April 2016 – Bocce Ball Anyone?

Hoyt Nelson

With the start of warm weather, my thoughts turn to bocce ball.  I don’t think we have enough people in the club to make a long term commitment for places like Campo di Bocce, but if anybody wants to get on a list for a game at other free locations, I will gladly organize it and supply the equipment.  Since I last talked to you about getting games started, I’ve been playing at the very nice courts at Lake Almaden in San Jose.  There are 4 first-come-first-served courts with bathrooms and water fountains within 100 feet.  Just send me desired times and your e-mail address if you are interested.  Any time you want a game, e-mail me and I will notify the rest on the list to see if anybody else wants to be included.



NSC bocce ball players


Hoyt will supply equipment

April 2016 – Donations to Achieve Tahoe

Sandy Kiyomura

In the February newsletter, I wrote about DSUSA, the ski school at Alpine Meadows which provides ski lessons to persons with disabilities. Disabled Sports is now called “Achieve Tahoe”,  and provides the same services as it has for the past 48 years.

As you may recall, I won a California Gold Pass which lets one ski at any California resort. It is fully transferable, so anyone can use it. Since I already had my Squaw and Epic passes, I lent out the pass in exchange for a donation to Achieve Tahoe. I am happy to announce that Nisei ski club has donated almost $1,000 to Achieve Tahoe. Thank you to all the members (and non-members) who contributed.

This is an example of how Nisei ski club has “given back” to the community. It was a “win-win” situation for all.


Monterey Ski and Social Club – Yosemite Trip

Fred Johnson, Monterey Ski and Social Club

yosemite-el-capitanI’m once again planning a trip to beautiful Yosemite. It will be on May 20 and 21 this year.

I have reserved 15 River View Rooms, 4 Mountain View Rooms and the Master Suite this year. The special rates are $158.00 per night for the River View Rooms and $151.00 for the Mountain View Rooms. All rooms have two queen beds unless you specify a king. They also feature efficiency kitchens with a microwave, stove top, small refrigerator and a small sink.

Please call them to make your reservation, and it must be made by April 20th. Tell them that you are a member of The Monterey Ski and Social Club to get this great rate. Their number is 209-379-2681. Call or e-mail me after you have made your reservations so that I know you are coming and I can keep you informed about our pot luck dinner and activities. 831-594-4877 or email at: fbjohnson@comcast.net

April 20 is the deadline to reserve for the Yosemite trip.

March 2016 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, NSC President

So what happened to El Niño? January was very promising with plenty of rain in the Bay Area and snow in the Sierras. February turned out to be a mild winter with less rain and snow and now we’re back to average rainfalls and snowfalls. Let’s hope that March really does come in with higher than average rainfall and more snow, otherwise it might be a short season.

 Trip 2 Cancelled

Although there’s plenty of snow up at Tahoe, there weren’t enough signups for Trip 2 to Squaw Valley and Sugarbowl. Perhaps it was on the heels of the ski week trip to Park City, or the warmer temps that have been predominate in February. Our trip director, Karen Soo, is looking into arranging for smaller groups to take trips to Tahoe for weekend skiing.

 Park City/Canyons Ski Week 2016

The Park City/Canyons trip was a great trip and everyone had a great time. Although Park City is in the midst of a “mild” winter there was plenty of snow in Park City and Canyons. Incidentally, the Park City trail maps only refer to Park City, although it includes what was the Canyons ski resort. On Monday we received 4″ of fresh snow that was an extreme delight for skiing. The remainder of the week brought us clear, blue skies and higher-than-normal temps (in the high 40s). The Potluck Dinner was one of the highlights of the week. Picture in your mind 47 people roaming the halls of a four-story building in search of a tasty meal. At the end of the trip many people were already asking about next year’s trip. If you have suggestions for next year’s trip, then let me know. I would like to thank everyone for coming on this trip, as it was a lot of fun for everyone, meeting new friends, and exploring new runs at Canyons. Thank you for your generous gift. As a token of my appreciation, a portion of it will be donated to Achieve Tahoe (formerly Disabled Sports USA Far West).


Park City 2016 Trip – Group Photo

March 2016 – Editor’s Musings on Park City Trip

Let’s be honest. It’s a lot of work to prepare for these weeklong ski trips. If you’re like me and ski infrequently, you have to find your ski clothes, skis, poles, boots, and helmet. Where did I store all this stuff?! Luckily, my husband Winston is good at finding them. You wonder why you are going to all this effort when everything is s-o-o-o-o-o heavy and bulky. Aiyyyahh! Then, you go on the trip and it’s clear why you do this. I love the camaraderie, catching up with good friends, and the pain fades away.

The Skiing

Despite the spring conditions, it was fun skiing at Park City/Canyons. There were lots of pleasant long blue cruising runs. Yes, the snow conditions weren’t ideal. It was icy in the morning and slushy in the afternoon. The snow conditions are reversed for Utah and California his year. The Utah snow reminded me of our traditional Sierra concrete.

The Canyons was another world with multi-million dollar mansions along the ski runs and $23 burgers. So, this is where the 1% stays!

The Eating

Of course, NSC is all about eating. For potluck night, Matt Rahmani taught our team how to make Persian dishes. Under Chef Rahmani’s direction, we made pureed eggplant, potato pancakes, Kiibudeh Kebab, roasted tomatoes, yogurt dip, Persian rice, and an herb appetizer.  On Monday night, we formed an assembly line to chop and grate the ingredients for the kebabs, potato pancakes, appetizer plate, and yogurt dip. On Tuesday night, we turned into line cooks and fried the potato pancakes and kebabs. Haruko’s Persian salad and Ken Takata’s pear custard pie rounded out our offerings.  I had so much fun! The food was delicious and abundant. We made enough to feed every single person on the trip. I am collecting the potluck recipes and will send a copy to anyone who is interested.

On Thursday night, a few of the condos held a “leftovers” potluck. The objective of this potluck is to use up all the food in the refrigerator so you don’t bring anything back home. Amy Tsuhako worked magic that night. She made a super tasty lettuce wrap with an amazing sauce that was whipped up from peanut butter, tabasco and honey packets.

The Pictures


NSC Amigos


Judy, Amy, David Schultz, Matt, David Tsuhako


David Tsuhako, Greg, Judy, Amy, David Tom


Your board members at the farewell dinner

where do you feel the burn

Armand took a poll and “ahem” many of us are older skiers — so where do we feel the burn?

If you’re interested in seeing more pictures of the Park City trip, check out Bill Lee’s (NSC’s unofficial official photographer) photo albums.

  1. Photos by Sandy Kiyomura
  2. Photos by Bill Lee
  3. Videos by Bill Lee

March 2016 – Fine Dining at the Park Station Condos

Sandy Kiyomura

If you read Armand’s message, you have already heard about the scrumptious potluck everyone enjoyed. Amy and Judy suggested that condo teams choose a theme and provide appetizers, salad, a main dish, and dessert for 12 people. There were four different themes: American, Persian, Mexican and “favorite home recipes”.

Elaine, Matt, Amy, David Tsuhako, and Jenny’s condo hosted the Persian dinner. It consisted of Panir Sabzi, puree eggplant, potato pancakes, Kiibudeh Kebab, roasted tomatoes and pear custard pie (made by Ken Takata). Matt introduced his team to Persian cooking and this group made their dinner into a culinary and learning adventure.

The Mexican meal was hosted by Armand, Andrea and Rick who made chicken enchiladas and Sangria. Liz and Dave made Calabacitas and the “Dave Condo” (David Shultz, David Tom, Dan Lew and Lieu Shultz) brought the margaritas, salsa and chips and flan.

Greg, Sandy and Lansing’s condo hosted the “favorite home recipes”. Judging by the number of requests for her recipe, Sandy’s peanut butter and jelly salmon was a hit. Greg made teriyaki beef, mashed potatoes, and carrots. Lansing (who is quite a baker) made a pear tart. The back story on Lansing’s tart is that he couldn’t find a rolling pin so he used a wine bottle to roll out the dough.

The American dinner was hosted by Joanne and Ron Nishimura’s condo. There were two kinds of chicken, mac and cheese, salad, fruit, chocolate cake and apple pie.

Total number of calories unknown!

As you know, food (and spirits) bring people together. The 40+ participants on the trip were able to enjoy great food and company after a hard day of skiing. Amy and Judy, thank you for organizing this potluck. If you have never experienced a week long ski trip with Nisei ski club, make sure you plan for next year’s trip. Come for the skiing, stay for the food.


Sandy’s peanut butter and jelly salmon and Greg’s steak


Lansing’s pear tart


Food and spirits bring people together


Food for all!

March 2016 – Trip 1: It Wasn’t So Heavenly After All

Karen Soo, Trip Director

trip1-karen at heavenlyIt’s been over 5 years since the Nisei Ski Club went to Heavenly. There’s never a dull moment with these Nisei Ski Club weekend trips. We actually got a bus load of 36 people. Eight people were on our trip for the first time. Some found us on the internet. NSC members brought new friends and 2 boarders from Santa Cruz Ski Club joined us. Social media does work.

We started our adventure with the same routine. The bus picked up half the group from San Jose and made its way to the El Cerrito Community Center to pick up the other half. Grady was our gracious and skilled driver. After our skis and luggage were stowed away at the El Cerrito stop, we were finally on our way. We served a delicious dinner – chicken Thai green curry over rice with mango pudding as our dessert. The Nisei Ski Club ski trips are all about the food.

Luckily, there was no chain control on our way to the South Shore so we arrived at the Blue Lake Inn by 12:15am. Room keys were distributed and everyone scurried off to their rooms. On Saturday morning, lift tickets were distributed and everyone walked 150 yards to the gondola to find out that the gondola was not running.  Everyone had to squeeze into the crowded shuttle bus and take the lift chair from California Lodge. We also found out that the entire Nevada side of Heavenly was CLOSED DOWN.

I was the one of the last people to depart from the motel and I did not get my first run in until 11:00am. What was the problem here? We heard there were high winds at the higher elevation and a tree had fallen over a transformer, which caused the power to go out. You can just imagine the swelling crowds and lines getting longer and longer. Many of us jumped over to the singles line to help add runs to our day. I barely skied a total of 7,800 vertical feet for the day.

At the end of the day, everyone made it back to Amy and David Tsuhako’s room where we broke out the beer, wine and snacks. Imagine squeezing in 36 people into a motel room!

We heard from the locals that the Nevada side was going to be closed again on Sunday. We decided not to take that chance and voted to go to Sierra-at-Tahoe. Hmmmm…..maybe it was the locals way of telling us to go somewhere else.

Thanks to Sandy Kiyomura, our BAC Benefits Director, who made a few phone calls and sent a few quick emails so that group rate lift tickets were ready for us when we arrived at Sierra-at-Tahoe. We all got on the mountain by 9:30am and we had fresh POWDER. Sierra was very accommodating and it definitely made up for Saturday’s skiing fiasco.

When we left Sierra, it was snowing and it took an hour just to get out of the parking lot. By the time we were on Highway 50, Amy served her dinner. A new recipe – sesame chicken pita wrap with pickled carrot, daikon, onions, lettuce, and cilantro with a squirt of hoisin sauce and sriracha mayo, plus a side of edamame beans and a cream cheese brownie for dessert. She definitely went all for our hungry patrons.

It was smooth sailing home but took a bit longer than expected. We got into El Cerrito at 10:30pm and the bus arrived at San Jose around 11:15pm.

We all made it home safely. No skiing accidents were reported. We met some new people and we all had a great time.

Unfortunately, NSC Trip 2 is cancelled due to lack of sign ups. For the few who signed up for Trip 2, we are planning a car caravan trip. Stay tuned for next month’s article about this adventure.


Waiting for the shuttle at Heavenly – Santa Cruz peeps Aryeh + Nicole, Amy + David



We’re finally on the slopes: Wes, Margaret, Curtis, Morgan, Greg


Snowboarders Andrea and Rick


Powder ski day at Sierra-at-Tahoe: Sandy + Sarah


Co-tour leader Amy is still smiling



Powder ski day at Sierra-at-Tahoe: David M

Check out this short video of Curtis skiing down the Gunbarrel run at Heavenly.

February 2016 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, NSC President

Happy Chinese New Year!

monkey-characterWelcome to the Chinese Year of the Monkey! Yes, the Chinese New Year started February 8th and if you were born under the sign of the Monkey then you are quick-witted, curious, innovative, and mischievous. And this is exactly how monkeys behave, and they certainly can be quite mischievous. Do you know anyone in the club that fits the characteristics of a monkey?







First Weekend Trip

Due to poor snow coSierra powdernditions, it’s been several years since NSC hosted a weekend ski trip. Now that Tahoe has been receiving a lot of snow, compliments of El Niño, the first Heavenly weekend ski trip went up at the end of January with a busload of skiers. I checked the Heavenly website and the weather conditions weren’t the greatest with high winds, and all lifts on the Nevada side were out due to a power outage on the first day. Sunday’s weather had less windy conditions and power was restored to the Nevada side and all lifts were operational. However, the group decided to head over to Sierra-at-Tahoe for the second day where they enjoyed lots of freshies. With temperatures in the mid-20’s that should make for light and fluffy snowflakes (see photo). I’m sure that those that didn’t know how to ski powder got a chance to improve their skills. Given the weather conditions at Heavenly and the powder at Sierra I’m sure there will be plenty of stories after this trip.


Park City/Canyons Ski Week 2016

The Park City/Canyons trip is moving along well and we currently have 47 signups (yes, we had a few late signups in January). The Park City/Canyons Orientation Meeting was held Saturday, February 6th, and was well attended by our seasoned veterans as well as few new members. Everyone enjoyed basking in the sun in the backyard talking about the Park City/Canyons trip and other ski adventures. There was a minor change in our flight itinerary and an email was sent to all Park City attendees, as well as the Park City/Canyons pamphlet.


February 2016 – Fundraiser for Disabled Sports USA, now “Achieve Tahoe”

Sandy Kiyomura

There is a very special ski school located at Alpine Meadows. The “Tahoe Adaptive Ski School” was started over 48 years ago by a few Vietnam War Vets who were learning to cope with their disabilities. They were taught to ski by Jim Winthers, a World War II Veteran of the 10th Mountain Division and Director of the Soda Springs ski school. They use specialized adaptive equipment and teaching methods to offer persons with any disability the experience of being on the snow. Their mission is “to provide affordable inclusive physical and recreational activities that build health and confidence”.

I had the privilege of working as a volunteer ski instructor for this organization for over ten years. By teaching, I learned to ski better. But working for “Achieve Tahoe” taught me more than how to ski better. It gave me lessons in patience, gratitude and humility that I may not have learned anywhere else. I learned to appreciate things I often take for granted. When I have a sore knee, I think “at least I have a leg”. When I’m having a bad day, I remember all the challenges my students have in daily life. Seeing their joy in skiing made me happy.

Their motto is:

If I can do this, I can do anything.

This is the reason behind this fundraiser. Although I no longer teach for the Tahoe Adaptive Ski School, AKA Disabled Sports USA, now Achieve Tahoe, I would like to raise some monies for them. I was the lucky winner of a California Gold Pass (fully transferable, good for 27 California ski areas) and decided to “rent” it out. On a weekend bus trip with Nisei Ski club, I raffled off use of the pass. That bus trip raised $250 and so far, I have raised over $500.

There were four prizes offered on the bus trip. Three were for use of the pass for a day for $50. The “Grand” prize was for use of the pass for a day for free. Santosh, Sarah Lowe, and Margaret Wong won the $50 a day pass. Then Margaret also won the grand prize! Lucky lady.

If you are interested in donating to “Achieve Tahoe” (or using my pass), please contact me at skiyomura@gmail.com. Thank you to all who have contributed or will contribute.

For more information about Achieve Tahoe, visit the Achieve Tahoe web site.

February 2016 – My Positive Experience with Achieve Tahoe

Len Bridges

Hello everyone. My name is Len Bridges. I am a new member of Nisei Ski Club and recently enjoyed the fun and pleasure of skiing with Sandy Kiyomura and Greg Wong of the club, and with Bill Wong who we are hoping will join the club. I am both visually and hearing loss impaired. Sandy with her connections with Achieve Tahoe located near Alpine Meadows arranged for me to take a lesson from this organization. I was pretty impressed with the program and Sandy asked me to contribute an article about my experience, and so here it is.

First, a young lady at reception helped me to fill out the paper work. I didn’t have close distance reading glasses with me so I was unable to effectively read what seemed to be very tiny print. Once I had completed the paper work with her help, an individual by name of Haakon discussed quite extensively my medical health, hearing loss and visual situation.Then, I was turned over to the care of two lovely lady interns, Kristin and Taylor — their photo is on the Achieve Tahoe interns page. The lesson was to be 2 1/2 hours. This team of two young ladies would provide evaluation, instruction, and umbrella coverage for my safety on the snow.

It was indeed a blessing to me to have them provide evaluation and instruction to me while at the same time being sensitive to, and providing effective accommodation for my visual and hearing loss. In addition to providing me training as a student, they both also were open to, and positive about learning from me about my hearing loss and visual impairment, and how they might incorporate that knowledge and experience into their service as interns and as they move on to their professional careers of a medical and rehabilitative nature.

The instruction they provided was open ended with no strict pattern. Kristin and Taylor adapted the lesson content to bring my focus on the use of pole planting to improve my skill in making turns. As I learned to ski as an “older than dirt” guy, I did not develop muscle and brain memory of skiing, and thus, I ski out of my head, constantly thinking of what I need to do and how to do it. Along with this goes the extremely high “fear factor” that shoots out of orbit in the event I find myself on something too steep, going too fast, and facing the disaster of losing control. They helped address this by taking me down what seemed a totally vertical slope using a side step, which I call the slippy slide, and we descended down together, both Kristin and Taylor looking quite graceful, and me, well not so much. However, it was a great learning experience and confidence builder exercise. In addition to the value of the lesson, I had a lot of fun and the time flew by so quickly, well maybe not fast enough on that vertical part.

This program is exceptionally outstanding. They have special equipment, special talent, and special people to provide those of us with compromised mental, physical, and sentient functionality an opportunity to participate and learn in a caring, friendly, and supportive environment. They are truly angelic beings on the mountain.