November 2015 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, NSC President

Are you ready for some skiing this season? If not, then feast your eyes on the photo that was recently taken at a well-known ski resort. Ski Resort Open in OctoberYes, this place is already open for business! Granted, it’s probably a lot of man-made snow mixed in with Mother Nature’s early snowfall, but these people are already skiing (and you’re not). And when do we get our share of the ski season? Well, Northstar and Heavenly are scheduled to open on November 20th, and Squaw Valley on the 25th, subject to weather conditions, of course. Karen Soo is already planning two weekend ski trips so look for details on dates and places in her write-up. It’s been several years since NSC has had a weekend ski trip so it’s muy importante that we get as many signups as we can to ensure that these trips are successful. As an added incentive, the first person to correctly identify the resort in the photo AND signup for the first weekend ski trip will get a free one-day lift ticket. Email your answer to (Board members excluded, deadline is 20 November, and only one answer per person so think carefully).

Snowbomb Ski Shows
It’s not too late to sign up for the San Jose Snowbomb show on Nov 7-8. Greg Wong will be there on Saturday and I’ll be there Sunday afternoon. Entry to the show is free by securing passes at this site: and scroll down and then click on “Purchase Tickets Here” under San Jose. Many thanks to Karen Soo and Curtis Otaguro for attending the SF Snowbomb show.

Park City/Canyons Ski Week 2016
The Park City/Canyons trip is moving along well and we currently have 45 signups. The second payment is due November 10th so be sure to remit your payment if you haven’t already done so. Also, an email was sent out to everyone about a change in our return flight from Salt Lake City. We were scheduled to return at 8:10pm on flight UA5333, and the new schedule is 5:18pm on flight UA5765. For those of you making your own flight arrangements that means you might be able to take the return shuttle bus with the rest of the group.

November 2015 – 35 is Our Magic Number

Karen Soo, Trip Director

Good news, we have finalized the two weekend trips that are scheduled for 2016.

The prices for the bus and the hotel lodging have gone up. We cancelled both weekend trips in 2015 due to lack of snow. Now we have to think positive and hope that we will not cancel our 2 trips for 2016.

We are given early cancellation dates from the bus company and the hotel. If you are interested in going on our weekend trip, SIGN UP EARLY. We will not cash your check until the trip is taken.

We need 35 people to get the bus trip moving, so start asking your friends, co-workers and come on our trips. We will charge you extra if you sign up past the due date.

Discounted Lift Tickets

Did you know that you can get discounted lift ticket if you go skiing on a scheduled BAC race day?  As NSC members, you can go up to the table that is set up by BAC and get a discounted lift tickets.

You don’t have to race, just get there between the hours of 7:00am to 8:00am and tell them you are with Nisei Ski Club. It’s that simple. Please look at the schedule for BAC race dates. There are races scheduled at Alpine Meadows, Northstar, and Sugar Bowl. Link: BAC race schedule.

Editor’s note – check out this October 2015 post on another way to get discounted lift tickets


Trip 1 – January 29 – 31 Heavenly / Heavenly

Trip 2 – March 11 – 13 Squaw / North Star* (* Depending on snow conditions Sugar Bowl)

Snowbomb Ski Shows

Snow Bomb Ski shows are coming to San Francisco – October 31 and November 1st and San Jose on Nov 7 and 8th. Admission is free. You need print out an entrance form. Free lift tickets are included with the Powder Pass or VIP admission fees.

Please refer to the website for more information

 Club Appreciation Day

The Bay Area Snow Sports Council is sponsoring a Club Appreciation Day on Sunday, December 13, 2015. BAC will offer discounted lift tickets. Lunch vouchers and free fun race are included in one price. Detail pricing are still being worked on and will be announced soon. Link: Club Appreciation Day information.

The only obstacle is that we need good snow coverage by December 13 and you have to provide your own transportation. Maybe we can plan a car trip?

Let’s hope we have a fabulous snow season.

Three, Two, One, GO!

Sandy Kiyomura

racing 2015

I am “Vet woman”

This is what you can hear at the starting gate at the top of the race course. BAC (the Bay Area Council of Ski and Snow sports ) has a race league every season. You, as a member of Nisei Ski Club are eligible to race. There will be a free race day on Sunday, December 13 at Alpine Meadows. Discount lift tickets will be available. So if you’re thinking you can’t race, December 13 might be a good day to try. There are ten categories of racers. The “almost pro” racers are level 1 or 2. I’m an “intermediate” level 7. Within each level, there are categories based on gender and age. I am a “Vet woman” (so age has its benefits). When one places first, second, or third in their level/category, points are awarded to the individual as well as the club. There are three types of races: Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Super Slalom. Most skiers will find they are better at one than the others.

Some of the advantages of racing are: you will become a better skier, you will have the best snow on the mountain, you will meet other skiers, and it’s fun. Throughout the season, there are clinics you can participate in. I belong to another ski club and they have a cabin in Kings Beach. On race weekends, they offer not only lodging, but meals for the weekend. It’s like a weekend trip without the bus.

One other advantage is that anyone can get discount tickets on race day if you show up by 8:30 AM where the racers are. Mark your calendar for race days.

You may contact me at: if you have questions.

October 2015 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, NSC President

I’m sure everyone has read about the big El Niño coming this season and that there will be plenty of rain and snowfall. As much as it would be great to think about unprecedented piles of powder in the Tahoe area I’m going to take a wait-and-see posture and see what Mother Nature really brings us. I do believe that Tahoe will get a more-than-normal snowfall and that is most encouraging from the previous years meager snowfall. As such, Karen Soo, our trip director, has already started planning on two weekend ski trips for the season – one trip to South shore and one to North shore. Look for details on dates and places in Karen’s write-up, and although it’s only October, now is the time to start planning for these trips.


Snowbomb Ski Shows

Yes, it’s getting to be that time of year again for the annual Snowbomb Ski Shows. This year the San Francisco show is on Oct 31-Nov 1, and the San Jose show is on Nov 7-8. Last year’s show in San Jose featured numerous vendors from ski resorts and, of course, a humongous ski gear/clothing sale at redonkulous prices. We need volunteers for both of these events so let me know ( if you want to attend, represent NSC, and get in on all the excitement that these ski shows have to offer. You can also coordinate with Karen Soo (


Park City/Canyons Ski Week 2016

The Park City/Canyons trip is moving along well and currently we have 44 signups. If you’re still sitting on the fence about going and haven’t signed up now is the time to do so. Although the second payment isn’t due until November, feel free to send it in now and avoid the November rush.

October 2015 – Godzilla Hitting the Slopes!

Karen Soo, Trip Director

Summer is over. Fall is in the air. Baseball is winding down and football is starting its place on the field. We’re starting to plan our 2016 weekend bus trips.

We have 44 NSC members on the 2016 Park City weeklong trip. Most of the participants have the Epic Season Pass which is good for Park City and Heavenly/ Northstar. To coincide with the season pass, we will plan the first trip to South Shore.


Trip 1 – January 29 – 31 Heavenly / Heavenly* / Kirkwood* (*TBA)

Trip 2 – March 11 – 13 North Shore (Resorts TBA)

Parking wanted

Parking at Fourth Street Bowl and State Farm on N First Street is no longer available for us. We are looking for weekend parking for our weekend trips. If you work for a company in San Jose near 880 and have weekend parking available, let me know. Otherwise, we will be parking at one of the Cal Trans lots in San Jose.


Snow Bomb Ski shows are coming to San Francisco – October 31 and November 1st and San Jose on November 7 and 8th. Admission is free. Free lift tickets are included with the Powder Pass or VIP admission fees.

Please refer to the Snowbomb website for more information: link to Snowbomb website

If you like to come out and volunteer at the BAC booth and represent Nisei Ski Club, please email Karen Soo at


The Bay Area Snow Sports Council is sponsoring a Club Appreciation Day on Sunday, December 13, 2015. BAC will offer discounted lift tickets. Lunch vouchers and free fun race are included in one price. Detail pricing are still being worked on and will be announced soon.

The only obstacle is that we need good snow coverage by December 13 and you have to provide your own transportation. Maybe we can plan a car trip?

Let’s hope we have a fabulous snow season.

godzillaGodzilla El Niño year is on the horizon. RRAAAHHHH!


How to Get Discount Lift Tickets

Sandy Kiyomura

In August, BAC sponsored a fundraiser for Disabled Sports USA. I attended the Oakland A’s game and tailgate party and had a great time (although the A’s lost) and watched the Star Trek fireworks show afterwards. During the tailgate party, I purchased raffle tickets and won a back pack and other small gifts. Another raffle was for a California Gold Pass. This pass allows the holder to ski at most California resorts any day. It is also transferable, which means anyone else may use it (once a day). Well, I had a lucky day.

While I was hiking Machu Picchu in Peru, I received notice that I had won the California Gold Pass! (worth $2,000). This means that I (or anyone I lend the pass to) may ski for free (holidays and weekends too).

Since I have already purchased a Squaw/Alpine pass as well as a Northstar/Heavenly pass, I will “rent” out my card, with proceeds going back to Disabled Sports USA. If you would like to ski for a reduced rate, contact me at Rates will be $60 weekdays, $75 weekends and holidays. Preference will be given to longer rental periods.


While in Machu Picchu, I learned that I won the California Gold Pass!

NSC 2016 Weeklong Trip to Park City/Canyons UT – you can still sign-up

park city 2016Jake the Ski Fool says “follow me to Park City/Canyons for our 2016 ski week trip.” For the 2015-16 season, Park City is combining with The Canyons to bring you over 7300 acres of skiing. NSC has not been to Park City since 2001 and it’s time to make a return trip. There’s a new gondola that will take us to Canyons for additional skiing at no extra cost.

Dates: February 20 – 27, 2016
Price: $1375 (Senior – $1310)

Trip price includes:
• Roundtrip airfare from San Francisco to Salt Lake City on United Airlines
• Roundtrip charter bus from Salt Lake City to Park Station Accommodations
• 7 nights stay at the Park Station condominiums (one block walk to Town Lift)
• 5 of 6 day lift ticket (6-day optional, senior (65+) also available) for Park City and Canyons
• Farewell Dinner
• NSC Souvenir
• Mid-week activities at additional cost:
o Winter Zip Tours
o Heliskiing
o Sleigh Rides
o Guided Snowshoe Tours
• Price does not include Baggage Fees. See United Airlines current baggage fees
o Baggage fees as of May, 2015: $25/first, $35/second. Boot and ski bag are considered a single bag.

44 sign-ups received as of September 30, 2015!

Sign up now. Link to flyer and sign-up form: Park City 2016 flyer.
Sign-up deadline: October 10, 2015

October 2015 – Editor’s Musings

Did you get a good view of the harvest moon and lunar eclipse on September 27? I was hoping to see a blood moon but the cloud cover in the East Bay obscured it. I didn’t see the moon like the picture on the left. The picture on the right shows what I saw. The blood phase was just ending and the eclipse phase was starting.
blood-moon       blood-moon-in-cv

One of the ways that Chinese celebrate the harvest or autumn moon is with mooncakes. One of my favorite mooncakes is the traditional one filled with lotus bean paste with an egg inside that looks like the full moon. Boxes of mooncakes are usually adorned with pictures of the moon goddess Chang’e. As a child, I knew exactly what was in the box when I saw her picture!

mooncake        Moon Goddess

The moon is a symbol of harmony and unity. The autumn moon festival is a time to get together with friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon. This autumn, make plans to get together with your Nisei Ski Club friends!

September 2015 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, NSC President

I first joined NSC back in 2002 in order to go on the 2003 Vail trip. Being a newcomer I didn’t know any of the members but that didn’t last long. As the years passed, I found myself more involved with the club – first as a board member, then membership chairman, and eventually as president. Throughout those years, I met a lot of great people, great skiers, and in particular, one individual that caught my attention – Hi Fujii. It’s ironic that you can see, talk, and meet with people on quite a few occasions, but never really get to know them. When I attended Hi’s memorial service at the end of August, I learned more about this amazing individual in two hours than I had ever learned about him in all my previous years with the club. There were numerous stories about his fishing and skiing adventures, the Over-The-Hill Gang, and, of course, fond remembrances from his family. It would have been great to know all this about Hi before he passed, but sadly that option is no longer available. At the reception that followed I had the pleasure of meeting some of his old buddies who are truly going to miss him, as will I. Hi Fujii is no longer with us, but his legacy with the club and fond remembrances will never be forgotten.


August Pizza Social

Our first Pizza Social was a fun time for all those who attended. It was a small group (8-9 people) and we had one potential new member show up to meet some NSC members and learn about the club. We feasted on pizza, quaffed some ales, and had a lively discussion about skiing, baseball, the Niners, and some politics. If you missed out on this event because of where you live then drop me a line at ( for a suggestion on where to have the next pizza social (e.g., east bay, mid-peninsula?).


Park City/Canyons Ski Week 2016

The Park City/Canyons trip is moving along well and so far we have 37 signups. I am expecting four more people to signup, which will bring us to 41. Although we have lodging reservations for 40 people additional condos are available, so if you haven’t signed up now is the time to do so.

In Memoriam for Hayami “Hi” Fujii (August 8, 2015)

Hoyt Nelson

Hi FujiiIt’s the end of an era with the passing of one of our club’s founding fathers, Hayami “Hi” Fujii. Hi was born in Berkeley and earned his degree in engineering at Cal Berkeley. After returning from the American internment center in Utah he started his first job at HP in engineering sales, where he stayed for 42 years until his retirement.

A little more than 50 years ago, Hi, Sam Yamoto, Tats Sumida and a few other Japanese Americans associated with the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) got together for a few ski trips to the Sierras and decided to form what is now called the Nisei Ski Club. Sam gave ski lessons to Hi and others, which impressed Hi so much that he was successfully talked into becoming the first elected president of the club for the 1966-67 season (the year this writer first joined the club). The club quickly grew in just a few years to over 400 members and frequently ran three buses on trips to Tahoe with pickups in San Jose, Berkeley and Sacramento. Soon, weeklong trips to destinations like Aspen, Vail and even out of the country were added. Summer activities included camping, fishing, water skiing, dances, parties and many other activities. Hi and a few other members brought their ski boats for our yearly water ski trips to Lake Berryessa and on many local fishing trips. On the weeklong club trip to Sun Valley in January 1969, Hi and Phyllis (Matsuo) were engaged and have been married ever since. Hi became a lifetime NSC member in the 1990s and was active on the club board of directors until 2014. Besides skiing, Hi was an avid fisherman (making many local and yearly trips to Alaska), handball, running, long-running poker games with friends, and was an active member in his church. At the club picnic in 2014, Hi finally hung up his skis and donated them to the club for a younger skier in need of them. Several months ago, Hi had heart surgery and went to a rest home for recuperation. After a month or so, he transferred to his home in Cupertino where he stayed until his passing on the morning of August 8, 2015.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; sisters Vickie Yumoto and Michiko Uchida; son Roger and Elaine (daughter-in-law); and daughter Barbara. We will all miss him and hope his skiing the fluffy clouds of paradise will be as happy as on Utah’s powder. Hi’s memorial service was held on Friday, August 28, at the Wesley United Methodist Church in San Jose.