March 2015 President’s Message

~ President Armand Gutierrez ~

Boston SnowOnce again Mother Nature is giving all our snow away and dumping it on the east coast. That’s just wrong! Not only do we need the snow to satisfy our skiing/riding pleasures now we’re destined to have another shortage of water later in the year due to a weak snowpack. And due to the lack of snowfall we’ve had to cancel the two weekend ski trips that were planned for February and March. There is snow up at Tahoe but I guess everyone is waiting for the big dumps that we’ve become accustomed to in the past years. I recently returned from three days of skiing at Heavenly and Northstar and would consider it the best snow conditions for the season. Of course, this follows on the heels of a good winter storm that dumped a lot of snow at the Tahoe resorts. Northstar and Heavenly opened up a few more runs, including a few advanced runs. With sunny skies and cold temps everyone on the slopes was in a joyous mood and having fun. Although it’s too late to schedule any weekend bus trips that doesn’t mean you should give up on the season. Find a few buddies and take a weekend trip up to Tahoe and enjoy the sunny skies and do some skiing and riding!


BuntingNominations & Elections

In John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address (1961) he said, “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” I like to think of that quote in terms of what can you, an NSC member, do for the club? Volunteers run this club, and without them this club would cease to exist, and it’s been in existence for over 50 years! In March, you will have the opportunity to nominate an individual for one, or more, of the board positions. All individuals that accept the nomination(s) will go through an election process in April, and final results in May. Ask any of the current board members and I’m sure they will tell you that by volunteering they get back more than they ever gave. By volunteering you will experience social benefits as well as provide a greater sense of self-worth, trust, and lots of fun. Many of you have served on the board in the past, and your efforts were greatly appreciated and perhaps you would like to join the board again. For those that have never served then perhaps now is the time to consider a board position and provide new ideas and useful experiences. Be sure to see the nominations material on the website and you will be getting an email so that you can fill out your nominations online.


BAC Newsletter

I’m always looking for ways to get our club in the press so we can get recognition as a ski club. Well, the March edition of the BAC Newsletter ( is featuring our trip to Jackson Hole. I did submit the report to the National Ski Club Newsletter (NSCN) but unfortunately it was declined for publication since they already had a Jackson Hole report from last year. Oh well, there’s always next year!


An Early End of a Ski Season?

~ Karen Soo – Trip Director ~

KarenWe had a great turnout at the Jackson Hole Week long trip with 75 people coming from as far as New York, Mexico and Hawaii. Unfortunately, the turnout has not been the same for the Nisei Ski Club weekend trips. We had to cancel both weekend trips for 2015 due to lack of signups and lack of heavy snowfall. We hope 2016 will be better.

Is the snow season really over? There are still 2 months of skiing left. A few of you were interested in a weekend trip via car. Let me know and maybe we can arrange something. There are lots of lift tickets available at Craigslist. So a weekend trip is do-able if we have drivers and place to stay.

Someone had told me that most of the black diamond runs were not opened on most resorts but it’s still good to be outside in the sunshine and ski nice groom runs.

If you’re already packing those skis away, NSC is planning an Alameda Bike in May and we are planning an event tour of Levi’s stadium.

June 7th, Sunday is “Free admissions” to the California Academy of Science. Let me know if you are interested. Due to the crowds, you do get to see one or 2 exhibits but its free and it’s a $35.00 savings.

If you have any ideas or like to get involved, please send us your positive thoughts. Remember, this is your club.

Become a Certified Level 1 Ski Instructor!

PSIA LogoEver dreamed of  becoming a SKI INSTRUCTOR???  Well, here’s your chance!!!

The Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) will be conducting a 6 day course that will allow you to obtain a Level 1 Certification upon completion of all of the requirements.

The 6 day course will be held at Heavenly Valley from March 29 through April 3 2015.

Here’s an excerpt from their invitation:

BW Vintage Ski ClassThe Professional Ski Instructors of America – Western Division is offering the opportunity for members of the public to participate in a 6-day program to learn how to become a ski instructor.

The 6-day program is for people who are not actively teaching at a snowsport school, but are interested in becoming a Certified instructor. The program covers information on skiing, teaching, movement analysis, and technical knowledge to meet our National Level 1 Certification Standards. Successful candidates receive a certificate of completion and then have 2 years to complete 20 hours of teaching to become a Certified Level 1 Instructor.

Here are the details:

February 2015 – Editor’s notes

Happy Chinese New Years to All!!
4712 – Year of the Wood SheepWood Sheep

May the new year bring good health and prosperity to all, and MORE SNOW!!

Most of our club’s membership just spent a great week in Jackson Hole where we found abundant snow.  Despite the fact that we missed a big snow dump by a few days, there was plenty of the white stuff and certainly much more snow than Tahoe has.

DON”T GIVE UP HOPE for TAHOE!! As I write these stream of consciousness babblings, the snow gods are gracing our Tahoe slopes with new snow with Northstar reporting 3 inches of new in the past 24 hours and 13 inches in the past 48 hours (as of Feb 8).  More snow is expected to fall tomorrow in the Sierras – so there’s hope yet.

Jackson Hole 2015

                              IMG_0184  IMG_0184  IMG_0184  IMG_0184

Did someone mention Jackson Hole?

Thanks to Armand, I had a BLAST!!! As I’m sure you did too!  What more could you want?  Plenty of snow, great variety of terrain from mild to heart stopping, huge verticals, cloud layers, inversion layers, a dusting of fresh snow, moose (mooses? meece?), good food, elk, dog sled racing, ice skating, cowboy bars and incredible company!!!  I only regret that with such a large group, I didn’t get to  meet all of you.

Presidential Words to the Masses

Click here for Armand’s Jackson Hole and Membership Report and don’t forget Armand “the Bard” February President’s Message.

2015 Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole Pictures & Videos

N.B. – these pictures were taken in public places at

Thanks to all those who have contributed pictures and videos.  Here are the links to them:

Individual pictures – click on each to enlarge

  • Sandy’s pictures:

Cowgirl Sandy tram Lunch group 2015-01-25 13.40.35 Mtn Group Toy Tram

  • Kevin Chan’s pictures:

Arch - group Ron-Sanchez-Kevin Below Corbets Group above clouds



Racing Anyone??

LindseyDo you have Walter Mitty dreams of being a ski racer?Sandy

Will you be the next Lindsey Vonn?

Well, your dreams and aspirations can come true!!!  Our very own Sandy “Lindsey” Kiyomura is a veteran racer, at times reaching speeds faster than a speeding bullet!

Lindsey, I mean, Sandy, describes how you can be all you can be in her article here: “Open League Racing“.


Wedding Bells        Wedding Bells        Wedding Bells         Wedding Bells        Wedding Bells        Wedding Bells        Wedding Bells        Wedding Bells

And LAST but NOT LEAST, we had Jackson Hole ENGAGEMENT!!!  Wes Lum from Hawaii proposed to Mariana Guerrero of Mexico!  Talk about a Loooong Distance romance!

For those of us where weren’t lucky enough to witness the event, here you go:Collages

February, 2015 President’s Message

Da Prez Armand Gutierrez

Sheep88Welcome to the Chinese Year of Sheep (Wooden or Green)! Yes, the Chinese New Year starts February 19th and if you were born under the sign of the Sheep then you have a mild personality and are considered friendly.

2015 is here and January has turned out to be the driest January in recorded history. Although the Tahoe resorts remain open not all lifts and trails are open. I was up at Heavenly just before the ski week trip and there was only one black run open on the Nevada side, and all green/blue runs on the California side. Northstar did open up the Prosser black run on Lookout Mtn, but other than that it’s primarily the green/blue runs that were open. Skiing is probably good if you’re a beginner to intermediate but for you black diamond aficionados there’s not much to offer. Still, I’m hopeful we’ll get some snow in before or first weekend ski trip at the end of February.


Jackson Hole Ski Week

The Jackson Hole ski week trip turned out to be a really great trip and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Catch all the details in the Membership and Jackson Hole reports.


BAC Man and Woman of the Year

Karen Soo at JH croppedOnce again it’s time to nominate an outstanding member, or members, for the annual BAC Man and Woman of the Year contest. This year I have nominated Karen Soo for Woman of the Year. Karen was selected because, as Trip Director, she ensures that the NSC weekend trips are well-organized, transportation and lodging are taken care of, and, if you’ve ever been on any of her trips, then you know there is quite a bit of work for ensuring everyone is well-fed on the trip up and back. In addition to her outstanding work as Trip Director, Karen also plays a pivotal role in organizing our picnics, the ski-week souvenirs, and is involved with the hikes and other events. Congratulations Karen for a job well done.


February 2015 Membership Report & Jackson Hole Report

President Armand Gutierrez

Membership Activity

We had two members join up in January for the Jackson Hole trip. Yes, they were late signups but there was room for them on the trip. Currently we have 94 members in the club.


JH LogoJackson Hole Ski Week (24-31 January 2015)

Wow! What a week at Jackson Hole. There were 75 members on this trip and judging by the comments it appears to have been a very enjoyable and successful trip. Our flight out of SFO was on time and went without a hitch. In Salt Lake City we met up with several groups from the Sacramento and Albuquerque areas, and there were several members that opted to drive and were already in Jackson Hole.


The first three days of skiing was reminiscent of skiing Tahoe in Spring conditions. An inversion layer kept the base area in the high teens while tempts at the top of Thunder chair actually got as high as 60° F, which is most unusual for Jackson Hole during January. This lasted for several days and then we were blessed with a light snowfall on Tuesday evening. Yes, that meant a nice coat of 3″-4″ (more in some places) of fresh powder!


A number of people took Wednesday off to build up the local Jackson economy and to take in the National Elk Refuge on a horse-drawn sleigh. Of course, most members did make a visit to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, and our very own Dan Lew (newsletter editor) managed to get in some ice-skating in the town square.IMG_0315

The remainder of the week we had sunny to partly sunny skies and skiing was very pleasant. There were a couple of special events during the week- on Tuesday the Hawaiian Snowriders (members of our trip) held a memorial service for one of their fellow skiers that loved Jackson Hole and had passed away last year, AND there was a marriage proposal at the top of Bridger Gondola!! Yes, Wes Lum (from Hawaii) popped the big one to Mariana Guerrero (from Mexico). Needless to say there were tears flowing profusely.

Proposal Wes and Mariana_mp4_Output_1

Unfortunately, there were two accidents (one minor, one major). Kay Kamiyama had a fainting experience and fell forward onto the slope and incurred a slightly bloody nose and a scrape on her cheek. She was up and skiing the very next day. Curtis Otaguro suffered a dislocated shoulder while navigating the Tower 3 Chute (a black diamond). Although this happened on the last day of skiing it’s a sure bet that made the end of his ski season. Yes, for those that are counting I’m three for three now.

Our Farewell Dinner was held at the locally popular Mangy Moose and our group took over the top floor. During the Social Hour everyone was talking to everyone else, mingling and co-mingling, and then we got down to business of eating dinner. After dinner I gave my usual speech about the trip and last-minute announcements for departing the next morning.

During the week Greg Wong was busy gaining vertical feet and his concerted effort was rewarded with the 100K Vertical Foot pin. Meanwhile, Joe Feng and I finally reached the 500K vertical foot milestone and were rewarded with the 500K Silver Belt Buckle.

On our departure there was a little snafu at the Delta counter at the Jackson airport. Seems like their reservation system got overloaded with our whole group checking in at the same time and that sent the ticketing reps into a mild frenzy calling tech support. They finally were able to get all of us ticketed and we boarded on time and made our way back to SLC and SFO.

Group Picture

Open League Racing

By Sandy KiyomuraSandy

Did you know that as a member of the Nisei Ski Club, you could participate in BAC (Bay Area Council of Ski and Snowboard clubs) League races?  The Nisei Ski Club can form its own team. There are races throughout the season at various resorts. Even if you don’t race, you can watch and get discounted (about 50%) lift tickets on race days.

Many people think you have to be a strong skier to race. That is not true (even I can race). You will race against people at a similar level, and there are 10 levels of skiers. Levels 1-4 are Advanced, 5-7 are Intermediates, and 8-10 are Novice. Within each level, racers are further divided by gender and age. There are juniors (under 18), adults are 19-49, Vets are 50-64 and if you’re 65 or over, you are a “Super Vet”.

Lindsey VonnThere are three types of races: GS (giant slalom), Slalom and Super G.  You may find that you do better at one type of race than another.  I seem to be better at Slalom than GS. One will get points for placing in his/her category. These points are totaled for each club. In addition, there’s another category of “points per racer”. So if a team only has 2 racers and they always place first in their class, they can be at the top of that category.

On your first race, you will race as a Novice/Rookie. They will then determine your level by your time. Once you are placed in a level, you can move up to the next level by getting two strikes.  A strike is determined as a certain percentage over the pace-setter’s time.

If you would like to try a race, look up the schedule at: It is fun and you will meet people from other clubs. Ask you friends to join you and Nisei can form its own club. I would love to race for Nisei.

January, 2015 President’s Message

~ President Armand Gutierrrez ~

2015 is here and I trust that everyone had a Merry Christmas, a safe and Happy New Years celebration, and perhaps a few ski-related New Year’s Resolutions.  Looking back at 2014, NSC had a good year with the Sun Peaks ski week, the weekend ski trips, a well-attended picnic, and a good showing at the hiking events. So what’s in store for 2015? Well, hopefully a good ski season with plenty of snowfall, the Jackson Hole ski week with 74 members that includes quite a few former members, two scheduled ski weekends, and whatever else the board can come up with for events.

One thing that I would like to see for 2015 is more events sponsored by the membership. Why more events? Well, events serve as a vehicle for bringing members together for having fun, sharing stories, and perhaps meeting new members. In years past (many years) the board consisted of members that would sponsor an event, which had to go through a number of approvals before posting a flyer in the newsletter. That was in the days when the NSC newsletter was actually in printed format. Now that NSC has an online newsletter it is much easier to get approvals for events and event flyers for posting on the website. So, I’m asking the membership for some volunteers to step up to the plate and sponsor an event. It doesn’t have to be a big event, but something that would bring together the membership and the board will certainly help you with logistics and notifications.Jackson Hole Tram

The Jackson Hole ski week trip is at the end of the month and hopefully everyone is ready for some great skiing. It would be to your advantage to get in a couple of days of skiing before the trip and get your “ski legs” ready. I certainly will be up at Tahoe before the Jackson Hole trip to break in my new skis/bindings and boots.


January 2015 Membership & Jackson Hole Report

~ Da Prez – Armand Gutierrez ~

Membership Activity

As expected, there were no new memberships for the month of December. However, now that the sMinionski season has started and the Tahoe area looks promising perhaps we’ll get a few more signups for our two weekend bus trips. Currently we have 92 members in the club.


JH LogoJackson Hole Ski Week (24-31 January 2015)

Our ski week trip to Jackson Hole is rapidly approaching and there’s plenty of snow to satisfy your skiing needs! A recent check showed a base depth over 70” and compares with base depths of 32” at Heavenly, 42” at Squaw and 18” at Northstar. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to get in a few ski days prior to our departure.

Thanks to the many members that dropped by Casa Gutierrez for the Jackson Hole Orientation Meeting held on December

Corbet's Couloir

Corbet’s Couloir

13th. It was great seeing a bunch of members that I normally don’t see except during our picnics and the ski weeks. I’m looking forward to skiing with as many members as I can during this trip, unless, of course, you’re planning on jumping into Corbet’s Couloir. That would take a considerable amount of persuasion.

Ed. Note: for your entertainment, watch this Corbet’s video:

CORBET’S Couloir – One Epic Day

December 2014 President’s Message

~ President Armand Gutierrez ~

Dogs on Ski liftLet the winter season begin! Yes, it’s been snowing up at Lake Tahoe and the predicted weather for the next few weeks includes rainstorms in the Bay Area and snowstorms in the Tahoe region. Are you ready for the ski season? I am. At the end of last season I purchased new skis, bindings, and boots. To many of my friends that know me well, they’re breathing a sigh of relief that I have finally upgraded my ancient skis (Atomic 922s and Tecnica boots).

Jackson Hole TramOur ski week trip to Jackson Hole is just around the corner and they have been receiving quite a bit of snow. In fact, the “red tram” is in operation and the mountain is 100% open. There have been quite a few improvements and Ski Magazine rates Jackson Hole as the #1 Overall Resort.

Dan Lew is back from his vacation and producing the December newsletter and all future newsletters ‘till the end of our season. Dan has been at this for four years now and has decided to pass the baton to a new newsletter editor for the next season. With that in mind, the board would like to ask if there are any volunteers who would like to be the newsletter editor. It’s not a difficult job and only requires a few days of your time at the end of the month.

Code of Conduct
At our last board meeting we reviewed and approved the Code of Conduct that Brian Hess produced. Please review the Code of Conduct, which will apply to all NSC-sponsored events.

Snow/Road Conditions Web Site
Snow PlowDid you know that Caltrans has over a thousand cameras monitoring various roadway sections across California? Over the years I’ve found this website to be helpful when planning my trips up to Tahoe. The website, presented by Caltrans, offers a number of webcams that show road conditions in real-time. For example, to check on road conditions in the Lake Tahoe area follow these steps:

1. Go to
2. Click on “Sacramento and Tahoe Traffic Camera Map”.
3. Use the magnification slider on the left side to zoom in on Lake Tahoe.
4. Select a “red camera” (i.e. Tahoe Vista).
5. When the image appears click on the triangle on the left side and see the image in real-time.
6. Note, not all camera images provide the real-time feature or an image may not be available.
7. Zoom in and you can see the lifts and runs at the ski resorts.

Holly LeavesNew Years

It’s been a great year for NSC and I would like to thank all the
volunteers that contributed their time for making our events successful. As we enter the Christmas season I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.