSC Recipe Corner

Judy Hom

I bought myself an Instant Pot and I just love this new cooking gadget. It’s really motivated me to try out new recipes.

Okay, I’ve been wanting to make pork adobo for a long time. Using the Instant Pot, I finally made it. It is delicious and easy to make. Here’s a link to Flo Lum’s youtube video. I think she looks a little like Amy Tsuhako — you tell me what you think.

Pork Adobo
  • 5-6 lbs. baby back ribs
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup water

Pressure cook for 15 minutes. Voila. Delicious pork adobo ready to serve!

Kung Hei Fat Choy

During the Chinese New Year, you will hear people greeting one another with “Kung Hei Fat Choy” or “Gōngxǐ fācái”, which means wishing you happiness and prosperity. As little children, we were taught to greet our elders this way. In return, we would receive lucky money in red envelopes.

Other popular new year greetings are:

Phrase Cantonese Mandarin
Happy New Year Sun Nin Faai Lok Xīnnián kuàilè
Wishing you health Sun Tai Geen Hong Shēntǐ jiànkāng
Wishing you surplus year after year Nin nin yau yue Niánnián yǒuyú
Wishing you great luck and prosperity Nin nin yau yue Dàjí dàlì

No matter how you say it, best wishes for the year of the dog.

January 2018 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, President

November seemed so promising for a great ski season, and then one of the driest Decembers descended up on us. However, the Tahoe resorts have been making snow and there are plenty of runs to keep you busy. Of course, most of them are beginner and intermediates (no expert runs are open yet) but that’s better than nothing. If the challenging runs aren’t available then you can always work on style, technique, and just have fun on the slopes.







How High Can You Go?

Thanks to those that sent in guesses for the top five North American ski resorts that have the highest summit elevations. Unfortunately, no one guessed all five correctly, but a few were close. Here are the correct answers:

Top Five North American ski resorts with the highest elevations*:

  • Silverton Mountain – 13,487
  • Telluride – 13,150
  • Arapahoe Basin – 13,050
  • Loveland – 13,010
  • Breckenridge – 12,998



Top Five North American ski resorts with the highest base elevations*:

  • Loveland – 10,800
  • Monarch Mountain – 10,790
  • Arapahoe Basin – 10,780
  • Copper – 10,500
  • Silverton Mountain – 10,400

* Source: On The Snow Newsletter – 30 November 2017


Vail Ski Week 2018

The Vail trip is less than a month away and there is time to get in some skiing up at Tahoe before the trip. I’ve already made one trip to Northstar (two days) and will be going again right after New Years. The Vail Orientation meeting will be held on Saturday, January 13th so mark your calendars. This will be an opportunity to meet other members on the trip, socialize a bit, and pick-up the souvenir gift. Evites have been sent out and if you didn’t receive an Evite then let me know at president@niseiskiclub.org.

Happy New Year

Wishing all of our members a happy new year! Best wishes for a wonderful 2018.