2015 Annual Picnic – Sunday, June 28 ~ Save the Date!!!

Hawaiian Flowers

Nisei Ski Club Annual
Membership Meeting & Luau Picnic
Sunday, June 28, 2015

Save the date! Save the time! Save your energy for catching up with friends!Hawaiian Flowers
Who: NSC members/ families and invited guests.
Look for your Evite invitation in June.

Link to the : 2015-2016 NSC Picnic Flyer 

2015-2016 Election Results

From the desk of the elections chairperson, Hoyt Nelson, we have the offical 2015-2016 election results:

The results of the election are:

President: Armand Gutierrez
Vice President: Hoyt Nelson
Treasurer: Frank Chang
Trip Director: Karen Soo
Newsletter Editor: Judy Hom
Membership Chairperson: Greg Wong
Board Members at Large: Curtis Otaguro, Brian Hess, David Schultz, Sandy Kiyomura and Allen Hu

Thanks to everyone who supported our ski club by nominating, voting and/or being elected.

A special thanks to Nancy Nelson for running her copy of SurveyMonkey for us.
Please welcome our new board members and help them when possible.
~ Hoyt Nelson

April 2015 Newsletter – My Penultimate Edition!

Welcome to my penultimate newsletter.  NSC will be having its elections soon and before long, it will be out with the old and in with the new!

RIP TombstoneRIP 2014-2015 Tahoe Ski Season – may next season bring us bountiful snowfall.  As of the end of March, only Kirkwood, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are still operating, albeit in”Spring Operations” mode.  Kirkwood’s backside is closed, however.  Squaw and Alpine have May 5th planned closure dates – it remains to be seen if they can sustain operations that long.

For more info, see the Tahoe Best website.

A couple of interesting ski resort tidbits came across the editorial desk yesterday that you might find interesting:

    Brixen Im Thale in Austria is building purpotedly, the world’s fastest chairlift, the Jochbahn, which is planned for opeation in time for the 2015-2016 season. It will be an eight seat (Yes!! EIGHT!!) detachable that will reach speeds of 20 feet per second which is equivalent to 13.6 miles per hour!!!!BUT, for me, the speed is not the most impressive factor, it’s the HEATED SEATS which will also have a comfort suspension AND weather protection hoods!!For more information, see the SKIWELT website.Brixem Im Thale ChairLift


  • Vail Resorts to Acquire PERISHER, the largest Mountain Resort in Australia
    While Vail Resorts buying another resort is not really newsworthy, after all, Vail Resorts already owns some of the biggest mountain resorts in the US, such as: Heavenly Valley, Northstar, Kirkwood in California; Vail, of course, Beaver Creek, Keystone , Breckenridge in Colorado as well as the Canyons in Utah.  What caught my eye is the resort’s name “PERISHER”.
    At first glance, this seemed to be a very ominous name for a snow resort for a sport that many uninformed view as a dangerous sport. – perish the thought (pun intended!)!!

Merriam-Webster defines PERISH as : “to die or be killed“, but further research revealed that the word “PERISHER” in Australian English means: bounder, chap, fellow”So, never fear, skiing or riding at the PERISHER will not mean you will PERISH!! ~ as an English friend once said, “we are people separated by a common language!”.

Now, onto club business –


Hang GliderFirst off, we have president Armand’s President’s Message and Membership Reports.  Armand laments the end of the ski season and teases us with the location of the 2015/2016 week trip.  Can you guess where it will be??  Hmmm, seems to me that he already revealed the location after the Jackson Hole trip, but maybe he was being obtuse??!  Maybe it was just my imagination (running away with me).



SF STAIRWAY WALK #1 – On May 3, Hoyt Nelson will graciousy host his FINAL San Diego Rivera Woman boquet flowersFrancisco Stairway Walk #1 .  Quoth The Raven , “Nevermore” will Hoyt lead this particular walk.

Some of the walk highlights are:

Here are the details : NISEI SKI CLUB: SF STAIRWAY WALK #1.


Cycling with BaguetteNSC RIDES THE ALAMEDA BAY TRAIL – Karen “Ms Giro” Soo and Sandy “Ms Derailleur” Kiyomura will be our randonneurs extraordinaires on May 30 on the Alameda Bay Trail.  Come one come all, all are welcome, including minors accompanied by an adult.

Whether you’re a seasoned Alpe D’Huez veteran (I’m taking about you, Allen!) or an occasional rider, drag out your stingrays, beach cruisers,or carbon superbikes – it matters not, come and enjoy the scenery and company while getting some exercise.

Here are the details : NSC Alameda East Bay Bike Ride.



Until next month, and get your taxes done soon!  Ed….

April 2015 President’s Message & Membership Report

~ President Armand Gutierrez ~

It is sad to say that my ski season has officially ended. I went from skiing Northstar last Monday and Tuesday (March 23-24 ) to making my first hang gliding flight of the new season on Friday. However, I must say that Northstar had received 3”-5” of sweet powder Sunday night and Monday’s day on the slopes was one of the best days I’ve had all season. Although some of my favorite runs were still closed there was enough powder coverage to venture into the trees and make fresh tracks.  Couple that with hardly any lift lines and beautiful sunny skies and you’ve got a great day on the slopes. Hard to believe that it was such a good day at the end of a not-so-great season.

Since it’s the end of the ski season, it’s time to start having our spring NSC events. Coming up, we have a Bike Ride  through Alameda and a Stairway Hike  in San Francisco. Be sure to gander at the flyers in this month’s newsletter for details.

Night SkiingSki Week 2016

Now that my ski season has ended it’s time to focus on our ski week for next year. I’ve been looking at a few resorts but one has constantly returned as the best choice for next year. Where, you say? Come on now, that would be far too easy to let you know this early. But, I will give you a few clues:

  • This resort is combining with another resort to become the largest in the U.S. (7,600 acres).
  • The Epic Pass from Vail Resorts will include 5-day lifts at this resort.
  • There will be a new gondola to connect the two resorts.

Well, those are the clues. Figured it out yet? One side note regarding the Epic Pass – the Epic Tahoe Local Pass  (Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood) is currently selling for $479, and that includes six Buddy passes. But, you have to purchase the pass by April 12th. If you ski at least 4 days at any of these resorts then it would be worthwhile to pick up this pass for next season AND use it for five days on our ski week. Purchasing after the 12th will probably be at the same price (for several months, anyway) but might not offer as many Buddy passes.

BuntingNominations & Elections

The nominations process has been completed and the next step is elections. The elections chairman tells me there were quite a few responses and people nominated for the various positions. Of course, not everyone that was nominated accepted his or her nomination but that was expected. But we do have a slate of nominees for you to elect for the 2015-16 season and you will be getting an email informing you to vote online using SurveyMonkey.


Membership Activity

For the month of March there were no new signups. Currently we have 94 members in the club.

SF STAIRWAY WALK #1 (The LAST time I will lead this hike) Sun. May 3, 2015

This hike is by far the most popular of the series. This is an ideal time of year to do it (unless our crazy weather patterns continue).  Some of the highlights of the hike are:

  • Climb the Coit Tower neighborhood that many people have been close to, but never seen.
  • Explore expertly-manicured gardens along some of the many hidden stairways in town.
  • See Diego Rivera’s political mural at the San Francisco Art Institute on Chestnut.
  • See beautiful, architecturally historic homes on Russian Hill.
  • See the curvy part of Lombard Street from a new perspective.
  • Walk the last wooden street in San Francisco.
  • See the wild parrots of the Telegraph Hill.

MEET 9:30 AM AT LEVI STRAUSS PLAZA at 1255 Battery St. (bounded by Sansome, Battery, Union and Greenwich) with water, lunch snacks, camera, sturdy walking shoes, sun protection/sweater (depending on the weather), SF map and energy. Parking meters don’t run on Sunday again, so you should have no trouble finding a spot on Sansome, Battery or their cross streets.  If all else fails, try for an all day parking lot along the Embarcadero.

Although a fairly strenuous hike of about 3-1/2 hours (but less than 5 miles), we will stop frequently for the views and snacks. We will eat lunch at a local restaurant (optional).

To sign up and get detailed meeting instructions or help with transportation, contact Hoyt Nelson at Stairs#1@niseiskiclub.org.

HURRY: Signup limited to 20 applicants so we can point out the many features of note without shouting.

Filbert St Stairs  Coit Tower

NSC Rides the Alameda Bay Trail Towards San Leandro/ Hayward

Presented by : Karen Soo & Sandy Kiyomura

Mickey On BikeJoin Nisei Ski Club on this easy paced, mostly flat ride. We will bike along the Alameda shoreline and the Oakland Airport via the Ron Cowan Parkway. Bike past the airport and continue along the SF Bike trail towards San Leandro ending at the picnic area across from the Monarch Bay Golf course.  The ride is approximately 11.5 miles with an optional 4 miles to Sulfur Creek, Hayward after lunch.  Lunch is available for purchase at Monarch Bay Golf Course

23- 30 miles round trip.


Snoopy w bikeMeet:      Crown Memorial State Beach Parking Lot in Alameda.
Parking: Free street parking or $5.00 for the parking lot.
When:    Saturday, May 30th, 2015
Time:     10:00 AM, rolling out at 10:30 AM
Cost:       FREE for Members and Guests


SIGN-UP DEADLINE: May 27th, 2015

What to bring: All riders MUST wear a helmet and should carry a pump.  Bikes should be in good condition.  You should bring a water bottle, spare inner tube, patch kit, tire levers, sunscreen, lunch and snacks to share (optional).  Due to unpredictable weather, a light jacket is suggested for cool weather conditions.

Directions and Information:  We will send information in a separate email.

Help needed:  Group leaders and flat-fixers needed in case we split up into multiple groups.

No SAG Support but we will be equipped for flats and minor repairs.

RSVP Please email Contacts:    Karen Soo            alamedabike@niseiskiclub.org
                                                Sandy Kiyomura   alamedabike2@niseiskiclub.org


*Photographs of this event including participants may appear on the NSC website or in the newsletter.


**All participants must sign the Nisei Ski Club Waiver at the start of the ride.

All are welcome.  Minors under 18 must be accompanied with an adult.



Hoyt Nelson – Elections Chairperson

We need your help – seriously.

Every year we ask the membership to nominate prospective members to fill the board of directors for the following fiscal year. The offices are: president; vice president; secretary; treasurer; trip director; membership director; newsletter editor and board member(s) at-large to act as “floater” to help the board as needed. (A list of board members’ duties is available to any member on request at elections@niseiskiclub.org.) It’s a long process of gathering nominees and getting them to agree to run, making up and distributing a ballot and waiting for results to come in before we can announce the new board before June 1. We need to start the process now in order to complete it on time

Please consider the following:

Is the Nisei Ski Club beneficial to you and do you remember that it is run entirely by volunteers?

If you think you can add value to the board, don’t just wait for others to write in your name. Please step up to help this club to be the one you wanted it to be when you joined (or better).

You may think you don’t have enough time for all those far away meetings and such. Actually, it does not take all that much time, and the process of running the club has been streamlined in the last several years to require even less time. Plus – annual dues are waived for all board members.

Are you cautious to step up? Here’s a chance to break out. Do think you have nothing to offer to the club? Be assured we can find many worthwhile opportunities for your help.

Do you know another member who has not volunteered, but whom you think would be a good candidate to help out? Let us know and we will be glad to talk with them.

Normally we have a monthly board meeting, but on some occasions we may skip a meeting if there is no pressing business to conduct. Also, we rotate meeting locations to spread required travel evenly.

In the next day or 2, you will receive an e-mail from SurveyMonkey with a link to a nomination form (unique to you). Please click on this link and think about whom to nominate. Your response needs to be received within about 2 weeks (depending on when it is actually sent) to be counted, so please don’t delay. Filling out the form should be intuitive and SurveyMonkey will remind you if it doesn’t receive your timely response. Please look for this e-mail and think about whom to nominate. Send any questions to elections@niseiskiclub.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

March Madness Report 2015

piJust kidding, no March Madness – but Go Warriors!

This year, March has a really important and unique day – PI DAY!!!! Math geeks rejoice!

Flag PieThis year’s Π day is a once a century event!  This year, on March 14, 2015 at 9:26:53, we will have the a date and time that contain the first 10 digits of the irrational number, Π (PI) of 3.141592653 on Saturday, March 14:   3/14/15 9:26:53!!!!


For more info, see this Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi



Now, onto club business…

The Master’s Voice – the President’s CornerNipper

Membership Activity – For the month of February there were no new signups. Currently we have 94 members in the club.

President’s Message for March
Once 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 …
Read the rest of Armand’s message here: “March 2015 President’s Message 



March 13-15 Weekend Trip Trip Cancellation

Unfortunately, the 2nd of our weekend trips, scheduled for Mar 13-15 (encompassing Π day!) has been cancelled due to lack of interest, undoubtedly driven by the lack of snow.  See Trip Director, Karen Soo’s report “NSC Trip Director Report“.



Want to Become a Ski Instructor?

Ski Class Line upHave you ever envisioned yourself as a ski instructor?  If so, this month’s Professional Ski Instructor of America (PSIA) is conducting a 6 day course at Heavenly Valley from March 29 through April 3 that could lead up to a Level 1 Ski instructor’s certification.

Interested? Then see “Become a Level 1 Ski Instructor

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 (http://www.skibac.org) 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.